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Rabin’s Son Says Israel’s Status As A Free Society Is Threatened

Allan Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
March-April 1998

Speaking before the L’Chaim Society in London, Yuval Rabin, son of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, sounded a "somber warning that internal conflict was threatening Israel’s status as a free country," according to the London Jewish Chronicle (Oct. 31, 1997).  

Speaking shortly before the second anniversary of his father’s assassination, Yuval Rabin warned that the survival of democratic rule in Israel should not be taken for granted, saying: "Our current leadership constantly boasts that we are the only democracy in the Middle East. We should not assume this will always be true. We must guard it closely."  

He urged "moderate" Jews outside of Israel to help fight "extremism and hatred" in Israel. Rabin, who helped found Dor Shalom (Generation of Peace) "to further the search for peace, democracy and social justice," urged his listeners to involve themselves in what is happening in Israel and called upon those donating money to Israeli causes to "make sure you know exactly where your money is going." Denying any political ambition for himself, Rabin, "whose voice and mannerisms closely resembled those of his father," expressed the hope that in the next election, the Israeli people "will exercise better judgment."  

At the same time, a report by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research challenged the assumption that Israel "is a unifying force in British Jewry." The Jewish Chronicle (Nov. 7, 1997) notes that the report found that although 81% of British Jews feel a connection with Israel, the "attachment" is less strong among younger Jews. The idea that the only future for Jews lies in Israel was rejected by 61% of all Jews, and with an even greater majority by the younger Jews. This attitude was reflected in the willingness of only 12% to "make an Israel charity their first choice" against 42% for UK Jewish causes. One of the conclusions of the report was that "whereas Israel once appealed to radicals, and later to all denominations in the community, as time passes it looks as if increasingly it will appeal more to traditional and Orthodox Jews than to others." The report also noted that Orthodox Jews were four times as likely to be against the "land for Peace" policy favored by the rest of the Jewish community.  

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