“There’s nothing harder than defining oneself.” I don’t remember when I first heard this quote, but it has stuck with me for as long as I can remember. If you were to ask me to simply define the pivotal moments of Rabin’s premiership, I would respond with the Oslo Accords and the Jordanian Peace Deal. There, essay over. However, listing off these events, without explaining their magnitude, or role in the current day, would not do justice to Yitzhak Rabin’s legacy. Rabin’s legacy should not be treated as a completed part of history, but rather as an ever-changing concept that continues to affect the present day; as well as an influence that continues to inspire me, and many others in my generation.

The effects of the Oslo Accords still play a crucial role in the geopolitics of the region. In my own lifetime, I’ve seen countless reports and articles illustrating the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government. This relationship, initially brokered in the Oslo Accords, has been used to curb Hamas and other extremist group activities, through mutually cooperative missions and shared intel. These collaborations have led to a much more secure society, both in Israel proper, and in communities beyond the Green Line. This collaboration between the PA and Israel would have been unthinkable without Rabin, and his Oslo Accords. The normalized relationship between the two governing authorities has given hope to me, and the Zionist community at large, that peace is not some implausible and unattainable postulation. But rather, peace is a real world and attainable concept.


I’ve also been fortunate enough to see how the Jordanian peace deal has retained its importance. Today, my generation has seen Jordan and Israel work together, to ensure the shared goal of saving the Dead Sea. Additionally, just earlier this month, Israel and Jordan brokered an agreement, allowing both countries to utilize each other’s airspace. This airspace expansion will allow the soon to be regular flights between Israel and the Gulf countries to flow efficiently, a perk that would not have been possible without Rabin. Seeing Israel come to peace with its former war enemies, the same enemies that Rabin fought in ’67, has given hope to me, and many others, that Israel is not destined to be permanently shunned by much of the international community. But rather, Israel is destined to be a beacon of peace, of prophetic proportions.

When Rabin famously stated, “There’s nothing harder than defining oneself,” he couldn’t define himself, not because he didn’t understand his own actions or ideology, but rather, because he couldn’t understand the importance of his decisions. Today, 25 years later, when we see the constantly evolving Israeli-Jordanian relationship, and its assistance in the Israeli-Gulf normalization agreements, along with the simultaneous Israeli-Palestinian security collaborations that have saved countless lives, we can define Rabin in ways he could’ve never imagined. Rabin was extraordinary and monumental, but most importantly he changed the course of history as we know it.

Avery Weinberg from Newton is a student at Maimonides High School.

The Consulate General of Israel to New England held an essay contest for high school students from New England to mark the 25th anniversary of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.

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