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- April 15, 1996
- Vol. 45
- No. 15
To His Granddaughter, Israel's Yitzhak Rabin Was a Second Father
Ben Artzi-Pelossof's memoir of her grandfather the prime minister, In the Name of Sorrow and Hope, offers her view of what they missed. Published five months after Rabin's assassination, the book (excerpted on the following page) portrays the tough-minded Israeli leader as a gentle, loving grandfather "who would take me to kindergarten, tell me stories, go on walks," writes Ben Artzi-Pelossof, 19. "I wanted," she says, "to show that other side of him."
For several years after Noa's mother (Rabin's daughter Dalia, a lawyer) and her army officer father, Abraham Ben-Artzi, divorced, in 1979, Noa and her brother Jonathan, now 21, spent almost as many nights with Rabin and their grandmother Leah as they did at home. (They visited less frequently after Dalia, who married Avi Pelossof, also a lawyer, in 1987, moved the family to nearby Herzliya Pituach.) Noa considered Rabin—who taught her to play chess at 3—another father. But as she grew older, she was sometimes embarrassed to be seen with him. "I didn't want people to think that was all there was to me," she says. It wasn't. Like her peers, she spent many weekend nights at discos. Last August she joined the army for 17 months of compulsory service. "It has made me a more responsible person," she says.
Rabin's death has also made her more serious. Since his funeral, when Noa gave a heartbreaking eulogy that led a French publisher to offer her a reported $1 million to write a memoir, she has spent most nights with her grandmother. "It's still very difficult for her," says Noa, who tries not to think about Yigal Amir, the man recently sentenced to life in prison for Rabin's murder. "He is meaningless," she says. "He disgusts me."
After she leaves the army, Noa plans to major in political science at a college in the U.S. or England. "I don't know what my career will be," she says. One thing is certain: She will pursue it in the land Yitzhak Rabin loved and died for. "I don't see myself making a life outside Israel," says Noa. "I belong here."
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