The Blog is Back – Thoughts from the Square

In Israel on November 15, 2011 at 8:59 AM

View from the Square

16-years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the public square next to where he was killed is filled with only ten-thousand. 15-years ago I stood in the same spot with more than one-hundred thousand mourners.

I was 18-years-old, 3-months in Israel and living on Kibbutz Maagan Michael. I did not understand most of what was being said, my Hebrew was not yet very good. But with the songs whose music I did not yet know, and the speeches whose words I could not yet decifer, I made a fateful decision that would change my life forever.

As the national anthem was sung and the lump in my throat gave way to tears, I decided that I would become a citizen of this country. I wanted to be part of it all. I felt that through tragedy there could be hope. I was idealistic, and admitedly so, incredibly naive.

I stand here now, not with regret, but with an overwhelming sadness. That dreams of peace are further then ever before, words like ‘price tag’ are being scrawled on walls of those that work for peace, or on walls of those whose misfortune it was to be born as an Arab in a Jewish state that has no place for them. I stand here because a country I so believed in now fills me with total exasperation and mild despair.

No longer an 18-year-old filled with promise, I am a slightly bitter 33-year-old who could not keep a promise. Of a generation whose candles filed the streets but whose voices were silenced by a combination terrorism and occupation that was capped off with a large dose of general apathy.

Today, a new generation of bright eyed 18-year-olds filled the square. They too did not know the songs. They too did not understand the speeches. They took photos of themselves smiling with the words ’16 years since the murder of ‘Yitzhak Rabin’ in the background, which will later appear on their Facebook pages. It was a not to be missed event. A concert for living. A message from the dead.

But they were filled with hope. Filled with joy. Filled with the knowledge that they will be the ones to save us. Today they too made a promise – Will they be the ones to keep it?


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