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24 Years After Rabin's Assassination, Israel Could Use a Little Polarization

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Twenty-four years after Rabin’s assassination, the main legacy associated with the event is that we must avoid polarization and diminish disagreements. The message comes across clearly in school lesson plans and ceremonies, and it was also delivered in Benny Gantz’s lukewarm speech at the main memorial rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square earlier this month.

It’s the direct continuation of the various Tzav Pius (Call to Reconcile) meetings bringing together different groups within Jewish Israeli society that flourished in the wake of the murder, and persuaded many people that Israel’s main disease is a surplus of politicization, a surplus of ideological tension between the camps and a surplus of emotion. The remedy is Valium for all, relaxation by means of dialogue, self-restraint and “listening to the Other.”

It’s shocking to see the extent to which this message has been absorbed: If pre-November 1995 Israel was highly polarized politically, particularly surrounding the Oslo Accords — the period was experienced as a contest between two........

© Haaretz