LETTER: After the death of Rabin

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From Mr Lu'Ayy Minwer


Sir: It is ironic that I, a Jordanian Arab who, like Yigal Amir, is also a law student, write to condemn strongly his assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Instead of preparing to kill his own prime minister, the Israeli assassin should have been spending serious thought on how to build constructively upon a just and dignified framework.

The assassination has not only underlined the deep divisions engulfing the Middle East on the issue of peace. It has also highlighted the very considerable risks regional leaders have chosen to undertake. However, whether they like it or not, Israelis and Arabs are now united by a new mutual bond: the future of the region.

Yet Arabs and Israelis are also challenged by a mutual threat: religious extremism. Israelis and Arabs are surrounded by seas in which not only do hungry fish eat Jews, but myopic sharks devour liberal-minded Arabs and Jews. But if we as lay citizens cannot confront extremists' vile acts, we should at least distance ourselves from their actions, physically and intellectually.

The political vacuum Yitzhak Rabin has left may be difficult to fill, but it is incumbent on Israelis of all political and religious persuasions to carry the torch of peace that the extremist Israeli right is relentlessly trying to douse. On this sombre occasion I am very proud of my King's symbolic presence and his brave speech at Mr Rabin's funeral. May I echo King Hussein's words that the assassination of Mr Rabin should be an occasion for all those who belong to the camp of peace to come and speak of peace.

Yours sincerely,

Lu'Ayy Minwer Al-Rimawi

London School of Economics

London, WC2

6 November