November 4, 1995
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who played a prominent role in virtually all of Israel’s history, is assassinated at a peace rally held in Tel Aviv. Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and from 1992 until his assassination.
Born in Palestine, serving in the pre-state Palmach, Rabin was a commander in the 1948 war where he led the defense of Jerusalem. As Chief of Staff, he coordinated Israel’s participation in the Six Day War, and served as the ambassador to the United States when Golda Meir was Prime Minister.
Returning to Israel in 1973, Rabin was elected to the Knesset, serving as Minister of Labor. When Meir resigned in 1974, Rabin became Prime Minister, Israel’s first native born prime minister. His meeting with Jimmy Carter in March 1977 is considered by Americans and Israelis alike as the worst meeting held between an Israeli Prime Minister and American President to that time. He resigned as Prime Minister in spring 1977, due to violation of law against holding a foreign bank account.
He once again assumed leadership of the Labor Party in 1992 and again became Prime Minister. Secretly members of the Rabin government entered into negotiations with the PLO which led to the Oslo Agreements. He forged a peace treaty with King Hussein and Jordan in 1994. In 1994, Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.”