on the hill

Senators and members of the House introduce bipartisan resolution honoring Rabin

Sen. Ben Cardin: 'Rabin’s legacy is one of hope and peace overcoming generations of mistrust and violence'


Michael Brochstein/AP

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaking about the Clean Economy Act of 2020.

A bipartisan group of legislators from the Senate and the House have introduced a resolution honoring former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ahead of the 25th anniversary of his assassination on Nov. 4.

The resolution is being led by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate and Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Tom Reed (R-NY) in the House. 

Senate cosponsors include Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kevin Kramer (R-ND) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). In the House, the bill is being cosponsored by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

The resolution praises Rabin for his work in pursuit of peace between Israel and Arab nations and the Palestinians. It includes several quotes from Rabin and goes on to call him “a model for securing peace during a time of conflict.”

In a statement, Cardin said that: “Rabin’s legacy is one of hope and peace overcoming generations of mistrust and violence. Over the course of his lifetime, Rabin experienced personal and political transformations that led to his courageous fight for peace, for which he paid the ultimate price. It is this courage and vision of two states for two peoples that we must continue to embrace and make real.”

Portman echoed this sentiment.

“[Rabin] dedicated his life to the cause of peace and security for our ally Israel by defending his nation against all threats, including terrorism and invasion, and undertaking courageous risks in the pursuit of peace,” the Ohio senator said in a statement. “This resolution honors his efforts and upholds his memory, while reaffirming the continued support for the close ties and special relationship between the United States and Israel.”

Phillips likewise praised Rabin for “laying the groundwork for peace” and noted his “considerable personal and political transformation.”

“I will continue to honor those who come together to build bridges of understanding and cooperation,” he added.

This resolution is an updated version of a similar resolution introduced in 2015 in honor of the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s death, with a few notable changes. The new text removes a paragraph outlining Rabin’s service in the Palmach underground army in British Mandate Palestine and specifies that Rabin received the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize alongside former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat — while the 2015 resolution does not mention either Peres or Arafat.

The resolution, which also reiterates U.S. support for a two-state solution, comes amid criticism of Rabin from far-left activists. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently pulled out of an event organized by Americans for Peace Now commemorating Rabin’s assassination following criticism from pro-Palestinian activists.

However, work on the resolution started a month ago, before the controversy began, according to a Capitol Hill staffer familiar with the resolution.

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