Drew raised the question at the beginning of the week about leaders who were able to attempt to bring peace to Israel, and as it indeed has been 15 years since the assassination of Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, I thought it may be nice to honor Mr. Rabin's initiative by mentioning some of the media his life has generated in this weeks press.
For most of the Israeli public, Mr. Rabin clearly saw the path to peace. He understood that in order to put an end to war and make peace you have to make courageous decisions.
I can recall a few times that he illustrated the point that 'Peace is not made between friends. Peace is made between enemies.”
Rabin had credibility with the Israeli people because he fought in wars and defended his country and his people. He became the military leader who offered an olive branch in an effort to turn hate into acceptance.
Mr. Rabin's critics say that he only spoke, and did not succeed, in doing much on the road to peace. Some also say that he was re-elected in 1992 only because his voters identified him as a right-winger who “knew how to break Arab bones.” True, he did carry that identity with him.
Some say his greatest achievement was actually the National Health Insurance Law (ironically paralleling Mr. Obama's circumstances in the Office of the Presidency).
But internationally, Yitzhak Rabin may be best known for the Oslo Agreement with the Palestinians. However, several months before he was gunned down, Rabin seemingly admitted that he made a mistake with it. That 'error' was not because of the concessions to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, but in making the interim agreement when Israel did not know really where it is headed.
I remember that night of the pro-peace demonstration in Tel Aviv in what has come now to be called Rabin Square. There was quite an optimism – and the numbers where strong.
After his death, some came out and said that the demonstration was forced upon him – that he was reluctant to be there. They said that he did not believe in the gathering's success.
His quote from an earlier time was used: “Indeed it is easy to demonstrate against, but difficult to demonstrate for”.
But one thing can not be disputed, that night he saw the huge demonstration – with people from all parts of Israeli society asking for peace. He looked at the eyes of those masses that looked upon him as the leader who was trying to do something ground-breaking, and put Israel on the difficult but possible path to peace.
However his murder ended that hope for an immanent agreement, and now the peace process still drags on to this day.
May Mr. Rabin, a man who worked long and hard throughout his life for the State of Israel's benefit, rest in peace.
Middle East Correspondent