At the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, Obama is greeted by members of Rabin’s family, including his daughter Dalia, his son Yuval, and his granddaughter Noa, who captured the word’s attention after Rabin’s assassination with a speech at his funeral.
The visit to Rabin’s grave seems heavily symbolic, serving to emphasize the message from Obama’s speech: This Israel — the Israel of Rabin and Peres — is the one he wants to see, an Israel willing to take risks for peace.
The 1990s, of course, have come and gone, and the Israeli peace camp was destroyed by the second intifada in 2000. Most Israelis no longer believe that a peace agreement like the one envisioned at Oslo is possible. It remains to be seen whether Obama can help breathe life into those ideas.
Obama spends a moment beside the grave, followed by Peres, Rabin’s ally and rival, and Netanyahu, who was one of Rabin’s fiercest critics.
Afterwards, laughter, hugs and handshakes with Rabin’s children and grandchildren; Obama speaks to the bereaved about Rabin’s legacy, and the “strength” that is required to push for peace. He says he derived much of the inspiration for his speech yesterday from Rabin, and calls him “a great man.”