On Friday, June 26, immediately following the elections, one of Israel’s leading papers chose as the banner headline on its weekend magazine, “The Rabin Era!” And it may well be that we shall eventually come to rank 1992, together with 1967 (the Six Day War) and 1977 (the start of the Likud ascendancy) as a year which opened a new, crucial stage in the history of Israel.
But even if that proves to be the case, it should not blind us to the fact that this was the narrowest of victories. True, it did not look like that at first. As the polls closed on Tuesday night, June 23, I gathered with friends to hear the results of the exit poll conducted by Israeli national television. At 10 PM, Israel’s leading television announcer, Haim Yavin, appeared on the screen and, after a minute or two of preliminaries transparently intended to stretch the nerves of his captive audience, the nation at large, to the breaking point, declared simply, “Yes, there’s been an earthquake!”...
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