Yitzhak Rabin- A Life

Yitzhak Rabin like many of his generation of Jewish youngsters born in Palestine, had their youth cut short, by military service. Rabin had been educated at the Kadoorie School of Agriculture, most of whose students were member of the underground Palmach.
Rabin served with distinction during the War of Independence, serving for a time as the commander of the Jerusalem front. Here he is seen with Israeli General Yigal Allon.

After the War of Independence Rabin remained in the army, quickly moving up within the army. In 1964 he became the Army Chief of staff. He commanded the army during the Six Day War of 1967, and thus became one of Israel's greatest hero's. Here he is seen with Moshe Dayan, Israel's Defense Minister, and General Uzi Narkiss the commander of the Central Front as they he for the Western Wall, newly liberated.

Upon completion of his army career, Rabin was named Israel Ambassador to Washington. He is credited with greatly strengthening Israel's ties to the US during this time. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War Rabin was in Washington, so thus when the Prime Minster Golda Meir resigned after the report on the war was released, Rabin became the first Sabra( native born ) prime minster. He was forced to resign after a scandal relating to his wife's American bank account ( she did not close as she should have when they returned to Israel) came to life.
Rabin served as Defense Minister in the coalition government between Labor and Likud, that was in power when the Intifadah broke out.

In 1992 Rabin ran for election as Prime Minster as the head of the Labor governments lists. The platform of the government was centered around bringing about a peace agreement with Arab neighbors.
That he was successful in obtaining, first with Oslo I agreement with the PLO. Rabin is shown here reluctantly shaking the hand of Yasir Arafat on the lawn of the White House.
Rabin went on to reach a peace agreement with King Hussein of Jordan and finally a mere five weeks before his assassination he signed the Oslo II peace agreement with Arafat. Oslo II expanded the area of autonomy from the Gaza Strip to the much of the West Bank.
He was killed by a right wing extremist, who claimed he was acting in the name of God. Rabin's last act was to something he had never done before, sing publically. He was attending a peace rally in Tel Aviv and agreed to sing the song of Peace. Five minutes later he was gunned down.

A Perspective

Rabin was the third middle east peace maker to be gunned down by an assassin. The first was King Abdullah of Jordan. The grandfather of the present King, Hussein. Abdullah was killed by religious extremists after it was reported that he had met with Israeli representatives in a bid to reach a peace accord. The second was Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President who reached the Camp David accords with Israel. He was assassinated by muslim extremist in 1981. Finally Rabin has been killed by a Jewish extremist who said he too was acting in the name of God.

The death of Abdullah halted any attempt at reaching a peace agreement in the 50's between Israel and Jordan. The death of Sadat did not stop the peace process with Egypt, but it never had the warmth that Sadat brought the process once he was gone. Let us hope that those that come after Rabin will have the right balance of strength and vision, to allow the process to go forward. May those acting falsely in the name of God not be allowed to achieve their terrible aims.

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