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

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

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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 stunning loss of life.

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 subsequent week: “The federal government of Israel declares, with astonishment, nice unhappiness and deep sorrow, the loss of life 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 residence in Tel Aviv, the town of his start. He was 80.

His loss of life, after a yearslong battle with colon and pancreatic most cancers, Parkinson’s illness and different sicknesses, was confirmed by Yediot Ahronot, the newspaper that was his journalistic residence 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 army affairs correspondent for the subsequent 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 struggle, the place Israel’s useless troopers lay with their boots protruding of blankets that have been at all times 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 crammed that position for 5 years, spanning the tumultuous interval of the primary Palestinian intifada, to which Mr. Rabin responded with power.

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 Get together to victory within the 1992 election, turning 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 staff 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 US Congress that yr:

“I, army I.D. Quantity 30743, retired common within the Israel Protection Forces prior to now, contemplate myself to be a soldier within the military of peace at the moment. 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 mates: At this time we’re embarking on a battle which has no useless 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 a protracted checklist of different world leaders. Describing Mr. Rabin in his anguished eulogy as his trainer, his information and a second father, he stated: “Yitzhak, that is the final speech. There received’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 army 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 loss of life, 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 army and safety affairs.

In a poignant television 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 go away. 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 stated, “that from that day Israel ceased to be a standard, orderly nation.”

He additionally spoke brazenly of his sickness.

“I might die from it tomorrow,” he stated. “That’s not so dangerous. We’ve finished our half for 60 years.”