Remembering Rabin – a Tale of Two Cities

October 20, 2010 Agencies
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November 4, 1995 is a date etched in the collective memory of Israelis and Jewish people around the world.How Melbourne is dealing with it:


When former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin z”l was assassinated by a lone Jewish assassin, buoyant hopes for peace were replaced by shock, disbelief and numbness. Israelis yearn for peace and so the prophetic words of Shir Lashalom (“Song of Peace”) Rabin sang at the Tel Aviv peace rally just before he was gunned down were never really lost. Israel continued to reach out to her neighbours and fifteen years later Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is today negotiating with the Palestinian Authority for the very same result as Rabin before him.

The Zionist Council of Victoria will mark the 15 year milestone of Yitzchak Rabin’s legacy with a special commemorative evening on November 4 at 8pm.

How Sydney is dealing with it:

On November 1995, 12 Heshvan 5756, the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the State of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated. At the close of a peace rally carrying the banner “Yes to Peace, No to Violence,” in the Kings of Israel square in Tel Aviv, a Jewish Israeli shot the Prime Minister in the back. The assassination took place at the height of a difficult political struggle focused on the character and future of the State of Israel, a struggle that was accompanied by incitement against the Prime Minister and against the political process that he led. The political assassination of Yitzhak Rabin challenged the democratic foundations of the State of Israel and brought to the surface societal conflicts that had gone unexamined for decades.

The challenges of peace and societal conflicts are still facing Israel today. We will hear from Rav Rafi of Tzohar on their efforts to bridge the gap between religious and secular Jewish communities in Israel. This will be followed by the screening of the Australian documentary ‘Tackling Peace’. The film revolves around a group of young Israelis and Palestinians who join forces to play in the Australian Football League’s International Cup. A session of Q& A will follow with the producer and director of the film, Mark Rodomsky.

These challenges will continue to be discussed during a 4 week program Small County, Big Ideas, a collaboration between the State Zionist Council of NSW and Encounters@Shalom. It provides participants with the opportunity to explore Israel as the dynamic, multi-dimensional and complex country it is. We will run two fascinating streams:

1 – Internal Tensions, presented by Steve Israel, exploring the impact of the ‘New Jew’ on Israeli society, the issue of Israeli Arabs and their impact on a ‘Jewish and democratic’ Israel, and ethnic tensions.

2 – The Headlines, featuring various presenters TBA, exploring the morality of the IDF, the settlement freeze, and the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign against Israel. Speakers include Ron Weiser, Andre Oboler, Jeremy Jones, Anat Baruch and Meir Holtz.

Session # 2 – Wednesday 10th November

Session # 3 – Monday 14th November

Session # 4 – Monday 22nd November

7.45pm – 10pm at Eric Caspary Learning Centre, Shalom College

$30 per session or $100 for full course

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