By Cory Jaquez, University of Miami, Bus 5 Today, our third day in Tel Aviv, is what I have most bne looking forward to since I saw our itinerary. It was on this day that we went to Rabin Square to visit the site where Yitzhak Rabin, a prime minister of Israel, was assassinated on November 4, 1995. This was the first assassination of a sitting prime minister in the history of Israel. This past semester I took an Israeli Politics class, and because of that I can say I was pretty knowledgeable on the subject. The assassination of Rabin profoundly affected not only Israel, but the entire world as well. Today, I got the once in a lifetime opportunity to read Rabin's last speech at the same place he gave it. While I was reading the speech, I felt like I was taken back in time and witnessing the speech myself. It was such an honor to read a speech he gave to the Israeli people about resiliency and achieving peace.
This was one of the greatest moments in my life; it is one that I will cherish forever. It is this moment that made me feel like I have an obligation to advocate Israel, not only on my campus, but to my friends and family as well. Rabin had a vision for peace, and it is a vision that I want to advocate for on campus. I want to let people know that it is no just a platitude that Israel wants peace, but they really do and they will go to whatever extent to show that to the world.
As for the actual event, I was in shock that this could happen in Israel, especially by one of their own people. How can a citizen of Israel assassinate a man – one that just wanted to achieve peace – just because he did not agree with him ideologically or religiously? Reading that speech put everything in perspective for me and makes me want to advocate for peace in Israel even more. This atrocious event impacted Israel and left a black eye around the country and around the world as well. After the assassination, Israel decided that on November 4, the country would remember Rabin for what he stood for, a vision for peace.
After the assassination, Shimon Peres would become Prime Minister. Elections would follow in 1999 that Benjamin Netanyahu would win. Yitzhak Rabin would not be remembered as just a man who won a Nobel Peace Prize, but also as a man who pursued peace not only for the citizens of Israel, but for the Land of Israel. Like he once said, “We’ll fight terror like there is no peace, and make peace like there is no terror.”