What Does Benjamin Netanyahu Find So Funny at the Rabin Center?

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first visit to the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv.

The column I wrote last week – “The Second Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin” (July 17) – evoked a torrent of responses. One reader, who provided his name but wished to remain anonymous, sent me the attached picture. This is a picture you won’t see anywhere else – and for good reason. It was immediately swallowed up in the archives and consigned to oblivion. Yitzhak, friend, you are not missed as much anymore; it still hurts, but not as much.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, making his first visit to the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, is sprawled comfortably in a chair, fingers clasped, wearing glasses, looking very mirthful. He’s clearly enjoying life, as are all the members of his entourage.

To the far right, public relations man Rani Rahav – that devoted servant of all the masters – can be seen. To the far left, on the edge, is Sara, who is always with her husband. Why didn’t they have her sit next to him, as usual? And in the middle, behind him, his daughter Noa, looking lovely and laughing heartily, too. The woman standing over Netanyahu, gazing at him and talking to him, is the chief guide at the Rabin Center. Her name is Nurit, I’m told. I wasn’t able to identify the rest of the figures in the picture, but they’ll spot themselves this morning, in the newspaper. Only the guards wear serious expressions – their job demands it more since November 4, 1995; and perhaps they are the only ones who still remember the failure of that night.

I was stunned upon receiving the picture and phoned the op-ed editor, who usually prefers words to pictures. Shouldn’t an exception be made here? The math is simple: If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s worth double that compared to 500 words. We’re all curious to know what had them laughing so hard, what amusing inscription they were seeing on the wall at that moment.

Perhaps Netanyahu had just spotted himself in the video clips – “Oh look, there I am!” And all the others understood who had the last laugh, and laughed with him.

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