by Jake Wallis Simons
The "enough blood and tears" speech, which Yitzhak Rabin, then prime minister of Israel, delivered on the White House lawn on Sept 13 1993, is widely regarded as his finest. The Oslo Accord negotiations had been concluded, and a declaration of intent to end hostilities had been signed; he and Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, had just made history by shaking hands, to thunderous applause.
Two years later, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist opposed to territorial compromise. In 2000, a bloody Intifada erupted across the region, claiming the lives of about 1,000 Israelis and 3,300 Palestinians. Israeli politics came to be dominated by parties from the political Right and the settlements on the West Bank continued to be expanded.