Addressing a capacity crowd of some 80 people at the recent Yom Rabin Memorial service at Beyachad, hosted by the Israel Centre and the SA Zionist Federation under the leadership of WZO and Habonim Shaliach Yaron Shiponi, Deputy Israeli Ambassador Michael Freeman spoke movingly of the wonderful legacy Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin left behind him after his tragic death in 1995.
After signing the peace accord with Jordan in 1995, Rabin said these memorable words: “Today we are embarking on a battle that has no dead and no wounded, no blood and no anguish. This is the only battle that is a pleasure to wage – the battle for peace.” How portentous these words were. Rabin was not only a politician – he was a statesman, a warrior and a Zionist, whose term of office in Israel made him a world-renowned figure seeking that elusive Middle East peace which today still remains Israel’s dream.
The event was attended by representatives of all the Zionist Youth Movements, who came together both physically and emotionally to pay homage to Yitzhak Rabin. They joined hands in paying tribute to him, and remembering what could have been, had he not been so cruelly assassinated. It was good to see how united the young Zionists in Johannesburg are, and how strongly supportive they are of ensuring Israel’s survival and continuation as an icon country of the 21st century.