November 4, 2020, marks 25 years since Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Many of us still remember vividly the moment we heard the tragic news of the death of a great statesman, politician, and visionary.
Rabin, who fought for the British against the Germans during WWII. then against the British when they hindered Jewish immigration into the land of Israel; and finally against invading Arab armies in Israel’s wars, understood that, to succeed, one must change with the times.
Although an experienced warrior, he chose diplomacy over conflict, putting aside personal feelings to negotiate and shake hands with Yasser Arafat in the interest of the greatest good for Israel and the region: peace with the Palestinians. Three bullets fired by a fanatical extremist at a peace rally in Tel Aviv changed the course of history. Even so, and despite countless terrorist attacks over the past 25 years, the people of Israel remain committed to realizing Rabin’s vision of negotiated peace.
While much has changed over the past quarter-century, the people of Israel’s desire for peace has not. A poll following the unveiling of the US peace plan found that more Israelis support a two-state solution than oppose it.
The goal? To achieve equilibrium in the region that includes independence, democracy, and prosperity for Palestinians in the context of their formal recognition of Israel’s legitimacy and a commitment to peace and security.
Rabin recognized that a diplomatic peace is not yet the real peace. It is an essential step in the peace process leading towards a real peace. As – with gratitude for Rabin’s legacy – we welcome international efforts toward a real peace in the region, CIJA will continue, to preserve, promote, and protect Jewish life in Canada.