They never knew each other, never met, though they grew up in neighboring Israeli towns. They are nearly the same age, and even resemble each other. Both answer to the biblical name Amir. This is where the resemblance ends. Two Amirs: Igal Amir and Amir Pichhadze. The older of the two has "asserted" himself by shooting Itzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel, while the younger Amir is finding his place in life through his paintings.
Itzhak Rabin, accompanied by tens of thousands of participants in a peace manifestation in Tel Aviv, sang for the first time in his life a song of peace that contains the wonderful words, "Let the sun rise in the early morning, for our strength lies in prayer and unity." The small sheet of paper with the song's text printed on it was pierced by a bullet that ended the premier's life. This sheet of music, stained by blood, is depicted in a Pichhadze painting. Bending over a coffin draped with the national flag displaying a broken star of David is an Israeli with bloody hands.
Half a year after the tragedy in Tel Aviv, we know that the death of Itzhak Rabin did not stop terrorism, nor could it have stopped this plague of the 20th century. People still are perishing.
On March 13 the leaders of many of the world's countries met in the Egyptian town of Sharm-ash-Sheikh to find ways of curbing terrorism in Israel and save the peace process in the Near East. These passionate and persuasive words were uttered: "All who hold God's gift of human life dear must raise their voices against terrorism. On the threshold of the third millenium this is our principal task."
Gennady Dertkin is a Toronto writer.