Car that took Rabin to hospital after assassination
Photo: Sandy Livak-Furmanski
Over 180 documentary films, 1,500 photographs, hundreds of memorabilia
Photo: Sandy Livak-Furmanski
With Jordan's King Hussein
Photo: Sandy Livak-Furmanski

Rabin Museum: A fascinating history lesson

New exhibition provides visitors with impressive documentation of State of Israel's development and slain prime minister's biography, but requires a lot of patience and concentration

The Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center has opened to the general public, offering visitors a fascinating documentation of the State of Israel's history, interwoven into the story of the slain prime minister's life.


The museum focuses on historic milestones in Yitzhak Rabin's life and connects them to turning points in the State's development.


Upon their arrival, visitors receive individual audio devices – offered in Hebrew, English and Arabic – allowing them to tour the exhibition at their own pace and view dozens of short films.

Downward spiral presenting Rabin's biography (Photos: Sandy Livak-Furmanski)


The tour begins in a round hallway with a three-minute clip of the night Rabin was murdered. Visitors then enter an inner corridor built on a downward spiral, which presents Rabin's biography, and can walk through rooms along the way presenting the State's history up to the assassination on November 4, 1995.


The exhibition ends in another spiral hall with several screens presenting short clips from the announcement of Rabin's murder, through the reactions of the Israeli public and international leaders, to the funeral and eulogies.

'Candle Youth.' Public reaction to murder


The museum is built in a way which makes it difficult to miss any of the exhibits, and visitors can spend over three hours exploring more than 180 documentary films and 1,500 photographs, as well as hundreds of memorabilia.


One of the most unique exhibits is Rabin's study at his Tel Aviv home, which was moved to the museum intact, just the way it was before he left for the peace rally in which he was murdered, including a TV broadcasting the same soccer match the prime minister was watching that day.

Rabin's study, just the way he left it


Saying that the museum glorifies Rabin would be an understatement. A large part of the exhibition is devoted to his second term as prime minister and includes a wall filled with television screens documenting the economic growth and educational reform which took place during that period, as well as quotes from citizens praising the changes in Israel's road system.


It should be noted, however, that the academic team appointed to determine the museum's content did not ignore the not-so-pleasant chapters in Rabin's biography, like his 24-hour collapse when he served as IDF chief of staff during the Six-Day War and his decision to resign during his first term as prime minister due to his wife's illegal US dollar account.


A visit to the Yitzhak Rabin Center's museum is an interesting experience, but the exhibits are often overwhelming due to the large number of items and require a great deal of patience (and a comfortable pair of shoes). The audio devices are an integral part of the visit, but the massive amount of short films is somewhat confusing.


Despite its shortcomings, this impressive exhibition provides an important history lesson for Israelis and foreign visitors alike.


The Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center, 14 Chaim Levanon Street, Tel Aviv.


Opening hours: Sunday, Monday, Thursday – 9 am–5 pm; Tuesday – 9 am-7pm; Friday – 9 am-2 pm


To schedule a visit, dial 972-3-7453358


פרסום ראשון: 02.08.10, 15:18
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