The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, October 31, 2005
Monday Morning Interview
Following is the first post of thoughts relating to the murder of Prime Minister Rabin on November 4, 1995.
Even I am savvy enough to know that an interview is not the time or place to get into an argument about something political. But on the morning of August 21, 1995, I could not help myself.
Just before 8:00 A.M. on that Monday morning, driving toward Columbia University in upper Manhattan from Boro Park, Brooklyn, I switched to WCBS, one of the all news stations. Just wanted to make sure there was no bad news from Israel.
Alas, there was terrible news. Yet another bus bombing, this one in Jerusalem, on the Number 9 bus. The same bus that I had taken every day that summer to my internship at the Supreme Court of Israel.
Prime Minister Rabin condemned the bombing, but insisted that the only way forward was to continue the "peace process."
Israel was about to conclude a deal with Yasser Arafat to transfer control of additional territory to the Palestinian Authority. The deal - known as Oslo 2 - would be ratified weeks later. Rabin confirmed that the bombing would have no effect at all on Israel's policy toward Arafat.
I was enraged by what I then saw as Rabin's callousness toward his citizens who had been murdered, and what I saw as his pathetic failure to protect those citizens.
Of course, about to enter my second year of law school, I had a full day of interviews scheduled with law firms. So I would have to calm down and focus on the interviews.
My first interview was with a New York office of a large national law firm. The attorney interviewing me was pretty senior. He looked at my resume, saw that I had worked in Israel that summer, and mentioned that his corporate practice regularly takes him to Israel. Indeed, he had a number of Israeli clients.
He mentioned that the peace process had done wonders for business. I nodded and mumbled something about how it certainly was true that Israel's economy was doing well.
Then he went into a bit of a rant about Israelis who are critical of Rabin, how he can't stand people who don't recognize the importance of the peace process. These people are stubborn and strident and will never get it, he said.
"Well, with all the terrorism, I can understand those who are frustrated," is along the lines of what I said.
The terrorism is just growing pains, he assured me. The best response is to move the peace process along as quickly as possible. That, the partner said, is what the terrorists are afraid of, that Israel will continue the peace process. Those who want to stop the peace process are basically on the same side as the terrorists.
"Do you seriously believe this?" I asked. "So the best response to today's bombing is to do nothing except give up more land?" I'm paraphrasing, but that's essentially what I said.
It was a rather mild response compared to how I felt, but a strong revelation to the partner, who now realized that my political views differed from his.
He quickly changed the subject, offering me boring information about his firm.
I did not get a callback from his firm.