Israeli General and Politician
Assassinated Israeli statesman and general Yitzhak Rabin was born in Jerusalem on March 1, 1922. At age 19, Rabin joined the Palmach, the Jewish defense forces. He took part in operations against Vichy France in Syria. During the War of Independence, Rabin commanded the forces charged with the defense of the approaches to Jerusalem. Following the war, he rose through the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, eventually attaining the position of Chief of Staff in 1964.
He commanded the IDF during the Six Day War in 1967 and engineered Israel's spectacular victory. In 1968, he became Israel's Ambassador to Washington, where he remained for 5 years.
Upon his return to Israel, Rabin was elected to the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset. After the resignation of Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1974, Rabin was called upon to fill the post, which he held until 1976 when he resigned over a scandal about his wife and an illegal foreign currency account.
With the creation of the National Unity Government in 1984, Rabin served as Defense Minister. In 1990, he joined the rest of the Labor government in opposition. Then, in 1992, Rabin led the Labor Party to victory at the polls on a platform of conciliation with the Arabs. Rabin negoitiated a peace agreement with the PLO granting the Palestinians autonomy.
In 1995, Rabin was assassinated by a young Israeli right-wing militant after addressing a peace rally in Tel Aviv. He was mourned by scores of world leaders, including some from the Arab world, at a state funeral held in Jerusalem.