Yitzhak Rabin was born in Jerusalem on March 1, 1922. He graduated from the Kadoorie Agricultural School. Moshe Dayan introduced Rabin to the Hagana and he participated in the Palmah’s operation into Syria in 1941. He was a leader of a small group of soldiers and in 1945 was the commander of the operation that freed 200 illegal immigrants from the Atlit detention camp.
In June of the next year, he was arrested along with hundreds of Jewish leaders by the British, in what came to be known as “Black Saturday”, and was sent to the British detention camp at Rafah for six months.
In October 1947, Rabin was appointed commander of the Palmah, serving directly under Allon. In the spring of 1948 he commanded the Harel Brigade, leading them in Operation Nahshon to open the road to Jerusalem which was surrounded by enemy armed forces, and liberating the Katamon and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods of the city.
Under Allon’s command, Rabin took part in the battles of Lod and Ramle, and as chief of operations on the southern front led Operation Horev, the counter-offensive which took control of the Negev and Eilat. He was a member of the delegation that signed an agreement to stop fighting with the Arab states at Rhodes in 1949.
Rabin graduated from the Staff College in Britain in 1953. From 1954-1956 he was head of the Training Branch and was promoted to brigadier general. He served as Commander of Northern Command from 1956-1959 and as Chief of Operations from 1959-1960, and in 1961 was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff. He became the seventh Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff in 1964.
As Chief of Staff, Rabin led the IDF to victory in the Six Day War. He retired from the army on 1968, and was named ambassador to the United States, where he served for five years.
In the spring of 1973, Rabin returned to Israel and became active in the Labour Party. He was elected Member of the Knesset in December 1973, and when Golda Meir formed her government in 1974, he was appointed Minister of Labour.
When Golda Meir resigned in 1974, the Knesset expressed confidence in a new government headed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
During Rabin’s premiership, the Government placed special emphasis on the following:
Strengthening the economy.
Solving social problems.
Reinforcing the IDF.
In 1976 Rabin’s government issued the order for “Operation Entebbe”, liberating the hijacked Air France passengers.
Rabin resigned from the premiership in 1977.
Following the May 1977 elections and until the formation of the National Unity Government in September 1984, Rabin served as a Knesset Member of the Labour Party in opposition and was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
In the National Unity Governments (1984-90), Yitzhak Rabin served as Minister of Defense. In January 1985, he presented the proposal for the withdrawal of IDF forces from Lebanon and the establishment of a security zone to guarantee peace to the settlements along Israel’s norther border.
Yitzhak Rabin was elected chairman of the Israel Labour Party in its first nationwide primaries conducted in February 1992, and led the party to victory in the June 1992 Knesset elections. In July 1992, Rabin formed Israel’s 25th Government as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Rabin’s main goal was the peace process.
In the peace process there were a few steps(see Appendix page a).
In the first step he made peace with the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) leaderYasser Arafat.
In the next step he made peace with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
According to all of this he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in December 1994, along with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.
On November 4, 1995, at Tel Aviv peace rally Prime Minister Rabin talked about peace before thousands of people. His main signal was against violence and for peace.
He said that the government he headed together with Shimon Peres decided to give peace a chance – a peace that will solve most of Israel’s problems. He believed that there is a chance for peace, a great chance. He had always believed that the majority of the people want peace and are ready to take risks for peace. In coming to that rally, people demonstrate together with many others who didn’t come that people truly desire peace and oppose violence. Violence destroys the basis of Israeli democracy. The Israeli people has proven that it is possible to make peace, and that peace opens the door to a better economy and society. The path of peace is preferable than the path of war. For our children and grandchildren he wanted his government to exhaust every opening, any possibility, to reach a comprehensive peace. In that rally he wanted to send a message to the Israeli people, to the Jewish people around the world, to the people in the Arab world, that the Israeli people want peace, and support peace.
Rabin lived for peace and died for peace. Few minutes after he had finished his speech he was assassinated in Tel Aviv’s Malchei Yisrael square.
He left a sister Rahel, a wife Leah, two children – Dalia and Yuval, and three grandchildren.
Rabin’s state funeral was held in Jerusalem. Many people from all over the world attended the funeral. Among them were President Clinton, and other U.S Ministers, the France’s President, theGerman Prime Minister, the Austrian Prime Minister, Egypt’s President, Jordanian King Houssein, and leaders from the middle east, as well as our President Weizman, Acting Prime Minister Peres, members of the Israeli government and the Knesset.
