STORIES
Peacemakers

Yitzhak Rabin

by Maiya from San Diego

Yitzhak Rabin dedicated his life to Israel. (http://www.israelnewsagency.com/yitzhakrabinisrael.jpg)
Yitzhak Rabin dedicated his life to Israel. (http://www.israelnewsagency.com/yitzhakrabinisrael.jpg)

“ A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something greater than oneself"(Joseph Campbell). Yitzhak Rabin lived his life not for himself, not for his family, but for every citizen of Israel. He gave his life to the service of his country, making peace in the Middle East his life’s work. Rabin “pledged, as the goal of his political career, to bring an end to the religious and ethnic wars of the Middle East” (Noa Ben Artzi Pelossof). His path towards peace was often filled with hardship and strife, but in spite of this adversity, Yitzhak Rabin promoted peace between Israel and its neighboring countries. Through his steadfast efforts, he inspired others to create peace amongst conflict. Yitzhak Rabin accomplished all of this through the greatest sacrifice: his life.

Yitzhak Rabin created peace for Israel . (http://www.exportinfo.org/worldfactbook/maps/israel_map.gif)
Yitzhak Rabin created peace for Israel . (http://www.exportinfo.org/worldfactbook/maps/israel_map.gif)

Born in 1922, Yitzhak Rabin spent his childhood in Jerusalem, Israel. Rabin graduated from the Kadoorie Agricultural School in 1940 and soon joined the Palmach, the unofficial army of the Yishuva during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. During the War of Independence (1948-1949), Rabin commanded the Harel Brigade, which occupied the Jerusalem front. For the next 20 years, he severed with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) as O.C. Northern Command and continued advancing in rank until his military career culminated in his command of the IDF during the Six Day War. In January of 1968 he retired from the Israel Defense Force and was later appointed as the ambassador to the United States. During his years as ambassador in Washington, he promoted and consolidated the ties between the two countries. Five years later, Rabin returned to Israel, becoming active in the Labour Party and then in 1974 he was elected as prime minister of Israel. Rabin served as prime minister of Israel, until he resigned in 1977 and then served as the Minister of Defense for Israel from 1984 to 1990. During this time Rabin 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 northern border. In the next two years Rabin was reelected as prime minister of Israel and in 1994 Rabin, Peres, and Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create peace between Israel and Palestine. Yitzhak Rabin’s career in politics ended in 1995 when Yigal Amir assassinated him.

Declaration of Principles, Palestinian Self-Rule (http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/69/20969-004-ED769930.jpg)
Declaration of Principles, Palestinian Self-Rule (http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/69/20969-004-ED769930.jpg)

Israel and the entire world regard Yitzhak Rabin as one of the most accomplished peace activists in modern times. Throughout his life Rabin worked tirelessly in pursuit of peace in the region of the Middle East. For example,“ in September 1993 he signed an Agreement on Principles on Interim Self-Government with Yasir Arafat to Implement Self-Rule for the Palestinians, it was signed in May 1994. In October 1994 Rabin signed a full peace treaty with King Hussein of Jordan” (Mahler, Gregory S. "Rabin, Yitzhak [1922–1995]." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa). Rabin came to a legal agreement with two countries that were previously hostile, which helped create a more tranquil environment for his people. Many of his people’s worries and fears were lessened through these accords. The peace between Jordan and Israel still exists today. Rabin also helped to further the progress of peace when he and “ Arafat, along with Israeli Foreign Minister Simon Peres, were named co-winners of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. The naming of Rabin and Arafat as the prize winner’s gave hope that peace would become a reality, ending the death and destruction that had plagued the area for so long” (Rabin, Yitzhak (1922-1995)." UXL Biographies). Rabin’s tireless campaign for peace earned him one of the highest honors that could be bestowed upon any hero and showed the world that progress is possible. Rabin’s award showed that the rest of the world was watching his diligent effort for peace in the Middle East. Many world leaders admired Rabin, and he partnered with them to accomplish the important work of promoting positive relationships among countries. When he was assassinated, Hosni Mubarek referred to Rabin as a fallen hero for peace and the king of Jordan said, “ You lived as a soldier, you died as a soldier for peace.” Rabin will always be remembered for his determined pursuit of peace.

