Rabin Funeral- Eulogy by President Weizman

Rabin Funeral- Eulogy by President Weizman


 YITZHAK RABIN: 1922-1995
Eulogy for the Late Prime Minister and Defense Yitzhak Rabin by President Ezer Weizman

Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem
6 November 1995

To Leah and the entire family. Yitzhak was of the 1948 generation, born in 1922. He was of the generation born under the British Mandate, which fought for our independence, aspired to build a new land, and to lay its agricultural, scientific and industrial foundations. Most of this youth joined up at a young age on behalf of the homeland, with exactly these words. Yitzhak represented the best of this youth. He joined the Palmach, and this is always said but I will repeat it because this is how I met him for the first time: on Front D during the War of Independence. He was handsome and sported an elegant pompadour. Leah is also of this generation. She is also from the Palmach. They joined together and established a home and, for his entire life, Yitzhak remained in the service of his country.

He never veered off into civilian life and private life the way some of us did. He served in the IDF proudly -- Brigade Commander, Officer Commanding, Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief of Staff. I also had the interesting and important experience of serving under him during interesting and difficult times. I will not here relate his long history of studies and development --- his subsequent pursuit of political life, diplomatic life in Washington and the life of a minister. He was among the first in our generation to become a minister.

But the last two and a half years -- from my point-of-view, and I hope for his as well -- were the years in which we spent the most time together. We got together at least twice a month if not more so, for at least one to one and a half hours of intimate, private discussions -- he and I -- on whatever was important and painful to the State of Israel. And I know that several times, maybe -- and I am perhaps making an understatement -- I hit a sore spot of his. I never heard any criticism, I never heard anything from him, and he continued to be a noble person, as he always was. But those hours that we spent together, from my perspective, were years, hours and years, sum up all of the long years [that we spent] in the IDF, and governments together. One on one, you study each other, you get to know your partner, you understand the other better than in any other situation. And I heard from him about his desire and his aspirations and his pride, that today, the State of Israel is one of the [most] economically flourishing countries in the region, and perhaps in many other parts of the world; about the fact that 60-80,000 immigrants a year were absorbed in the great aliyah, and were absorbed into industry, the civil life of the State of Israel, and the army. He was also immensely proud when the breakthrough was made to the talks with the Palestinians and peace with the Kingdom of Jordan, whose royal highness is sitting here with us today. Perhaps the fact that representatives of 80 countries -- kings, counts, heads of state, and ministers from around the world -- came here today to pay him their final respects, symbolizes what Yitzhak achieved during his life better than anything else. They came to pay him their final respects out of great appreciation for what he did, out of recognition for him, and personal acquaintance with him, for many years.

Sitting here are President Clinton, the prime ministers of Britain and France, the King of Jordan, President Mubarak of Egypt, the Queen of the Netherlands -- I will not elaborate on the entire, long list. They came, first and foremost, to honor Yitzhak, but I am certain that he would want to know, and that he does know, that it is also to honor the State of Israel. The State of Israel that has changed, and it has a long way to go, a State of Israel that is today greatly admired around the world; a state which today aspires more for peace than for war.

Personally, I will miss the hours in which I sat and spoke with him; I will miss the hour that we sat alone, ate some good food, drank some good drinks. And I will miss him as he will be missed by all of us. I would like only to add a verse from the Book of Genesis, the portion of Toldoth, Chapter 26: "And Yitzhak sowed in that land, and found in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and grew more and more until he became very great." May his memory be a blessing for us all.

The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995
Press for print versionPrint version
Send To Friend