On October 31st, 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv in Rabin square to memorialize Prime Minister’s Yitzkah Rabin on 20 the year anniversary of his assassination.
Yitzhak Rabin was born in 1922 in Jerusalem and grew up in a Zionist home. He had a long military career, including serving some time in the Palmach, the predecessor to the Israel Defense Forces. Rabin was a man who loved and fought for his country and had a vision to improve it and bring it peace. Rabin bean to serve his country in a new way in 1974, when he first became Prime Minister of Israel, making him the first ever native Israeli Prime Minister.
On November 4, 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated while promoting the Oslo Accords at a peace rally.
The Oslo Accords was a major peace deal between Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Yassir Arafat which outlined a five-year path to peace. The Oslo Accords are now generally accepted as unsuccessful. In fact less than a decade after the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Second Intifada broke out. However, luckily, Rabin’s dream of peace did not die with him. Throughout Israeli society there are calls and hopes for peace within the region.
A young man who epitomizes this hope for peace is a young Israeli-Arab Zionist Mohammad Zoabi who regularly makes videos in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic and English, in which he professes his love for Israel and represents the peace that can exist among Israeli-Jews, Israeli-Arabs and non Israeli-Arabs.
In Hadassah University Hospital in Mount Scopus in Jerusalem doctors Ahmed Eid and Elchanan Fried are often called “Bert and Ernie” and “Fried and Eid,” they regularly work closely to save lives. “Eid is the head of surgery at Hadassah University Hospital in Mount Scopus. Fried is the head of the intensive-care unit.” During the recent wave of violence these doctors have been working together to save the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians; victims and perpetrators, never asking the person they are treating whether he was wronged or the one in the wrong. Israelis and Arabs can work and save lives together.
Recently Israel passed a bill mandating that all children in Israel learn Arabic from the first grade onward. The intention of this bill is to help Israeli and Arab students (who have always had to learn Hebrew) to understand each other through language. The Likud Member of Knesset who sponsored the bill, Oren Hazan, said, “I have no doubt that when the Jewish population will understand Arabic, the way the Arab public understands Hebrew, we will see better days.” This bill provides yet another opportunity for Israelis and Arabs to understand each other and create peace.
The hope for peace did not die on the day of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. In fact, the hope for peace lived on in spite of his assassination and even grew stronger after his assassination. Now in the state of Israel, Israelis and Arabs have plenty of opportunities to make peace with each other. Whether at work, in school, in the IDF or even in the Knesset.
This was written by former American University CAMERA Fellow and current CAMERA Social Media Intern Rachel Wolf.