Portfolio: Itamar Rabinovich – Jitzchak Rabin When peace seemed possible.
An evening with the distinguished scholar and diplomat Itamar Rabinovich, whose biography of Jitzchak Rabin has just been published in German translation by Wallstein Verlag. The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Jitzchak Rabin in 1995 occurred in the early phases of a diplomatic process that, it seemed, would lead to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Rabin, who became a strong supporter of this process, was murdered by a right-wing extremist. The Oslo Peace Process, with all its promise and failures, was in part Rabin’s legacy. Yet there was much more to Rabin’s life in public service – as the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, ambassador to the United States, prime minister during the 1970s, and minister of defense during the first intifada. Itamar Rabinovich is uniquely qualified to write about Rabin and his times. In the 1990s he was one of Rabin’s closest friends and political companions. A scholar of modern Middle Eastern diplomatic history, Rabinovich was Rabin’s ambassador in Washington and his chief negotiator with Syria. Rabinovich then went on to become the president of Tel Aviv University. As an insider, Rabinovich portrays both Rabin the statesman and Rabin the individual, possessed of a colorful and at times unconventional personality.