Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin with their Nobel Peace prizes. Image: Sa'ar Ya'acov for the Israel Government Press Office

Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin with their Nobel Peace prizes. Image: Sa’ar Ya’acov for the Israel Government Press Office

What Yitzhak Rabin have made of Israel today? The 20th anniversary of his sickening assassination is the perfect tine to indulge in such guesswork.

Rabin the Freedom Fighter would be delighted that the Israel he fought for was alive and well, while her enemies were degraded and in disarray. Rabin the Soldier would also be pleased – by the firepower at her disposal, the technology keeping her citizens safe and discipline her soldiers show.


Rabin the Diplomat would find reason to cheer, too: his Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty is intact, and relations with tomorrow’s world powers [such as India and China] are developing all the time. But he would wince at the alienation of America and Europe, and would worry about Iran’s newfound place in the world.

Rabin the Strategist would be concerned, too. Still, Israel’s leaders have not yet agreed or imposed any terms on the Palestinians, despite widespread recognition of its necessity, and despite several opportunities to do so. He would acknowledge efforts by Barak and Olmert, but would chastise Netanyahu for taking the easy road down a dead-end.

Rabin the Thinker would think it ill-advised to create ghettos in the West Bank and formerly Gaza, or humiliate those with whom Israelis must live.

So, what would Yitzhak Rabin make of Israel today? Well, his view would be mixed. A more interesting question might be to ask what Israel today makes of Yitzhak Rabin.

With football fans chanting his killer’s name and youngsters born after he died flocking to his Mt. Herzl grave, that answer is also mixed.

And that is a shame.