Blog  Thinking About Rabin 20 Years Later

Thinking About Rabin 20 Years Later

Israel is no longer a place that dwells alone and has to join the global journey towards peace, reconciliation and international cooperation.

Yitzhak Rabin, the 5th prime minister of Israel who served a term in the 1970’s and 1990’s, has been gone for 20 years. But his words, and his life’s work toward peace in Israel, are not soon forgotten. Rabin was a Nobel Peace Prize winning politician who was instrumental in the 1993 Israel-PLO accords, aiming to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. On November 4th, after speaking at a Peace rally, Rabin was gunned down by an extremist.

It’s curious to think what might have happened, had Rabin lived. What other peace treaties might he have helped craft and how could his vision have changed the landscape for peace in Israel?

The Anti-Defamation League launched the “Imagine a World Without Hate” video two years ago. In it, we can see what famous leaders who pursued peace and justice, might have done had they not been killed all too soon – including Yitzhak Rabin.

Imagine if Yitzhak Rabin were still alive today….what do you hope he might have accomplished with the Israel peace process in the last 20 years?

Please submit a comment below to be added along with the North American board’s comments:

I’m not an expert of Middle East politics at all, but it seems to me that there has been an escalation and radicalization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Rabin’s death. What message did it send to Palestinians that our leader that preached peace was killed by his own people? Israel has not moved to the left progressively the same way we have in the Uniited States on some social issues. This cannot be completely attributed to Rabin’s death of course. However, in my opinion, his progressive beliefs would have been able to be better carried out if not for his tragic assassination. Both sides have become more hardline, “everything or nothing” , which I think would not have happened if Rabin had not been killed. We would be focused on peace and security, as opposed to just the latter.

~ Jeremy Cronig, NFTY President 2015-2016


What made Rabin one of the most (if not the most) influential peacemakers in the Middle East was his ability to find common ground. He would do everything in his power to understand the other side while also caring so deeply for Israel, that he could find compromise with just about anyone. What he cared most about was peace, which is what made him different from any other leader in the Middle East today. Now, the focus is on violence and protection, on “keeping what’s ours” and “taking back what isn’t”. While it’s hard to imagine what specific compromises he could have made now that both sides are unwilling to budge on anything, I know that had Rabin been alive today he would find the common ground on the road to peace.

~Celia Tedde, NFTY RCVP 2015-2016


If Rabin was still alive today, I think there would still be a lot of problems in the Middle East, but I hope that they would be dealt with differently. I think there would be less violence and more productive conversations about how peace can be accomplished. I think peace might be closer, but I ultimately think the problems in the Middle East were inevitable, but the violence might have been less.

~Lexi Chavin, NFTY PVP 2015-2016