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I never voted for him. I was too young to vote. But he was my leader.
Not because he has become a martyr. Not because he was a victim of violence. But because he WAS indeed a leader.
A leader is not a manager. And not a politician. And not a general, either. Not a man of peace, too.
A leader takes his men somewhere. And Rabin took us in the bloody road of peace. It was a brave step - it involved real courage. Not the courage of a military commander taking his men to a vicious battle to the death. No. Rabin had a choice.
Rabin chose the hard way, and only today I understand the magnitude of his deed.
On November 4th, the peace process recieved a fatal blow. Like in the Kennedy murder, every Israeli remembers precisely where he's been at the time of the 3 gun shots. I was at home, watching TV. Suddenly my brother called our family from his place. He said Rabin was shot in Tel-Aviv. The place was Israel Kings' Square. Today it's called Rabin Square. I thought to myself: well, he probably got it in the shoulder, or at one of his feet. It can't be so easy killing a prime minsiter, I reassured myself.
The distrubing thought is that I wasn't surprised about the shooting itself - but from the fact that it was actually successful.
Many people burst into tears when they heard about his death. I failed to grasp the terror of the act.
Some Israelis know where they should have been at that time. They should have been at the square, supporting the peace process that Rabin was leading and denouncing the fanatical violence that got him killed.
I wasn't there. But I want to remember that, and remind others that may have found it easy to forget.