• Short Summary

    Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister, is currently at the centre of political controversy both?

  • Description

    1975: MV & CU Rabin meeting Arab representatives in Sinai. (2 shots)

    1967: MCU PAN (right to left) Officers listening to speech, Rabin second from left.

    CU Minister reading citations.

    MV Officers listening, Rabin far left.

    MV Ministers including Dayan.

    MV Rabin steps forward, salutes, receives medal.

    1968: MV & CU Rabin accompanying Dayan to meet Nixon and Kissinger. (3 shots)

    1974: CU Speaker of Knesset, PAN TO members.

    MV Rabin leaves seat, walks to dais.

    MV Golda Meir listening.

    MV Rabin signing document, congratulated.

    CU Kissinger talking to Rabin.

    CU Press photographers, PAN TO Kissinger and Rabin.

    CU Kissinger and Rabin signing agreement. (3 shots)

    1975: SV Crowd listening to speaker at Sebastia. (2 shots)

    MV Members seated at Jewish meeting PAN TO Rabin speaking.

    "I don't think that there is any significance to the fact that I was once a soldier. In Israel practically everybody has to pass military training and some of them succeed to become Generals".

    "I am normally much more at ease when I have to discuss something that carries practical consequences."

    "....no Arafat state between Israel and Jordan. I would say, then, more than this....no third independent Palestinian state because it's conductive to an Arafat state."

    SYNOPSIS: Nearly eighteen months ago Yitzhak Rabin succeeded Mr. Golda Meir as Prime Minister of israel and since then his main concern has been to seek a lasting peace in the Middle East. Towards these ends in May this year he visited the southern Sinai area and pledged the return to the Abu Rodeis oilfields to Egypt.

    In the tense days before the 1967 Middle East War Yitzhak Rabin was visiting the same area -- but then he was Major-General Rabin, Chief of the Israeli General Staff. His term of office was almost over and he is credited with having built up the Israeli army to fine fighting pitch. It also fell to General Rabin to lead his force to an overwhelming victory.

    From war hero to diplomat - the step came in February 1968 when General Rabin was appointed Israeli Ambassador to the United States.

    June 1974 - and despite the fact that General, now Mr. Rabin had been an elected politician for only six months he was chosen by the ruling Labour Party to succeed Mrs. Golda Meir as Prime Minister of Israel. Mr. Rabin's father settled in Palestine during the first native-born Prime Minister. Since assuming office Mr. Rabin has surprised his critics by consolidating his leadership.

    In September this year Mr. Rabin was one of the signatories to an interim peace agreement with Egypt -- along with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. But controversy is never far from Middle Eastern politics and recently Yitzhak Rabin has been at loggerheads with members of his own Government over two major issues. One of them is relations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the other the situation of settlers on the occupied West Bank.

    As pressure from critics within his own party grows it has been reported that Prime Minister Rabin has threatened to resign over the West Bank issue -- the row started because of apparent government indecision to move unauthorised settlement groups like the ones here at the biblical site of Sebastia on the West Bank. However, on the Palestinian issue and relations with the PLO Mr. Rabin has very clearly defined views....

    Initials VS 20.55 VS 21.20

    This film is serviced with a brief extract from a speech by Mr. Rabin. A transcript follows:-

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister, is currently at the centre of political controversy both from within his own Government and externally on the subject of dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

    On the home front it was reported on 10 December this year that Mr. Rabin had threatened to resign as he came under growing pressure from critics within his own party over government policy on the occupied West Bank.

    The Israeli Trade Union newspaper Davar said Mr. Rabin told a stormy meeting of the ruling labour Party's parliamentary group that he would quit unless the group supported government policy. The row was over apparent indecision in ending an attempt by several hundred orthodox Jews to establish a settlement on the West Bank.

    It also added to the open dissent among section of the Israeli Cabinet and Press over policy towards the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Mr. Rabin has taken a firm stand in refusing to negotiate with what he calls "terrorist organisation" such as the PLO and is at loggerheads with his Foreign Minister, Mr. Yigal Allon, over this issue. Mr. Allon has stated publicly that he disagrees with Mr. Rabin's view that a solution to the palestinian problem must be negotiated with Jordan.

    Yitzhak Rabin became Prime Minister of Israel in June 1974 after a long career in the Army and diplomacy. He is the country's first sabra' (native born) Prime Minister - his father settled in Palestine during the first World War.

    His military career began during the Second World War and flourished steadily through the early years of the Israeli army. He became its youngest General and rose to the tank of Chief of Staff in 1964.

    When the 1967 War loomed his term of office was almost over, but despite heavy criticism from his deputy, Ezer Weizman, is generally accepted to have led his forces brilliantly to an overwhelming victory.

    From war hero to diplomat - the step came in February 1968 when Mr. Rabin arrived in Washington, USA, to take up his post as Israeli Ambassador to the United States. When asked by newsmen if there was any significance in a military man being appointed to the post he replied:-
    After nearly eighteen months in office as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has surprised the pundits by consolidating his leadership and yet to the Israeli in the street he remains an enigmatic figure.

    His personality contains little of the charismatic elements of a Moshe Dayan or an Abba Eban, yet his is recognised as having an independent, analytical brain and his principles of government are rooted firmly in Zionism. He is described by political commentators as "single-minded" and has been quoted as saying:

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