Would Rabin Back a Two-State Solution Today?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks alongside Dalia Rabin-Pelossof, daughter of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai at the site of Rabin's death after a wreath laying in Tel Aviv November 5, 2013. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated nearby on November 4, 1995. Jason Reed/Reuters

This article first appeared on the Council on Foreign Relations site.

Marking the anniversary of the death of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin last week, Secretary of State Kerry said this:

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin devoted his life to defending Israel. Today, on this solemn anniversary, we express our profound appreciation for his contribution to the cause of peace. And we honor his vision that would create a better future for both Israelis and the Palestinians: two states living side-by-side in peace and security….Rabin is gone, but his legacy endures as a challenge and an inspiration to us all. Recent events and violence in the region underscore the urgency of advancing Rabin's vision: a two-state solution that provides the security for Israelis and Palestinians to live their lives in peace, dignity and prosperity.

Actually, it is quite uncertain whether Rabin would have pushed forward to the two-state solution under the conditions that existed when he was assassinated, or would today.

Consider these words several years ago from the Jerusalem Post and from his own daughter Dalia:

In fact, Rabin may have been close to calling-off the Oslo process, according his daughter Dalia. Three years ago, she told Yediot Aharonot (October 1, 2010) that "many people who were close to father told me that on the eve of the murder he considered stopping the Oslo process because of the terror that was running rampant in the streets, and because he felt that Yasser Arafat was not delivering on his promises."

"Father after all wasn't a blind man running forward without thought. I don't rule out the possibility that he was considering a U-turn, doing a reverse on our side. After all he was someone for whom the national security of the state was sacrosanct and above all," former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin said.

Why might Rabin have made such a decision were he prime minister now? First, because terror is once again "running rampant" in Israel's streets. And then there is the question of PLO conduct. Consider the most recent move by the PLO ambassador to the United Nations:

In a letter to British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, president of the U.N. Security Council this month, the chief Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, described what he said was the alleged harvesting of body parts of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

"After returning the seized bodies of Palestinians killed by the occupying forces through October, and following medical examinations, it has been reported that the bodies were returned with missing corneas and other organs," Mansour wrote Rycroft on Tuesday. He added that this was confirmation of "past reports about organ harvesting."

This is a 2015 version of the medieval "blood libel," a central feature of anti-Semitism for centuries. So this is what the PLO is making of its observer status in the UN: instead of working for peace, it works to spread hatred of Jews. I spent a few minutes online today looking for the repercussions of these despicable claims, and sure enough you can easily find them being repeated all around the globe.

Legally the United States is required to permit a PLO mission to the UN, I believe, but there is no reason to have a PLO mission in Washington. It does nothing to advance peace–not when the ambassador of the PLO to the UN is spreading anti-Semitic hate and the head of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, is saying things like this: "Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet."

And this: "Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it's for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah's will."

Rabin would have been completely familiar with the lies, the incitement and the terrorism we now see, having experienced all of them. His own daughter said years ago that he wasn't a "blind man" and would have reacted to it all.

We honor Rabin by honoring his dedication to Israel's security, not by appropriating his name for administration policy at a moment when Israel is once again facing exactly the conduct from which he spent his life defending his country.

Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Would Rabin Back a Two-State Solution Today? | Opinion