When did I ever write you a letter? If I was truly emotional, as is the case now, I would just open your door and pour my heart out to you. As if you were an elder brother or a dear father. Yet you are not here and there is no door to walk through and share my thoughts with you. So I’m writing. Will you have time to read, up there?
Finally, after 16 years, I have a huge hope. Sixteen years after that villain shot three bullets in your back. Sixteen years after I thought that our country was finished. Sixteen years after the man you said was spineless became prime minister, twice. Sixteen years where we had another Intifada and failed wars. So many young Israelis were killed for no reason.
It’s been 16 years during which we have had all sorts of “leaders.” With the exception of Ariel Sharon’s years in power, you would have been outraged had you been here to see the rest, looking at those elected prime minister and appointed defense minister, as if we live in Finland.
However, over the last summer, a miracle happened, Yitzhak. Young men and women decided to save the State of Israel. Hundreds of thousands hit the streets, demanding social justice, solidarity, and mutual responsibility. All the issues you promoted as prime minister. How proud you would be of these young people, Sabras, cheeky, just the way you liked it.
And that other guy, the prime minister, is sweating. Now he’s planning to bomb Iran. Otherwise he won’t be able to get the young men and women off the streets. Yet this time it won’t work for him. This time around, the media are not silent as they were in 1993 and 1994, when he stood on that Jerusalem balcony and marched behind coffins and whispered to rabbis. This time, it won’t work for him.
These young people are preparing for a warm winter after an amazing summer of protest, and they shall change Israel forever.
Time for pride
Everything that you started in 1992 and that was put in deep freeze for 16 years is starting to thaw. The people demand money for education. The people demand money for healthcare. The people demand roads and junctions. The people demand employment. The people demand a just distribution between the rich and the poor. The people demand to live honorably.
Indeed, in recent years we have here a military commentator serving as defense minister and trying to scare everyone, yet as opposed to the last 16 years, he has become a transparent duck. Moreover, everything you thought about him and told me about him turned out to be true.
I think that in the coming year, an election campaign will get underway here. The 19th Knesset will not look like the Knesset that will be sent home. Masses of young men and women will be elected as Israel’s next leaders. Indeed, the old political establishment disparages them because it fears them to death, but I know you would have been incredibly proud of them.
They’re a little older than your friends from the Palmach were when you established our state. I remember what you always told me – only young people can establish a state. So today, only the young people are on their way to saving the State of Israel.
On Thursday I was told that the rally in your memory is being postponed. I’m convinced that once it is held, these young people will arrive at the square en masse. This time, after many years, I shall arrive at the square with great pride. Not in order to cry for you, as always. Rather, to be proud. To take pride in those who swore to continue in your path and embarked on the journey over the summer.
Watch us from above, Yitzhak. I know you will be proud of them. These sons and daughters. And give us a sign that you are up there, even a drizzle. Something.
Shimon Sheves served as director general of the Prime Minister’s Office under Yitzhak Rabin
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