I was on the bus going to Beit Shean
- a nowhere and a nothing kind of place, a straight, mind numbing
road through dark, flat country. Lulled, almost hypnotised
by the bus's movement and hum of the engine, it took me a few moments to realise that someone was standing up
in the middle of the bus, shout
ing, a few more moments to make out what they were shouting about.
Rabin had been shot, Rabin had been shot. I was meant to have been at that rally. I only didn't go because I had to be at work in Beit Shefuckingan at 6:30 the following morning. I had been so happy - the peace process was in full swing, all of the countrie's leaders were standing shoulder to shoulder in the square singing songs for peace, my supervisor at work and half my coworkers were Arab, we were all so happy. Optimistic. Proud.
I didn't begin to think straight until I got to my temporary pad in B-S and turned the TV on. Even then, I was mostly in shock, sitting all curled up in front of the TV, alone in the dark, chain smoking. Maybe I wouldn't have been so hysterical if I'd had someone to talk to, but everyone was asleep - and none of them were Israeli, anyway. They couldn't possibly have understood.
I sat numbly through the reports, the speculation, the reconstructions. Only when they finally said, yes, that's it, he's really dead, did I begin to feel anything but blind panic. Well, it was even more blind panic, actually. I knew with unrelenting certainty that there was going to be a war. That the peace process is doomed. That with our national innocence was lost our only ever chance of coexistence.
It wasn't until last September that I was proven to have been right all along.