Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. As we reflect on two decades since the historic agreement between Rabin and Arafat and as we ponder the implications suggested through the famous photograph of the two of them shaking hands between the outstretched arms of President Clinton, we ask: “What have we learned?”
We have learned that you cannot force peace into existence. Peace is a process which demands building bridges of trust and mutual respect. Neither of which has evolved in a positive direction. We have learned that the peace and security go hand in hand. Without one, the other is impossible to achieve. We have learned that any kind of lasting resolution to this conflict demands sacrifices that neither side is willing to make. AND YET, despite what we have learned over the course of 20 years, the famous photograph of Rabin, Arafat and Clinton reminds us that we cannot and must not stop hoping, searching and working toward a time when such a handshake will be more than a mere photo-op.