The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/s/slepokura.orest/1995/slepokura.1195

From Mon Nov  6 11:38:39 PST 1995
Article: 15264 of soc.culture.jewish
From: (Orest Slepokura)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish,soc.culture.israel
Subject: Re: Prime Minister Rabin Has just been shot
Date: 5 Nov 1995 03:21:01 GMT
Organization: CADVision
Lines: 25
References:  <47gnpb$>
X-Newsreader: Yet Another NewsWatcher 2.0b30
Xref: soc.culture.jewish:15264 soc.culture.israel:24648

In article <47gnpb$>,
(MarshallT) wrote:

> My God! Why isn't there anymore posts re: Rabin's assasination! 

Why aren't there any more posts, you ask? Simple. People are in a state of
shock. The unthinkable has happened. To assimilate the news requires a bit
of time. One needs to digest the fact that the prime minister of Israel
has been shot and killed in cold blood; by a co-religionist of his,

There's an air of unreality about it all; rather like that which
surrounded the assassination of President Kennedy back in November, 1963.

The best one can hope for now is that this killing marks both the
begginning and the end of the tragedy; in other words, that no other
tragedy or tragedies will grow out of it. Personally, I find that
extremely unlikely. But we'll see.
> Why dosen't somebody say something!!
> Didn't anybody see anything?!
> I'll be watching...

From Mon Nov  6 11:38:40 PST 1995
Article: 15576 of soc.culture.jewish
From: (Orest Slepokura)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish
Subject: Rabin: with Vorster at Yad Vashem
Date: 5 Nov 1995 06:56:32 GMT
Organization: CADVision
Lines: 43
X-Newsreader: Yet Another NewsWatcher 2.0b30

When the South African prime minister, John Vorster, paid an official
visit to Israel in April, 1976, it naturally included a tour of Yad
Vashem, Jerusalem's Holocaust memorial, where Jewish officials invited the
onetime Nazi collaborator and implacable White supremacist to pay homage
to victims of the Holocaust.  

Compared, say, to the vociferous Jewish protest that erupted in August,
1979, when word leaked out that America's UN ambassador, Andrew Young, had
spoken privately to the PLO's UN observer, no less remarkable was the calm
equanimity both Israeli and diaspora Jews displayed toward the Vorster

Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi tells us [The Israeli Connection, Random
House:Toronto, 1987, p.x]: 

"For most Israelis, the Vorster visit was just another state visit by a
foreign leader.  It did not draw much attention.  Most Israelis did not
even remember his name, and did not see anything unusual, much less
surreal in the scene: Vorster was just another visiting dignitary being
treated to the usual routine."

Andrew and Leslie Cockburn recall that a few of the dignitaries and others
present did experience a touch of moral nausea on seeing an old, unabashed
Nazi collaborator paying homage to victims of the Holocaust [Dangerous
Liaison, Stoddart: Toronto, 1991, p. 299]:

"When Vorster laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the
Holocaust, it made some observers exceptionally queasy. Vorster had served
nearly two years in jail during World War II for his Nazi collaboration.
This leader of an extreme racist regime had never acknowledged that the
Nazi doctrine was in any way distasteful."

Vorster left Israel four days later, but not before he signed several
treaties and brokered a number of deals between the Jewish state and South
Africa's old apartheid regime.  

It's ironic, to say the least, that nearly 20 years later Rabin was to be
assassinated by a fanatical right-winger whose mindset was very much like
that of John Vorster, a man he invited and warmly welcomed to Israel.

What goes around comes around, I guess.


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