Itzhak Rabin: A Conflicted Legacy

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Rabin told this writer during that 1991 interview that he was willing to take a chance for peace.  He pointed out that should the Palestinians renege and resume their terrorist attacks the IDF could be depended upon to deal with the situation.  Rabin, who received considerable bad press in December 1987 during the first intifada when he served as Defense Minister and ordered the IDF “to break the bones” of the Palestinian rock and Molotov cocktail throwers, was bent on demonstrating more leniency towards the Palestinians as Prime Minister.

By October 1995, Rabin understood that he had been duped by Arafat and the Palestinians.  He was also facing the reality of the upcoming 1996 election campaign and thus returned to his role as “Mr. Security,” declaring in his October 5, 1995 speech in the Knesset, “Here, in the land of Israel, we returned and built a nation. Here, in the land of Israel, we established a state. The land of the prophets, which bequeathed to the world the values of morality, law and justice, was, after two thousand years, restored to its lawful owners – the members of the Jewish people. On its land, we have built an exceptional national home and state.”

Rabin figured out that if the Labor party were to be re-elected, it had to win over the religious parties in order for him to form a coalition government. He thus laid out a vision that was centrist, if not downright nationalistic. He said, “We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.”

Repeating what he shared with this reporter four-years earlier, Rabin announced, “We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines,” and stated that a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, is a first and foremost condition.

In language that would befit a “right-winger,” Rabin declared in the Knesset, “The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

And, he added, “We…committed ourselves before the Knesset, not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.”

Itzhak Rabin was an Israeli patriot who spent his life serving his country and people. Staring into his intense blue eyes, this reporter came away believing in Rabin’s sincerity.  Rabin believed in doing everything possible for peace without endangering Israel’s security. Once he figured out Arafat’s duplicity, Rabin had no illusions about the Oslo Accords.

Itzhak Rabin sought above all the legacy of a peacemaker (He made peace with Jordan on October 26, 1994).  Yet, he will be forever remembered as the Chief-of-Staff that won the Six Day War, and his enduring legacy is that of Israel’s “Mr. Security.”

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  • artcohn

    Rabin was assasinated at a rally promoting the 'success' of the Oslo accords. According to observers Rabin seemed to be in agreement with the attitude of Shimon Peres, author of the New Middle East.
    Rabin was, unfortunately put under pressure by Peres, Beilin and other misled labor party leaders such as Yael Tamir, who to this day still believe that the Oslo accords were good for Israel.

    • ziontruth

      Yigal Amir, Rabin's assassin, is Israel's counterpart to Breivik, the Oslo shooter, and to the murderer of the abortionist "Dr." Tiller. All three cases are of those who did nothing but harm to a good cause with their criminal acts.

  • LindaRivera

    Many people believe that Rabin was assassinated because he was going to stop Oslo and that the true murderer(s) are free. See below:

    Dalia Rabin: My father might have stopped Oslo

    "Many people who were close to father told me that on the eve of the murder
    he considered stopping the Oslo process because of the terror that was
    running rampant in the streets and that Arafat wasn't delivering the goods.

    Father after all wasn't a blind man running forward without thought.

    I don't rule out the possibility that he considered also doing a reverse on
    our side.

    After all he was someone for whom the security of the state was sacrosanct.

    So they say that Oslo brought Arafat and gave them rifles and caused the
    intifada. But historical processes develop, change and flow. It is
    impossible to take a person murdered in '95 and judge him according to what
    happened in 2000."

    Dalia Rabin, daughter of PM Yitzchak Rabin
    Interviewed in the Seven Days magazine supplement of Yediot Ahronot
    8 October 2010

    [Translation by IMRA]

    IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

  • LindaRivera

    Background: Rabin's Forgotten Program – No Palestinian State, No Settlement
    Freeze, Gush Katif as Model, Israeli control of borders

    [Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA 4 November 2011: Once again the Ministry of
    Foreign Affairs has decided not to include the late Prime Minister Yitzhak
    Rabin's last major policy address among the material it provided in a
    special page to mark the anniversary of his assassination.

  • Flipside

    This is like asking how MLK would have reacted to black rioting after his assassination and claiming he would have renounced his message of peace.

  • Raymond in DC

    Given how Rabin knuckled under to pressure from Peres and Beilin, why should one assume
    "Mr. Security", had he lived, would have resisted pressure from Pres. Clinton to maintain the Oslo process despite the ongoing terror campaign? If he had, perhaps Clinton would have sent his own people to promote Peres as an alternative to Rabin in the Labor primaries, as he later sent his people to help defeat Netanyahu and replace him with the more dovish Barak.