Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006

Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin: 1993

Rabin and Arafat signed the historic Oslo agreement in September 1993 to place the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, and eventually the rest of the West Bank, under Palestinian rule. As Rabin stated in an interview with TIME when the magazine named Rabin and Arafat Men of the Year for 1993 (1/3/94), "I've said more than once in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, we make peace, or we negotiate meaningful steps towards peace, with enemies. Sometimes bitter enemies."

Rabin and Arafat were seen as strong national leaders, but both men faced fierce opposition to their peace efforts. "Peace is not yet a fact between the Israelis and the Palestinians," noted TIME. "But Rabin and Arafat are Men of the Year because they have taken those meaningful steps from which it will be difficult to turn back. The idea of peace, once planted, is a powerful incentive to two peoples who have lost so many lives, so much time, so much prosperity in bloody wars."

Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center