Twenty-five years ago this month, on Nov. 4, 1995, a right-wing extremist squeezed the trigger of a Beretta pistol and twice shot Israel’s prime minister, a war general turned practitioner of peace who had signed the 1993 Oslo Accords and Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan in 1994.

Yigal Amir’s name lives in infamy. Yitzhak Rabin‘s name continues to guide those who, despite extremists inside and outside Israel – some who want to purge Palestinians from every plot of land on what they call Judea and Samaria, some who want to extinguish Israel as the world’s only Jewish state – rightly see two coexisting, independent states as the only path to a sustainable peace.

It is in Rabin’s spirit that this year, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have brokered historic deals with Israel, and that Israel continues to tell its own people that settlements in the far reaches of the West Bank will have to give way to a future Palestinian state.

As Rabin told the world upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, “A child is born into an utterly undemocratic world. He cannot choose his father and mother. He cannot pick his sex or color, his religion, nationality, or homeland. Whether he is born in a manor or a manger, whether he lives under a despotic or democratic regime, it is not his choice. From the moment he comes, close-fisted, into the world, his fate lies in the hands of his nation’s leaders. It is they who will decide whether he lives in comfort or despair, in security or in fear.”

May today’s leaders, here and abroad, honor Rabin’s promise.


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