The roots that clutch
the great river, (Genesis 15:17)"?
That Rabin struck a deal that led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority meant that he had contravened the will of God.
Thus, Rabin's death was not just desirable but, as Higal put it, a mitzwah, a religious obligation under Jewish law.
Yigal's views did not develop in a vacuum; they were inspired and enabled by a culture of fanaticism that we in Pakistan will again find eerily familiar.
The token territorial compromises that Rabin agreed to were considered blasphemous by numerous rabbis, many of whom declared him a rodef, a traitor or criminal whom it is desirable and lawful to kill. Rallies were taken out with placards showing Rabin in a Nazi uniform and just weeks before his assassination,
Euphrates' on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, a group of fanatics gathered outside his house and intoned a Kabbalistic death curse upon him.
The fact that Rabin was a war hero and, as a Jerusalem Post editorial put it, "the personification of Zionism", was irrelevant. Israel may have been formed by largely secular nationalists, but the religious right claimed it as their own.
Those who had arrogated to themselves the right to decide the will of God had judged Rabin guilty.
The murder was greeted with joy by these elements, who still lobby for Yigal's release. As for Israeli society at large, 20 years after the killing radicals seem stronger than ever. The same school of thought that justified killing Rabin finds doctrinal support for the murder of Palestinian children like 18-month-old Ali Sa'ad Dawabshah who was burned alive along with his parents in an arson attack by Jewish terrorists in the West Bank in July 2015.
The case of Nathuram Godse, who murdered Mohandas Gandhi in 1948, is also instructive. In a statement after the assassination he said: "I am a Hindu and I believe in rebirth. ... I pray to god that I am reborn with Gandhi so that I can kill him again." Here Gandhi's sin was his alleged ' sympathy' for Muslims and his role (as Godse and his supporters see it) in the partition of India. To them, Gandhi is the man who divided Mother India, a blasphemer who deserved death.
Today, Godse's ashes remain in an urn in his grandnephew's office to be immersed in the Indus "when his dream of Akhand Bharat is fulfilled". Godse's niece, the late Himani Savarkar, served as the head of radical organisation Abhinav Bharat which was accused of carrying out the 2008 Malegaon blasts.
With the coming to power of the Modi government - and the consequent empowering of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - there has been a revival of the cult of Godse.
The Hindu Mahasabha launched plans to instal busts of Godse at temples and BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj praised Godse in the Rajya Sabha.
This comes nearly 70 years after Gandhi's death, a man revered far more highly in India than Rabin would ever be in Israel or Salmaan Taseer in Pakistan.
It has often been said that we in Pakistan are reaping what we sowed, but this implies that extremism is crop - albeit one that bears poisonous fruit. Truth be told, extremism is a weed that seeks to choke all other growth. Not for its adherents is a garden where a thousand flowers bloom in a chaotic riot of colour.
For them is the sterile uniformity that chokes all life, and were any blossoms to poke their head above this stony rubbish, they are ever ready with their sickles and shears. As we have seen at home as well as in Israel and India, these are persistent weeds indeed, with deep roots. This is cancer with purpose, a malignancy that bides its time, metastasizes and returns the moment one grows unwary.
Pakistan's victory is not in its hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, its failure is not in the thousands who attended his funeral. Our test will come, years from now, when we look back at what we planted and see if the blossoms, in all their infinite variety, have denied the weeds the light of day.