"Grandfather, you were the pillar of fire in front of the camp and now we are left in the camp alone, in the dark . . . . Grandfather, you were and still are our hero." When Noa Ben Artzi-Pelossof spoke at the funeral of her grandfather Yitzhak Rabin, she touched the world's heart. She does so again, in this deeply moving memoir and plea for peace. A stirring voice from yet another Israeli generation living in turmoil and in danger, Noa, at age 19, reflects on her life to date: a childhood scarred by tragedy and rescued by her family's love; a constant fear--fed by random bombings- for the lives of relatives and friends; the chaotic impact of war--Lebanon, the Intifada, the Gulf War; the hate from outside, and now from within, Israel. Noa talks of her grandfather's assassin and the extremists who nourished his violence. She shares her precious memories of her grandfather, with whom she lived until the age of six and to whom she remained close for the rest of his life. She offers insights into his transformation from soldier to leader to peacemaker, his courageous determination to change the course of the Middle East conflict, and the steps he took in search of a lasting peace for future generations of Israelis. Noa speaks to him, and to the world. A book that is pure, passionate, and unfailingly honest -- and goes straight to the heart.
I’d been putting off reading this book because I knew I’d feel
Noa’s book told of her grandfather from a personal viewpoint. She spent much time in the company of her grandfather and grandmother so Rabin's unanticipated and tragic death came as a terrible blow to this young woman. Nevertheless, Noa told with clarity what it was to be a young woman growing up in Israel two generations after her grandfather. She had not been around to remember the birth of Israel nor had she taken the Holocaust so seriously, never having known a family member who’d been a victim of Nazi murder.
She, like most young people, wanted to live happily and free from wars and terror. Her hope was that her grandfather’s dream would come to fruition. Although I love Israel very much, it was exactly the death of Rabin that killed my following of Israeli politics. From that time on, I’ve been a cynic and continue to feel that some things just never change. I still don’t see the peace that was to come. However, Noa never lost hope that peace could actually come about. She wanted peace to be the lasting legacy to her grandfather. Who knows? Perhaps one day that dream might , in fact, happen.