Saturday, November 12, 2005

Live News

I walked over to Rabin Square tonight to see the tekes (ceremony) in honor of the 10th anniversary of Itzhak Rabin's death and to hear Bill Clinton speak. But first, Shimon Peres had some words to say, and then Ahinoam Nini sang, and Aviv Gefen, and David Broza. It felt good to be in that square on this balmy evening and to feel that belonging feeling you get when you know the songs. Then Bill spoke, briefly and quietly:

I am profoundly honored to come here today and stand in solidarity with you. There has not been a single week in the past 10 years during which I didn't think of him or miss him. He is as real to me today as he was on his last day on this earth...

...When you leave here tonight, after we will sing and we will miss him once more, remember: If he were here, he would say 'enough with all of this. Live the good life, and for goodness' sake, continue my work.'

Thank you, God bless you, Shalom Haver.

Then, when all the celebrities and politicians started to join Miri Aloni in singing the "Shir HaShalom," the Clintons' security contingent had to be reassured that the area was "sterile" so that Bill could get his wish and come back on stage to sing along. He stayed for "Hatikvah."


Tan Lucy Pez said...

I for one, still like Bill Clinton. I wish he had been able to keep his dick in his pants, but I still like him as a politician.

Fred said...

TLP always says it like it is. As a Republican, I voted for Clinton when he first ran. He was a good moderate Democrat, but the Monica thing doomed him and his party the second time around.

AmyS said...

I caught some of the ceremony on TV, but I enjoyed reading your take on it. I, also, always liked Bill Clinton (except as noted above). I actually got to meet him once, as he was the speaker at my mom's law school graduation (this was back in 1981 or so).

John said...

I thought that the whole ceremony was great. Like a good American, I watched it from the comfort of my living room.

You probably didn't see this from where you were in the square, but Bill sort of sang HaTikvah but really didn't know all of the words. Apparently he hasn't been to ulpan. Anyway, here's a piece of advice to politicians: 1. Learn National Anthems or 2. Just stand there and smile. Chelsea knew what to do, btw.

I like the grittiness of Israeli live TV ceremonies - you never know what is going to happen and it's not all glossy and produced like American TV ceremonies. Here they have a level of sincerity that is touching.

Savtadotty said...

TLP, Fred - Clinton's downfall was getting caught; his presidential womanizing was not unique. Not to excuse his antics, but I certainly preferred him to many of the goody-goodies, like Carter.

Amy - I didn't know your mom went to law school. I am a sucker for education (does law school qualify?) and graduations. I still haven't gotten over Cynthia Ozick's speech at my daughter's WASP college graduation.

John - They had big screens so we could watch as if on TV, although I actually had a view of the stage. I agree with you on the sweet grittiness of Israei ceremonies. I'm afraid if they had the money they would be as over-produced as anything in America. I hope I'm wrong.

peripateticpolarbear said...

I've always liked him too.
It sounds like an awesome ceremony.

Liza said...

I think that grittiness is also a reflection of Israeli society, in that nothing gets sugar-coated here. You can see it in everyday interactions, you see it at events like funerals, etc. There is a "rawness" (if one can say "rawness") to life here that doesn't seem to exist in the US (or is at least masked better).

Tan Lucy Pez said...

You are right. Bill did NOT do anything new in the way of screwing around. Most politicans do that. But what he did opened the door for the right wing folks to keep everything focused on his messing around, etc., and kept Clinton from being pro-active on the political scene.
I still blame Starr for this more than Clinton. Clinton did what men do. Starr is a jacka$$.