The speeches at the funeral were exciting and emotional.
PRESIDENT B. CLINTON’S SPEECH
President Clinton talked about Rabin as a great man, a great leader, and a great peacemaker as well as his partner and friend. A man who lived the history of Israel: Struggle for independence, the wars for survival, and the pursuit of peace. He defended Israel’s freedom and devoted his life to secure Israel’s future.
Rabin was a man to whom ceremonies and words were less important than actions and deeds. When he signed the Israeli – Palestinian agreement in the White House he wanted to emphasize that the sight of the participant – King of Jordan, The President of Egypt, Chairman Arafat and-Prime and Minister Foreign Minister of Israel on one platform was impossible and unthinkable just three years earlier. Only poets dreamt of it. And to our great pain, soldiers and civilians went to their deaths to makethat possible.
He was a man who struggled for peace and his spirit continues to light the way of peace. His spirit lives in the growing peace between Israel and her neighbors It lives in the eyes of the children, the Jewish and the Arab children who are leaving behind a past of fear and are looking forward to a future of hope. He was a fighter of peace but he was a victim of hatred.
President Clinton finished with the words:
”Ose shalom bimromave hu ya’se shalon aleinu ve’al kol Israel. Ve’ imru amen. Shalom chaver. Those words expressed his feeling about Rabin most strongly.
Rabin’s granddaughter, Noa Ben Arzi made a remarkable speech that even the toughest person couldn’t stop crying and tears were seen everywhere. She didn’t talk about peace, she talked about her grandfather, how she was missing him, how she loved him and how she feels lonely and miserable without him.
Her speech was translated into English and from all over the world letters came to express how great it was.
After the funeral the mourning week had begun. Hundreds of people gathered in the place of murder- at Malchei Israel Square lighting memorial candles and silently singing peace songs. The same happened at Rabin’s house in Ramat Aviv. It seemed that the whole nation had a great loss.
Many organizations and communities condemned the assassination and expressed their shock about it. They sent condolences to the family and the Israel nation.
The Zionist Organization Of America (ZOA) has expressed its horror and shock at the assassination of Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The ZOA was horrified by the shocking and brutal crime. And send his deepest condolences to Mrs. Rabin, to the other members of the family and to the entire nation of Israel.
There was also a letter from the American Jewish opposition to Rabin’s territorial return policy and compromises with Yaser Arafat, in which Rabbi Weiss led 400 members of the Jewish community in a memorial pray to the murdered Israeli Prime Minister..He said: “ This is a day of deep darkness for the Jewish people, say this as one who opposed this “peace process”. But whatever one’s political opinion or religious statement, the slaying of the prime minister of Israel goes beyond all politics”
The president of the Jewish Action Alliance stated:” The Jewish Action Alliance is among those who are shocked and filled with a feeling of strong fear and disagreement by the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. The Jewish Action Alliance has always opposed violence interference with government processes both in the U.S and throughout the world. We join with the voices of those who express, without restriction, condemnation of this irrational and unjustifiable cruelty.
The statement of the American Jewish congress on the assassination of Rabin:
We share with Prime Minister’s family, the people of Israel, and Jews around the world a most deep sense of loss, of grief, and anger. A hero on the battlefield, Rabin dedicated his life to the protection and security of the people of Israel. A fighter when necessary, a leader always, and a peace maker to the end, his absence will be profound.
Igal Amir had killed Rabin for ideological reasons. He opposed Rabin’s way of leading the peace process. He was imprisoned and waited almost a year for the judgement. All the time he denied the facts, didn”t regret about what he had done and laughed at court. Finally he was found guilty and put in prison for life.
More than a year had passed from that horrible day but Rabin memory is still alive in everybody’s mind and in everybody’s life.
Many memorial activities were performed. Buildings and places of interest hospitals, town squares were named after him.
Several books were published in which children and other people write and draw what they think about peace and about Rabin.
Rabin’s tomb is on Mt Herzl in Jerusalem, were the great leaders of Israel are buried. It is a place that thousands of people, old and young come and visit, put flowers and light memorial candles all year round.
The day Rabin was killed was decided as a national memorial day.
In a special site in the internet everyone who wants, can light a candle in memorial of Rabin
We can always say that Rabin was, is, and will be a great leader and a fighter for peace and his contribution to the peace process was remarkable