Two Meetings

 

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During the last few days, I met with two old friends: Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.

Well, the term “friends” may not quite be appropriate. Certainly, Arafat called me “my friend” in a recorded message for my 70th birthday, but Rabin called nobody “friend”. That was not his character.
I am glad that I knew both from close up. Without them, my life would have been poorer.
I DON’T think I ever met two more different people than these two.

Arafat was a warm person. An emotional person. His embraces and kisses were ceremonial, but they also expressed real sentiment. I brought many Israelis to meetings with him, and they all recounted that after ten minutes in his company they felt as if they had known him for years.

Rabin was the exact opposite. Like me, he abhorred physical contact. He was remote. He did not exhibit feelings. Only on close acquaintance did he reveal himself as having quite strong feelings indeed.

But these two so different persons had one thing in common. Both were fighters throughout their lives.

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About the author

Uri Avnery
Periodista y ex diputado israelí. Nacido en 1923 en Alemania, emigró con su familia en 1933...

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