Yitzhak Rabin Is Born

March 1, 1922

Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s 5th Prime Minister, was born in Jerusalem to parents who came to Israel during the Third Aliyah. He was the first Israeli Prime Minister to be born in Eretz Yisrael (Palestine).

Rabin played a prominent role in virtually all of Israel’s history. Serving in the pre-state Palmach and as a commander in the 1948 Independence War, he  led the defense of Jerusalem. As Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, he coordinated Israel’s participation in the June 1967 Six Day War. Following the War, he was appointed Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, a position he held from 1968 until 1973.

Returning to Israel in 1973, Rabin was elected to the Knesset and became a member of Golda Meir’s Cabinet, serving as Minister of Labor. When Meir resigned in 1974, Rabin became Prime Minister. A 1977 scandal forced him to withdraw as party leader and “retire” from the government when it was discovered that he and his wife, Leah, had maintained an American bank account, at the time a violation of Israeli law.

During his first term as Prime Minister, Israel signed an interim agreement with Syria in May 1974 and one with Egypt over the Sinai in 1975; he  ordered the  rescue of Israeli, Jewish, and other hostages from Entebbe in Uganda in 1976.  Rabin continued to serve as a member of Knesset as well as Minister of Defense from 1984-1990.

In 1992, he once again assumed leadership of the Labor party, and  became Prime Minister in June. During his second term in office, Rabin entered into negotiations with the PLO which led to the Oslo Agreements; and in 1994, he forged a peace treaty with Jordan’s King Hussein.  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.”

Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995, after giving a pro-peace speech in Tel Aviv.

The photo shows Yitzhak Rabin in his Palmach uniform in January 1948.