RabinFest 2005 - Where were YOU when Rabin was shot?
Jameel Rashid: Good evening! I'm Jamil Rashid, welcome to "The Forum". This week marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Yitzchak Rabin. I suppose every Israeli remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard that the Prime Minister had been shot. Now, this week we have asked three Israelis, chosen completely at random, to come on the show and tell us their stories. What is your name, Sir?
Shlomi: Uh, Shlomi.
Jameel Rashid: Okay, Shlomi. Do you remember where you were when you heard that Rabin was dead?
Shlomi: I sure do, Jameel. I'll never forget it. I was a freshman at Hebrew University at the time, and I remember walking across the campus to go to class, and I heard a couple of guys talking. They were talking..
Jameel Rashid: [ interrupting ] Whoa, whoa, whoa.. hold on a second. How old are you?
Shlomi: I'm 25.
Jameel Rashid: Mmm-hmm.
Shlomi: So, anyhow, I was walking across the campus, right? And I heard these two guys..
Jameel Rashid: I..I'm sorry, Shlomi. I don't mean to interrupt you again. You were 15 years old, and you were a freshman at Hebrew University?
Shlomi: No, no, no, it was last year, I was 24. Anyhow, I was walking across campus, and I saw these two guys talking..
Jameel Rashid: Hold on, Shlomi. Again, I'm sorry. Let me get this straight - you didn't know that Yitzchak Rabin had been shot for nine years?
Shlomi: Well, Jameel, you know, I was never really big, you know, on current events..
Jameel Rashid: We're talking about the Prime Minister getting shot, here! I mean, Yitzchak Rabin the Historic Leader of Israel, IDF Chief of Staff, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Founder of the Oslo Accords! How could you have missed it?
Shlomi: Well, you know.. I usually turn to the Sports page first. I like to catch that first.
Jameel Rashid: [ exasperated ] The Sports page?! This was one of the biggest stories of the decade!
Shlomi: Well, maybe it was a big story in Ramalla, but..
Jameel Rashid: This was not a local story! I can't believe this! Have you ever heard anything so stupid in your life?
Shlomi: [ defensive ] Yeah, well, I'm sure I know a lot more about sports than you do!
Jameel Rashid: Fine! Fine! [ turning to the next guest ] Uh, what's your name, please?
Jameel Rashid: Tell me, Anat, how did you first hear that Yitzchak Rabin had been shot?
Anat: Well, Jameel, this is a little embarrassing, considering what transpired here.. but, uh.. he told me. [ indicates Shlomi ]
Jameel Rashid: What?!
Anat: Backstage. Just before the show.
Jameel Rashid: You mean, you didn't know about the Rabin assasination until tonight?!
Shlomi: [ laughing proudly ] What a tembel (dork), Jameel!
Jameel Rashid: Have you people been in a coma, or what?
Anat: Well, I.. I must have been watching another channel..
Jameel Rashid: [ outraged ] Another channel?! It was on all the channels! He was the Prime Minister, for God's sake! Everybody on Earth knew about it the day it happened, except for you two people sitting right here!!
Third Guest: Uh, excuse me. Are you people talking about Yitzchak Rabin?
Jameel Rashid: Yes!
Third Guest: Oh, what. Did something happen?
Anat: He's.. he's been shot.
Third Guest: Oh, no! No! No, he's been shot! [ starts weeping ]
Jameel Rashid: [ disgusted ] That's it for me. Join us next week on "The Forum", when our guest will be Gil Shwed , the founder of CheckPoint, the first firewall software company in Israel.
Shlomi: [ intrigued ] Wait a minute.. you mean, there are high tech companies…in Israel?
Jameel Rashid: [ angry ] Yes!
Shlomi: [ excited ] Alright! [ turns to Anat ] Give me five! I can't believe it! In Israel!
Postscript: I was a kid when this was first aired on Saturday Night Live in 1983, and could not forget it. It kept me laughing all night long. In the US, this was considered very funny at the time. You can be sure that there will be people in Israel who read this and will want to kill me. Oh well.