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Rabin Didn't Want to Shake Arafat's Hand, Reveals Associate

Hours before the signing of the Oslo Accords, former PM Rabin said that "Nothing will come of it," his bureau chief reveals.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 9/18/2013, 11:56 PM

Eitan Haber
Eitan Haber
Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin did not believe at first that the Oslo Accords would lead to peace, his close associate said on Wednesday.

Eitan Haber, who served as Rabin’s bureau chief, wrote a column in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper and described what happened in the hours that led up to the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993.

Haber wrote that Rabin felt that, despite the many celebrations of the agreement with former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat, "Nothing will come of it.”

"I expressed my opinion that you cannot bridge a century of terror and bloodshed in one shot,” wrote Haber. “Rabin then replied, ‘That's just it.’”

Haber recalled that Rabin was unsure up to the last moment whether he should sign the agreement, and also loathed the thought of having to shake hands with Arafat, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Jews.

“He wanted to avoid shaking hands with Arafat if possible,” wrote Haber, who added that moments before the trip to the White House, Rabin told his advisers that he would “take an anti-nausea pill and go.”

Rabin insisted that Arafat would not appear at the signing ceremony in his military uniform and carry a gun with him, wrote Haber. Rabin received a promise to that effect from the Americans, but in the end Arafat came to the ceremony without the gun but wearing his military uniform, he added.

Haber tried to explain in the column how it happened that Rabin, who was the number one enemy of Arab terrorist organizations, decided to hold peace talks with the PA Arabs.

“Rabin believed that a nation that has been standing on his toes for more than half a century would ultimately become tired,” he wrote. “Rabin had witnessed this tiredness from his window during the Gulf War, when half a million Israelis fled from the Gush Dan area, fearing Iraqi missiles.”

According to Haber, Rabin also believed that another overwhelming Israeli military victory, such as the one it had in the 1967 Six Day War, would not happen again.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)