Morton A Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), has released the following statement:
The ZOA mourns the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, on the 20th anniversary of his murder. His murder on the night of November 4, 1995, shocked Israel, and indeed the world.
Mr. Rabin initiated the Oslo peace process, which foundered in 2000 in chaos and bloodshed launched by his putative peace-partner, the PLO’s Yasser Arafat. In that context, and in view of the situation today, the ZOA regards it as appropriate and informative to revisit Mr. Rabin’s last speech to the Knesset, delivered on October 5, 1995, just one month before his assassination.
In his address, Mr. Rabin made these specific observations regarding his vision of a peace settlement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) –– all of which have been implicitly or explicitly exceeded by his successors:
- Rabin ruled out a fully sovereign Palestinian state: “We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.”
- Rabin ruled out a total withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and thus a return to the pre-June 1967 borders: “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.”
- Rabin ruled out withdrawing from the Jordan Valley: “The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.”
- Rabin ruled out uprooting settlement blocs, like the Gush Katif bloc in Gaza (which was subsequently uprooted by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon): “The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”
- Rabin ruled out removing any settlement before coming to a full peace agreement with the Palestinians: “I want to remind you: we committed ourselves, that is, we came to an agreement, and committed ourselves before the Knesset, not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.”
- Rabin insisted on Israel retaining full security control of the borders with Egypt and Jordan, contrary to Israel’s relinquishment of the Philadelphia Corridor on the border with Egypt: “The responsibility for external security along the borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as control over the airspace above all of the territories and Gaza Strip maritime zone, remains in our hands.”
Moreover, it is also worth recalling that Dalia Rabin, daughter of the slain Prime Minister, said the following in an October 8, 2010 interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot:
“Many people who were close to father told me that on the eve of the murder he considered stopping the Oslo process because of the terror that was running rampant in the streets and that Arafat wasn’t delivering the goods. Father after all wasn’t a blind man running forward without thought. I don’t rule out the possibility that he considered also doing a reverse on our side. After all he was someone for whom the security of the state was sacrosanct” (‘Dalia Rabin: My father might have stopped Oslo,’ translation from Hebrew provided by Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA), October 8, 2010).[Note: As ZOA has often pointed out, Yitzhak Rabin’s last speech to the Knesset is provided on the Israel Foreign Ministry website, but is missing from the Memorial Page ‘Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995,’ which provides links to a number of his last speeches].