12 Cheshvan is the yahrzeit (anniversary of the death) of Yitzchak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.

Born in Jerusalem on March 1, 1922, Rabin grew up in Tel Aviv. He entered the military service in 1941 when he joined the newly formed Palmach. During World War II, he fought for the British authorities, but later fought against British control of the Land of Israel.  In 1964, Rabin was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and was thus in charge during the 1967 Six Day War.

In Rabin’s post military career, he first served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States for five years. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Rabin was elected to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) and was appointed Minister of Labor by Prime Minister Golda Meir. When Meir resigned, Rabin became Prime Minister. He led the country for two years, during which time the Sinai Interim Agreement was signed with Egypt and the passengers on a hijacked plane at the Entebbe (Uganda) airport were rescued during Operation Entebbe*. Rabin resigned when it was determined that the family’s U.S. bank account, opened while he lived in Washington, D.C., was in breech of Israeli law due to its lack of authorization.

Rabin remained an active Member of Knesset and served as Minister of Defense from 1984-1990.

Rabin’s second term as Prime Minister, which began in 1992, is best-known for the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which were signed on September 19, 1993. Rabin also signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. The same year, he, along with Shimon Peres and Yassar Arafat, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Less than a year later, Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, an Israeli citizen.

*The operation’s code name was Thunderbolt. It was later renamed Operation Jonathan.

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