Israel Story

Rabin Is …

The prime minister’s life, death, and afterlife, 20 years after the assassination that changed a country

November 4, 2015

Who is Yitzhak Rabin today, 20 years after his murder? In this episode of Israel Story, we discover that for many Israelis, he represents completely different—and often conflicting—things: Rachel Rabin remembers her older brother as a shy kid who made her be the goalie in neighborhood soccer games to get her off his back. His “fixer,” Me’ir Palevsky, tells of how a crude joke saved Rabin’s political career. Aliza Goren, the woman closest to the scene of the assassination, talks about standing in the operating room, looking at a dead prime minister. For writer Etgar Keret, Rabin is a cat, and maybe that’s not so strange when we hear how others—activists, educators, and politicians—have taken Rabin’s legacy in all kinds of no less outlandish directions. Lastly, Naomi Chazan reads the last note she got from Rabin: a letter from the grave.

Rabin is a symbol, an icon. But in Israel of 2015, it isn’t so simple to understand what he really stands for anymore.

Listen to the full episode here, or download it from iTunes. You can hear all our English-language episodes here.

Original music for “Rabin Is a Cat” by Elad Stavi, and for “Rabin is Dead” by Collin Oldham. Additional music in the episode by Podington Bear, Big Tree, Blue Dot Sessions, and Chris Zabriskie.

Israel Story, the English-language version of the popular Israeli radio program Sipur Israeli, is distributed by PRX and produced in partnership with Tablet.

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