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A People Divided This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   At 11: 10 p.m. local time in Tel Aviv, Israel, history was made.

Upon leaving a peace rally attended by over 100,000 Israelis, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot by a lone gunman. (Where have we heard that before?) He was rushed to a nearby hospital, virtually dead upon arrival, and less than an hour later, the shocking news of the first assassination of an Israeli Prime Minister was announced to a stunned crowd.

Jews throughout the world were shocked by the news. One Israeli teen, unbelieving, repeated of the assassin, "I want to kill him. I just want to kill him."

Yigal Amir, the 25-year-old law student who took it into his own hands to end the political policies of Prime Minister Rabin by such abrupt and violent means, said he "acted alone and on orders from God." Orders from God?

For years, Jews in Israel and throughout the world have been split on the proper solution to the ongoing struggle between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Many religious Jews are opposed to the methods that have recently begun to be put into effect to achieve a more peaceful state; namely, releasing Israel's control over territories to Arab inhabitants in order to ease the terrorist attacks which have plagued the nation since its birth. However, no one would expect this to happen. There has been an unspoken agreement for centuries that one Jew would not slay another for political reasons; after the oppression and persecution experienced by Jews during their history, it is difficult to imagine that they would want to bring more upon themselves.

There was an outpouring of emotion not only in Israel but on the streets of American cities, especially Manhattan, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world. Candlelight vigils were held through the long night following the assassination. Sadness, unfortunately, was not the only emotion expressed by Jews.

Some were relieved and even, shockingly, gladdened. Unbelievably, there were news reports in which people were quoted as saying, "This [the assassination] should have happened a year ago." It is unbelievable that people who consider themselves to be among the most religious support the brutal murder of a fellow Jew.

Even worse, nothing beneficial to the opposition came of this assassination. Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres's views are more liberal than those of Rabin, and the reactionaries who object to the sacrifice of land for peace will have to deal with the same policies as Rabin's for at least the next few months.

The worst thing that Rabin could imagine for the State of Israel is that it should be divided so greatly that one Jew should strike down another. At the White House less than a month before he was killed, Rabin said, "We should not let the land flowing with milk and honey become a land flowing with blood and tears."

Amen. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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