Settler leaders made their first-ever visit to the Ramat Aviv museum built in memory of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Tuesday, and held their first formal meeting with his daughter, Dalia Rabin.
“We know that we do not agree,” Rabin, a former deputy defense minister, told the delegation from the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, adding that they had “avoided” holding such a dialogue since her father’s assassination in 1995.
“We established this center with the idea that there is a need to meet [and] that there are gaps in the society,” she said.
Rabin said she understood that her father’s “murder is a sensitive subject for Israeli society,” and that she and the council represent different segments of Israeli society.
“Still, we think there is something to talk about. At the end of the day, the country and the society are dear to us. If we don’t talk and listen to each other, we will lose the great Zionist project that we have all invested our blood and tears in,” she said.
To start the meeting off on the right foot, the council’s director-general Shiloh Adler handed Rabin a bottle of wine that was produced in the settlement of Ofra, alongside an olive wood wine holder in the shape of an olive branch.
It was engraved with the biblical phrase, “May God strengthen his people and bless them with peace.”
South Hebron Hills Council head Yochai Damri told Rabin that he was grateful to her father for all that he did to support the settlement movement in its early years.
He added, “I hope this is just the start of the dialogue between us.”
A number of the delegation’s members found the visit to the museum, which was inaugurated in 2005, difficult.
Aside from Rabin’s personal life and history, the museum also focuses on the prime minister’s involvement in the settlement enterprise and the 1993 Oslo Accords, which laid the groundwork for a twostate solution.
The museum also has exhibits that deal with the hostile civic discourse that followed, and the incitement against Rabin that ended when rightwing extremist Yigal Amir assassinated him.
The visitors, who had been part of the history and who had opposed, and continue to oppose, the Oslo Accords, took exception to the guide’s description of the museum as apolitical.
Moshe Peled, who was a Knesset member for the rightwing secular party Tzomet during Rabin’s tenure as prime minister, said that he participated in votes and meetings with regard to the Oslo Accords and their aftermath.
With this museum, he said, “You are doing an injustice to Rabin. This is the most political building in Israel.”