Nineteen years ago, November 4, 1995 Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a crazy Israeli zealot. Since his death, the myth of Rabin’s peacemaking expanded to huge proportions. But Rabin’s final vision for peace was to the right of supposedly-“hawkish” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yitzchak Rabin was the last prime minister of Israel who did not support the creation of a Palestinian State.
Even though the process was a failure, some believe that Yitzhak Rabin deserves credit for attempting to make peace via the Oslo Process. But the late Prime Minister was not the blind “peace above everything else” type, as claimed by liberals in the United States and in Israel. Rabin did not support the creation of a Palestinian State, and believed that Jerusalem was the indivisible capital of the Jewish State,
One month before he was assassinated (on Oct. 5,1995), Rabin delivered a speech to the Knesset that laid out his vision for the future of Israel and the disputed territories. It was a vision which would have made the Netanyahu-hating Barack Obama long for his old friend Bibi. The elements laid out in the Rabin speech included:
- No Palestinian State: “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. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.”
- No return to ’67 borders: “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.”
- Control of Jordan Valley: “The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.”
- Gush Katif as model: “The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”
- All settlements remain intact during interim period: “I want to remind you: we committed ourselves, that is, we came to an agreement, and 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.”
- United Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
- (During interim period) “The responsibility for external security along the borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as control over the airspace above all of the territories and Gaza Strip maritime zone, remains in our hands.”
(The entire speech can be found here)
None of this is meant to denigrate the memory of the late Israeli PM, but it is meant to show the true nature of the media and world leaders. They have taken upon themselves to trasnmute Rabin into something he was not. For many years, Rabin’s legacy was defined by the dreams of the peace process that he was engaged in with the Palestinians at the time of his murder. Whether this was what he would have wanted has been debated by his relatives and confidants, some of whom were aware of his growing doubts about the intentions of Yasser Arafat, who was already sabotaging the diplomatic process by ordering terrorist attacks before, during, and after the time of Rabin’s assassination.
Three years ago, Rabin’s daughter Dalia wrote in an Israeli magazine :
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.
The Oslo process that Rabin began came to be roundly criticized as it led to deadly violence, including the second Intifada, and at the same time it consolidated the power of the terrorist Arafat. But who can honestly know what would have happened if a crazy zealot didn’t strike Rabin down 19 years ago. Oslo might have been over long before the Intifada and Arafat might have been sent back to his hiding place in Tripoli.
What is known is that the same people who created the revered image of Yitzchak Rabin as a blind peacemaker vilify Benjamin Netanyahu even though Bibi’s positions are more moderate than those of Rabin.