Photo Credit:
Yitzchak Rabin

It’s 20 years since the public murder of Yitzhak Rabin.

One of our own tribe, a face amongst the thousands, granted himself the right to play God and decide the Israeli Prime Minister’s fate.


I never knew of him when he was alive; I was a two-year-old toddler with no concept of Israel or its politics. I know of what I’ve been taught and studied – the battle taking place between religiosity, Zionism and peace.

Rabin wasn’t into orthodoxy or identifying Israel as a spiritual country. He made difficult choices that probably churned his insides. Standing on a podium, shaking a killer’s blood-stained hand whilst having to put a smile on his face must have made his insides churn. Yasser Arafat was not a man of conscience; he would say or do anything to get exactly what he wanted.

If Rabin had survived and the agreement would have been signed, do you believe there would be harmony between Israel and the PLO today?

I used to be a believer of fairytales but not anymore.

We could have given the Arabs land but it would never have been enough. No matter how many pieces of Israel they are presented with, they only ever want the piece we’re still standing on.

They don’t care about land or borders. They care about our existence because that is what they view as the thorn in their sides. How many more Palestinian leaders need to voice their determination to ensure our extinction, for the world to realise that peace is never truly on the cards?

For weeks now, the constant attacks have kept on coming. No matter what is said or done, they won’t stop. Land swaps, policy agreements, trades – nothing materialistic will end the current assaults. So was Rabin living in his own fairytale world?

t don’t think someone who had fought the wars and seen the terror first-hand could believe the promise of peace and serenity from the mouth of the enemy. But at the time, he tried to do what he could to stop or at least reduce the ongoing attacks. The Oslo Accords was the only solution he was presented with.

Netanyahu stated that he blames the Palestinians for the lack of peace as they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. But they have always taken that attitude so I suppose that no matter what would have been agreed had Rabin lived, today’s situation would still be the same.

You can sign hundreds of documents and consent to thousands of terms, but if Arafat and all leaders after him had the ultimate belief in the annihilation of Jews, then his smile was nothing more than a sinister smirk.

Rabin didn’t deserve to die, especially not in that way. After everything we’ve endured in the past 20 years – the wars, intifadas and terrorist attacks – would he still want to shake hands?

He may not have been into halacha, or practised Judaism, but he wanted to protect his homeland, his nation and his friends. The man was in an impossible situation and no matter what choice he would have made, it would have been seen by either side to be the wrong one. Those who marched through Jerusalem and called for his death at the time are no better than Yigal who actually pulled the trigger.

We can never stoop to the depths of the Palestinians; we should never rally with intent to kill. No one deserves to die for attempting to bring security to a country and that is what Rabin was trying to do.

I’m no politician but he had a family, friends and a life. He should be alive today and his loved ones should be able to hold him close.

All leaders, presidents and prime ministers make difficult decisions and sometimes they make mistakes, but death should never be their punishment.

He tried, he truly wanted to make a difference, but it was selfishly stolen from him and there is no justifiable reason for it.

Rest in peace Rabin.


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Selena, a recently married 20-something from Manchester, England blogs for The Jewish Press Online under the title, "My Point of Jew." Selena also works for the Jewish Telegraph - Britain's only regional Jewish newspaper.