Remembering the Real Yitzhak Rabin

November 6, 2014 | Yair Rosenberg
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This week, Israel commemorates the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Many, especially on the left, imagine that the late prime minister, had he lived, would successfully have ushered in an era of peace. But as politicians and pundits scramble to laud Rabin’s legacy, it is important to remember that he opposed a return to the 1967 borders, believed a military presence in the Jordan Valley was necessary for Israel’s security, and was committed to a united Jerusalem. In other words, writes Yair Rosenberg, his positions at the end of his life are nearly indistinguishable from those of Benjamin Netanyahu:

Following Rabin’s shooting, the Israeli left moved to his left, while the Israeli right gradually adopted Rabin’s own positions from when he led the Israeli left. (Recent Israeli skepticism about the peace process has far more to do with Gaza’s rockets than with Yigal Amir’s bullets.) As Ben Birnbaum, the journalist who co-wrote the definitive account of the most recent peace talks for the New Republic, has put it, “The untold story of the peace process is the fact that by any objective measure, Benjamin Netanyahu today is to the left of where Yitzhak Rabin was in the 90s.”

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