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Reprinted from Alternet
"They also know: 260 Palestinians were killed in the last two months!" he proclaimed to boisterous applause from his audience. "7,000 were wounded!" Rabin bragged. "18,000 were arrested!"
He continued boastfully, "5,600 are currently in prison. Are these trivial numbers? Are these trivial numbers?"
This week marks the 20th anniversary of Rabin's assassination by a right-wing fanatic seeking to scuttle Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians. The past days have been occasion for wistful remembrances of the martyred former Prime Minister by Bill Clinton and a who's who of the obsolete Israeli "peace camp" that fought for a two-state solution.
With his attempts to forge the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords, Rabin became an icon of liberal Zionism. For the Palestinians, however, he was anything but a man of peace. And, in fact, he never supported an honest two-state solution.
During his campaign in 1992, Rabin warned that a Palestinian state could only be established on the ruins of Israel. Indeed, Rabin was opposed to the creation of a viable Palestinian state, favoring instead a form of limited autonomy in Bantustan-style population centers overseen by dictatorial security forces that coordinated repression with the Israeli army.
"We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state," Rabin explained in his final speech before the Knesset. He pledged to preserve a "united Jerusalem," pledging not to cede control of the city's occupied eastern areas for the establishment of a Palestinian capital.
Rabin's aim, and that of his successors, was not co-existence with the Palestinians, but rather a form of hard separation that guarded Israel's exclusively Jewish character. It was Rabin's campaign vow in 1992 to "keep Gaza out of Tel Aviv" -- to essentially wall off the Gaza Strip -- that helped him secure the premiership. Months later, Rabin declared, "I would like to see Gaza drown in the sea."