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Prime Minister

On , 1995, ’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. The , Israel's parliament, pronounced the 12th of , which falls this year on October 29, as Rabin’s official memorial day. The fifth prime minister of Israel, Rabin served two terms in office. In 1994, he won the with and for signing the Peace Accords. His assassin, a right-wing Orthodox Jew named , opposed the and believed he was saving the country from a dire fate. The first native-born prime minister of Israel, Rabin is the only one to be assassinated.

Rabin’s came as a great shock to the Israeli public and much of the rest of the world. Hundreds of thousands of grieving thronged the square where Rabin was killed to mourn his death. Young people, in particular, turned out in large numbers, lighting memorial candles and singing peace songs. Rabin's funeral was attended by many world leaders, among them U.S. President , Egyptian President and King Hussein of . Bill Clinton delivered a eulogy, the memorable final words of which were in Hebrew — "Shalom, Haver" Goodbye, Friend.

Yitzhak Rabin was born in 1922 in but grew up in . In 1940, he graduated with distinction from the Kadoori Agricultural High School hoping to be an irrigation engineer, but instead Rabin joined the , a section of the , the unofficial army of the Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1964, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the . Under Rabin's command, the IDF achieved victory over , and Jordan in the Six-Day War in 1967. After the IDF captured of Jerusalem, Rabin was among the first to enter the space previously forbidden to Jews. Following his retirement, he became ambassador to the United States beginning in 1968, serving for five years.

Rabin played a leading role in the signing of the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian National Authority and granted it partial control over parts of the and . Rabin also signed the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace in 1994. The accords deeply divided Israeli society, with some seeing Rabin as a hero for advancing the cause of peace and some viewing him as a traitor for giving away land belonging to Israel. Many Israelis on the right blamed him for Jewish deaths in terror attacks, attributing them to the Oslo agreements.

Just before he was shot, Rabin had been singing “Shir LaShalom,” Song for Peace. A sheet of paper with the lyrics was later found in his pocket, stained with blood.

The monument marking the site of the : Tel Aviv

Many cities and towns in Israel have named streets, neighborhoods, schools, bridges and parks after Rabin. Outside Israel, there are streets named after him in , and New York, and parks in , and .

The grave of Yitzhak (right) and (left) on , Jerusalem

To mark the fourteenth anniversary of Rabin's assassination, Israeli schools, public organizations, and municipalities will be holding annual memorial ceremonies on Thursday. Israeli citizens, the president of the state, Israel's prime minister and politicians from across the political spectrum, along with foreign officials will gather at Rabin's grave on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. The Knesset will hold a special session in Rabin's honor, inviting foreign dignitaries. Besides official ceremonies, Israel uses the day to reflect on itself, to examine our tolerance and the strength of our democracy. We make efforts to cross boundaries and bridge gaps between our different denominations and affiliations.

Reggae singer has recorded a single named “Yitzhak Rabin” in his memory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk61ocL6zIE&feature=PlayList&p=D99F3F6EC 7A61707&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=72

The following two books are available in English:

Yitzhak Rabin's Assassination and the Dilemmas of Commemoration By Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi

Our Life, His Legacy By Leah Rabin

To listen to Shir Lashalom – the Song for Peace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLKiRjP5DcI

Rabin singing the Song for Peace, just a few minutes before the assassination.