Condolence Page and Biography of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Prime Minister of Israel
1922 - 1995

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P rime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was born in Jerusalem on March 1 1922. His father Nehemieh had immigrated to Israel from the United States and in World War 1 served as a volunteer in the Jewish Legion.

His mother, Rosa, was one of the first members of the Haganah.

Yitzhak Rabin attended primary school in Tel-Aviv, and the Kedoorie agricultural college in the Lower Galilee, from which he graduated with distinction.

After completing his schooling, he volunteered for the Palmach, where he began his military career. He served in the Palmach and the Israel Defence Forces for 27 years. In 1949 he was a member of the Israeli delegation for the first negotiations with Egypt.

On January 1st 1968, he retired from service in the IDF, where he had served as Chief of Staff. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed Israeli Ambassador to Washington, and on March 5th 1968 presented his Letter of Credential to the President of the United States. During his years of service, as Ambassador to Washington, he consolidated and cultivated the ties between the two states.

In Spring 1973, he returned to Israel's capital, Jerusalem, and became active in the Israel Labor party. In the December 1973 elections he was elected to the Knesset (Israeli Parlament), and when Golda Meir formed her Government in April 1974, he was appointed Minister of Labor.

On June 2nd 1974, the Knesset expressed confidence in a new government headed by Yitzhak Rabin.

Yitzhak Rabin served as Prime Minister of Israel following the Yom Kippur War. During this period, special emphasis was placed on improving the economy, solving economic and social problems, and strengthening the IDF. With American mediation, Rabin conducted negotiations on the interim agreement with Egypt, signed in 1975. As a result of this agreement, the first memorandum of understanding was signed between the governments of Israel and the United States.

In June 1976, the government headed by Rabin, ordered the Entebbe operation.

Following the May 1977 elections, Rabin served as a labor member of the Knesset in opposition, and was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. He filled these positions until the formation of a national unity government in September 1984.

Rabin served as Minister of Defence in the national unity government from September 1984 until March 1990.

In January 1985, he presented to the government the proposal for the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon and the establishment of a security zone guaranteeing peace to the settlements along Israel's Northern border.

In May 1989, the government of Israel adopted his plan for an arrangement with the Palestinians, in stages, which has served as the basis for the recent peace making efforts.

From March 15th 1990 he was a member of Knesset in opposition.

Yitzhak Rabin was elected chairman of the Israel Labor party in it's first nation wide primaries conducted in February 1992.

Following the June 1992 elections, Yitzhak Rabin was elected to head the current Israeli government.

His premiership was marked by the following landmarks in the peace process:

On September 13, 1993, at the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn, Prime Minister Rabin shook hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.

On October 26, 1994, on the Israel-Jordan border, he signed the Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

On September 28, 1995, he was a signatory to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Rabin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in December 1994, along with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.

A biography of Yitzhak Rabin, "Service Notebook", was published in 1979, and was translated into English and French.

His book on Lebanon, written after the Operation Peace for Galilee, was published in 1983.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on November 4th 1995, while attending a peace rally in Tel-Aviv.

Yitzhak Rabin leaves his wife Leah, his daughter Dalia, his son Yuval and three grandchildren.

The funeral took place on Monday, November 6th, at 2:00 p.m. in Jerusalem. When the late Prime Minister was laid to rest, air raid sirens sounded for two minutes throughout the entire country. Among the world leaders who attended the funeral were President Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Israeli Cabinet decided that flags at state institutions and IDF bases will be lowered to half-mast.

The mood in Israel was very somber with black ribbons hanging from office buildings and streaming from car antennas.

"We should not let the land flowing with milk and honey, become the land flowing with blood and tears." [Yitzhak Rabin]

We thank the Israeli Government Press Office for providing much of the above information.

This Page, which was created four hours after the assassination, has been visited by over 100,000 people.

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