Eitan Haber, Rabin Aide and Israeli Wordsmith, Dies at 80

Eitan Haber, Rabin Aide and Israeli Wordsmith, Dies at 80

JERUSALEM — At some of the traumatic moments in Israel’s historical past, it was as much as Eitan Haber, the trusted confidant of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, to announce to the nation Mr. Rabin’s surprising dying.

Rising to face reporters and an emotional crowd on the entrance of the hospital on the evening of Nov. 4, 1995, Mr. Haber learn out the textual content he had scrawled on the again of the prime minister’s schedule for the following week: “The federal government of Israel pronounces, with astonishment, nice unhappiness and deep sorrow, the dying of the prime minister and protection minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered by an murderer tonight in Tel Aviv.”

Mr. Haber, who after a few years as a journalist served as Mr. Rabin’s political aide and speechwriter, crafted the phrases that grew to become lodged within the nationwide consciousness at most of the nation’s key junctures.

He died on Oct. 7 at his house in Tel Aviv, town of his delivery. He was 80.

His dying, after a yearslong battle with colon and pancreatic most cancers, Parkinson’s illness and different diseases, was confirmed by Yediot Ahronot, the newspaper that was his journalistic house for a lot of the final six many years.

President Reuven Rivlin of Israel eulogized Mr. Haber as “the knight of the written and exact phrase,” including that he had turned unforgettable moments of historical past into “masterpieces that formed the nationwide reminiscence.”

Mr. Haber joined Yediot Ahronot in 1960 and served as its navy affairs correspondent for the following 25 years. He despatched sharp and haunting dispatches from the battlefield; he as soon as described the “kingdom of silence” close to the Suez Canal throughout the 1973 battle, the place Israel’s lifeless troopers lay with their boots protruding of blankets that have been all the time too brief.

He additionally wrote of peace, as one of many first Israeli reporters allowed into Egypt to cowl the talks that led to the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, the primary between Israel and an Arab nation.

Mr. Rabin, as protection minister, recruited Mr. Haber in 1985 to function his communications adviser. He stuffed that position for 5 years, spanning the tumultuous interval of the primary Palestinian intifada, to which Mr. Rabin responded with drive.

When Mr. Rabin stepped down in 1990, Mr. Haber went again to his newspaper. He returned to public service after Mr. Rabin led the Labor Occasion to victory within the 1992 election, changing into director of his workplace. Mr. Rabin served as each prime minister and protection minister of the brand new authorities, which signed the Oslo Accords, Israel’s first peace agreements with the Palestinians.

Mr. Haber was a part of the small crew that labored secretly on Israel’s 1994 peace treaty with Jordan.

He then wrote the phrases that Mr. Rabin famously delivered in his tackle to the USA Congress that yr:

“I, navy I.D. Quantity 30743, retired normal within the Israel Protection Forces prior to now, take into account myself to be a soldier within the military of peace immediately. I, who served my nation for 27 years as a soldier, I say to you, to Your Majesty, the King of Jordan, I say to you, our American associates: Immediately we’re embarking on a battle which has no lifeless and no wounded, no blood and no anguish. That is the one battle which is a pleasure to wage — the battle for peace.”

Mr. Haber’s final public mission was arranging Mr. Rabin’s funeral, which was attended by President Invoice Clinton, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan and an extended listing of different world leaders. Describing Mr. Rabin in his anguished eulogy as his instructor, his information and a second father, he mentioned: “Yitzhak, that is the final speech. There gained’t be any extra.”

He then produced a bloodstained web page with the lyrics of a track that the hospital employees had retrieved from Mr. Rabin’s pocket on the evening he was fatally shot by Yigal Amir, a Jewish extremist who vehemently opposed the concessions made to the Palestinians.

Mr. Haber learn out the phrases of the anthem “Music of Peace,” which Mr. Rabin had been singing on the stage together with the group at a peace rally minutes earlier than he was killed.

Mr. Haber was born on March 12, 1940, to Yehuda Haber, who labored for the native chamber of commerce, and Tova Haber, a homemaker. His father supported the right-wing Herut motion, led by Menachem Start, and Eitan started writing for its youth paper as a younger teenager. Simply as he switched with aplomb between the worlds of journalism and public service, he additionally handed between Israel’s political proper and left with relative ease.

He started his compulsory navy service at 18, writing for the Israeli Military’s Bemachaneh journal. It was when he was despatched to cowl occasions alongside the northern frontier that he first met and befriended Mr. Rabin, who was the chief of the northern command. Mr. Haber joined Yediot Ahronot the day after he left the military.

He’s survived by a daughter, Michal; a son, Ilan; and 4 grandchildren. His spouse, Gila, died within the mid-Eighties.

After Mr. Rabin’s dying, Mr. Haber went again to writing for Yediot Ahronot and offered radio and tv packages. He wrote or co-wrote greater than a dozen books, most of them with different main Israeli journalists and coping with Israel’s navy and safety affairs.

In a poignant tv interview in September 2019 with Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, Mr. Haber, weakened in physique however not in thoughts, gave the impression to be taking his depart. Recalling the evening of Mr. Rabin’s assassination, he remembered strolling out into the darkish — and the commotion on the hospital entrance — to make his announcement.

“It appears to me,” he mentioned, “that from that day Israel ceased to be a traditional, orderly nation.”

He additionally spoke overtly of his sickness.

“I might die from it tomorrow,” he mentioned. “That’s not so unhealthy. We’ve performed our half for 60 years.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *