He was dubbed 'Mr Security' by his countrymen, yet Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995) was murdered for what he ultimately failed to deliver: security. It seems that only in death did he become the symbol of what could have been possible: a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Rabin became a soldier by chance and necessity rather than by choice. He spent nearly his entire life fighting Israel’s wars against Arabs and Palestinians. His natural talent for strategic thinking, deep analysis and detachment from the political game, placed him first at the top of the Israeli military and later political echelons. He was an admired Chief of Staff, an unorthodox ambassador, a dedicated Defence Minister and twice led his country as Prime Minister. After the first Palestinian uprising in the late 1980s sent shockwaves through the country, he started to realise that Israel could not win this war by force. Upon his re-election as Prime Minister in 1992 he instigated a diplomatic process to end the conflict.
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Linda Benedikt has a Master in Israeli and Jewish Diaspora Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She is the editor of the quarterly Die Gazette.
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