 (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~szwetch/Stamps.of.Israel/Rabin.stamp.JPEG)
(http://www-personal.umich.edu/~szwetch/Stamps.of.Israel/Rabin.stamp.JPEG)

Yitzhak Rabin risked his life and ultimately died serving the country he loved. He believed so passionately in the possibility of peace that, “Rabin refused to allow the threats to limit his public appearances or to diminish the energy with which he pursued the peace process” (Klieman, Aaron S. "Rabin, Yitzhak (1922-1995)." Encyclopedia of World Biography). Rabin’s dedication to his ideals gave him the fortitude to protect Israel, both as a soldier in battle and as the leader of his country, a lesser man would have backed down from the death threats and hatred of the extremist right winged. In contrast, Rabin showed his heroism by standing strong. However, very unfortunately, because of his assassination he was unable “to see a culmination to the peace process. On November 4, 1995, after speaking at a huge peace demonstration, an Israeli religious extremist assassinated Rabin. His assassin said that he committed the crime in order to stop the peace process from making further progress” (Rabin, Yitzhak (1922-1995)." UXL Biographies). The commitment Yitzhak Rabin had towards his country motivated him to work for peace in Israel, no matter the cost, which is very admirable. Sadly, some people did not feel the same about Rabin’s love for his country. After time, some began to doubt his idealistic views, especially the actions of the Likud Party. Eventually these doubts resulted Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. However, Rabin’s murder was not in vain. After his death many others were inspired to take the safety of their country into their own hands.

 (http://www.jewishagency.org/NR/rdonlyres/F5E98A22-8EAE-44AE-B4CE-7EF2A4C2B30E/31728/rabinsticker1.jpg)
(http://www.jewishagency.org/NR/rdonlyres/F5E98A22-8EAE-44AE-B4CE-7EF2A4C2B30E/31728/rabinsticker1.jpg)

Yitzhak Rabin was not only a heroic soldier for peace, but also a shining example to everyone around him that countries could exist in harmony. By creating peace between Israel and Jordan he inspired his predecessor, “Peres to negotiate a full peace accord with Syria” (Rabin, Yitzhak (1922-1995)." UXL Biographies). Rabin showed Peres and others that when people put aside their differences, whether the topic is religion or politics, no reason remains for them to be enemies. Rabin remained a strong passionate Jew, but he didn’t let his faith cloud his judgment and refused to become racist towards the surrounding Arab countries. “The respect Rabin earned over several decades of dealing with Arab countries, the historic peace treaty with Jordan, the limitless promise in those few months of excitement – all of it was a stunning demonstration showing that a lone leader could single-handedly bring together two seemingly irreconcilable sides” (Shalom). Rabin was the first leader in the Middle East to attempt to bring two hostile countries together to work out their differences. Rabin’s accomplishments are remarkable because he did what many thought was impossible. He showed the world that one man could make a difference. If there were more people like Rabin in this world, there would be fewer wars around the globe.

Yitzhak Rabin lived and died in the service of his beloved country. After many years of service in the Israeli army Rabin realized that he must help his fellow countrymen find another path to security. Peace became his passion and he refused to allow any obstacles to deter him from transforming the Middle East. Throughout his life he demonstrated his dedication to his vision of creating a nation, which lives in peace and harmony with its surrounding countries. By creating peace for Israel, Rabin has inspired others around the world to create peace for their own countries, and has proven that one person can truly make a difference. Rabin is truly a hero because he worked to achieve the impossible, peace for the Middle East.

Page created on 5/20/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/20/2010 12:00:00 AM

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