Could Yitzhak Rabin have prevented this 3rd intifada?

So many times idealists say that the current Palestinian attacks and the Gaza and Lebanon wars would not have occurred if Itzhak Rabin was not murdered. Why? Because Rabin would have reached peace with the Palestinians by giving them an independent state. And all would have been well in Israel. It is Netanyahu that have been blocking the promised peace- they say.

The facts are quite different: Rabin wanted peace, but not a separate Palestinian state. He clearly and openly stated in the Knesset that he was opposed to an independent Palestinian state. In fact Rabin was more nationalistic than the Prime Ministers after him: Barak, Sharon, Olmert, and even Netanyahu.

A few examples about Rabin militancy we did not see from later PMs. When Rabin was Minister of Defense during the first Intifada he wanted to “break the arms and legs” of the rioters, to stop their attacks. PM Shamir did not allow it.

When Rabin was PM he wanted to exile 400 Hamas prisoners to Lebanon. The Israeli courts objected to it and the Israeli ministry of Justice said they cannot defend Rabin’s decision. Rabin answered them that he will hire private lawyers to defend that exile.

Instead of Rabin’s clarity, one Israeli PM after another released hundreds of convicted Palestinians prisoners to continue their murders of Jews.

The Israeli Knesset approved the Oslo Accord only after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Peres reassured the Knesset that:

  1. All of Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, and that was not negotiable,
  1. They opposed a Palestinian state, and
  1. Israel would opt out of the Oslo Accord anytime the Palestinians do not live up to their end of the agreement.

Rabin’s final speech delivered just a month before he died. On October 5, 1995, Rabin explained his vision for peace to the Knesset:

“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. 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.

And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

  1. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
  2. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
  3. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.
  4. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

Why did Rabin who wanted peace so much with the Palestinians, oppose a separate state for them? Because he truly wanted peace and knew clearly that a separate state would not lead to peace. Period.

Yitzhak Rabin had decades of experience fighting and negotiating with the Palestinians and other Arab leaders. He knew so much more of the reality of the Arab World than the more idealistic; less experienced three prime ministers who followed him. He did not have as many illusions of peaceful coexistence as Barak, Sharon and Olmert had. He was a simple, honest, practical leader, and most important – he had no ego to prove. Barak, Sharon and Olmert had very big egos and wanted to be heroes by single handedly reaching peace.

General Barak was a military hero, had a very high IQ, and was well educated. However, he did not have enough wisdom. Barak’s impulsiveness was a positive attribute during military combats, but a serious negative attribute when long term national needs were concerned. He was so arrogant that without even discussing it with his intimate staff, he offered the Palestinians more than even most Israeli Leftists were willing to accept, for example, half of Jerusalem. Lea Rabin, Rabin’s wife said that Rabin would have turn over in his grave with anger, if he knew what Barak was offering the Palestinians.

Sharon gave Gaza away without preconditions and against many in the Knesset and his own party, because, many believed, and that he was under suspicion of illegal financial manipulation at the time. To divert attention he suddenly gave Gaza away without careful analysis of the safeguards required to minimize long term damage to Israel. And without public referendum, that the majority of his own party and many members of the Knesset demanded.

PM Olmert had minimal grasp of what Israel and Judaism are all about to offer East Jerusalem, among other critical things, to the Palestinians. He was found guilty of financial irregularities, to say it gently. The Palestinians never even answered his over-generous offer. Each Israeli offer is thier base demend for the next peace discussions.

Yitzhak Rabin saw clearly that the Palestinians should not have an independent state. The passing two decades after his death proved that he was right. An independent Palestinian state in the West Bank would have been a disaster, much larger than the Gaza disaster. The Palestinians are not interested in peace with Israel.



About the Author
Dr. Matania Ginosar was born and raised in Israel to a family that has lived in Israel for more than 200 years. At age 15, he joined the Lechi underground to liberate Israel and was arrested by the British. He is a founding member of a kibbutz near the Gaza border. Dr. Ginosar has a B.S. & M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He was a Teaching Assistant MIT. M.S. management as well as Doctorate in Environmental Science from UCLA. Twenty yr. in Electronic Engineering. Manager Solar office and Wind- Energy program for State of California, Pioneered wind energy in Calif, first in the world. Directed political activists against nuclear weapons' buildup Pro bono for 9 yrs. Blogging on Israeli issues for over 15 yrs. writer, teacher.
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