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Remembering Rabin's road

On this year's anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, Israelis should rethink their national priorities going forward.
A rose lies on the grave of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was killed by an ultranationalist Jew in 1995, during the annual memorial ceremony at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem November 10, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Hendler/Pool (JERUSALEM) - RTXAGKB
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In the annals of Israeli history, Nov. 4, 1995, is a date that will be remembered for the most dramatic and significant breakdown in the state's democracy. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was a watershed moment: An Israeli assassin killed an Israeli prime minister to change Israeli policy and history. Twenty years later, one can say that the assassin Yigal Amir succeeded. He killed a leader, and along with him, his policies.

Rabin rose to power in 1992 hoping to bring about historic change and to alter the order of Israel's national priorities. Rabin was determined to make a long-awaited decision on a century-old dilemma: Should Israel aspire to a land stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean (and lose its Jewish and democratic character) or opt for a two-state solution (and lose part of the land under its control)? This debate had long polarized the Zionist movement and the newborn State of Israel, dividing people between the right-wing, pro-“Greater Israel” revisionists and the left-wing Labor Party movement, which opposed ruling over another people.

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