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REMEMBERING YITZHAK RABIN AMID ISRAEL'S CURRENT CRISES

Rabin's last English language interview before his assassination

Yitzhak Rabin (© IDF)

 How would former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin have perceived the two crises facing Israel today, the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process with the Palestinians? Two days before his assassination on Nov. 4, 1995, Rabin saw 'separation with the Palestinians as the only permanent solution' and he had no inkling that Right wing fanatic Yigal Amir was planning to shoot him. On the other hand, Israeli intelligence had ascertained that the Iranian regime had started out on a determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, eighteen years later, Iran is very close to reaching its goal, although nothing is known about what was achieved this week during the two days of nuclear talks in Geneva between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. The Israeli public is also deep in the dark over what Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has negotiated with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in their closed-door negotiations. 

 Shortly before his death, Rabin foresaw the danger of a nuclear Iran and spoke of  'a window of opportunity' for the international community to block the Ayatollahs from acquiring nuclear weapons. (Apparently by hook and by crook, unknown factors have repeatedly delayed Iran's nuclear scientists from building their first A-bomb.) But time is just about to run out in the current race between Iran's economic meltdown and its acquiring nuclear weapons, which they believe will give them a new economic and strategic lease on life. 

 At a memorial service in the Knesset, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu paid tribute to Yitzhak Rabin for 'forging an effective strategy and decisive capabilities that could cope with any threat'.  This was due to Rabin's realization that peace could not be achieved or maintained without Israel preserving its military superiority. And the PM added: "Although Israel remained committed to Rabin's quest for peace, the enemies who wanted to annihilate us could not be an address for peace!"

 

Listen to IsraCast's latest interview with Iran expert, Menashe Amir, here.


 President Shimon Peres, one of the architects of the Oslo Peace Deal with the Palestinians, said: It had laid the foundations for future agreements between us and the Palestinians and the entire Arab world. Moreover, Rabin realized it would be a long road until 'we could beat our swords into ploughshares for ploughing the furrows of peace'. 

 On Nov. 2, 1995, just two days before Rabin's assassination, Channel 1 TV reporter David Essing conducted an exclusive interview with the late Prime Minister in his Tel Aviv office. Rabin had just approved the release of Palestinian prisoners in an effort to further the peace process. What did Rabin think of those Right-wingers who had depicted him in a Nazi uniform, of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, and the issue of Palestinian terrorism?

 

 Listen to Yitzhak Rabin's last say:

 


David Essing

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