Political murder of the day

A plaque honoring Wendelmoet “Weyntjen” Claesdochter is in the Hague.

Nov. 20, 1527: The first female victim of religious persecution in the Netherlands was burned at the stake for heresy in the Hague and later became a symbol for Dutch Protestants.

Wendelmoet “Weyntjen” Claesdochter was a Dutch Lutheran. She was a leading figure in spreading Protestantism throughout northern Holland by holding Bible meetings. She is seen as a Protestant martyr and is viewed as a victim of prosecution during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

While Protestants were burned at the stake as “heretics” throughout Europe — in Spain, Italy, France, England, and Scotland — Dutch Protestants seemed to bear the brunt of even worse persecutions at the hands of the Catholic Inquisition. During this time, Holland was occupied by Spain.

In 1566, Spanish King Phillip II issued a proclamation demanding that all of his subjects accept the decree of the Council of Trent, which is seen as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation. In 1567, in an attempt to crush Protestantism in the Netherlands, Phillip sent Fernando Alvarez, the Duke of Alva, to lead the Inquisition, which condemned all three million Dutch inhabitants as heretics.

More than 18,000 Protestants were executed in the Netherlands. In an attempt to force them to confess to “heresy,” both men and women were tortured. The death of Claesdochter in 1527 was used as a rallying cry for Dutch Protestants.

A plaque to honor Claesdochter was put up on Nov. 20, 1927, on the 400th anniversary of her death.

 

Miss a murder? Here are past ones

Artist depiction of the Man in the Iron Mask.

Nov. 19, 1703: The person known as the Man in the Iron Mask died in the Bastille prison in Paris after 34 years of imprisonment. But despite speculations by authors and historians that he was the hidden relation of a king or a cardinal, his identity remains a mystery.

The famous and enigmatic prisoner was arrested in 1669 or 1670 under the name of Eustache Dauger. When he died, his name was given as Marchioly or Monsieur de Marchiel.

During his entire imprisonment, he was in the custody of the same jailer, the French prison governor Bénigne d’Auvergne de Saint-Mars. He was first imprisoned in the Fortress of Pignerol, now a part of Italy, and moved to several prisons during his lifetime. He ended his imprisonment at the Bastille.

The prisoner’s face remained hidden behind a mask of black velvet cloth. The writer François-Marie Aroue, better known as Voltaire, claimed that the prisoner’s mask was made of iron. Voltaire also claimed that the prisoner was the older, illegitimate brother of King Louis XIV, while the writer Alexandre Dumas said the prisoner was Louis’ twin brother.

Other supposed identities are that of a French general, Vivien de Bulonde; an Italian diplomat, Count Ercole Antonio Mattioli; one of multiple illegitimate sons of King Charles II; a government minister; Louis de Bourbon, the illegitimate son of Louis XIV; or even a simple valet.

Many books, movies, and television shows have included the character of the Man in the Iron Mask. In many, he takes on the Dumas persona and is portrayed as the twin brother of Louis XIV, the Sun King who built the French palace of Versailles. Many books claim to tell the “true” story of the Man in the Iron Mask.

In 2014, The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptology, by Simon Singh, claimed that the identity could be figured out with a numeric code called the Great Cipher used in the French court. Singh says a French military cryptoanalyst named Etienne Bazeries decoded the cipher and identified the Man in the Iron Mask as Vivien de Bulonde, a French military officer who fled from a battle scene, leaving his wounded men behind. Louis is said to have ordered him imprisoned, but to let him “walk the battlements during the day with a mask.”

 

Some of the victims of the mass murder-suicide in the Jonestown settlement in Guyana.

Nov. 18, 1978: A U.S. congressman and four others were gunned down in an ambush on a dirt airstrip of Port Kaituma, Guyana, but a much more horrific massacre was still to come.

California Democratic Rep. Leo J. Ryan and his entourage were attacked by followers of the Rev. Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple Cult. Those deaths were followed by a mass suicide-murder of more than 900 cult members.

Jones established the Peoples Temple in the 1950s in California, but by the 1970s, the cult was receiving negative press from ex-cult members who described being subjected to physical and mental abuse. Jones and about 1,000 followers set up the Jonestown compound in the Guyanese jungle, where he promised them that they could live in utopia.

In November 1978, Ryan and staff members flew to Guyana to investigate the Jonestown cult amid reports of missing Americans being held against their will. He and his party were attacked after visiting the cult’s compound. Jones realized his only escape was through mass suicide.

When authorities arrived later to investigate, they found that 909 of the cult members were dead from drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid; 300 of the dead were children who had been given the deadly Kool-Aid by their parents. Yes, this was how the term “drinking the Kool-Aid” got started — whenever someone blindly accepts a direction or point of view without question.

Jones himself died from a gunshot wound to the head. The 909 deaths made up the single largest loss of U.S. civilian lives in a non-natural disaster before the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 1986, Temple member Larry Layton was convicted of conspiracy to murder Ryan. He was the only Temple member convicted in the U.S. in conjunction with the case.

 

Djeser-Djeseru (Hatshepsut’s Temple), the location of the attack.

Nov. 17, 1997: In what became known as the Luxor Massacre, 62 people, the majority of them tourists, were killed at one of Egypt’s top tourist attractions on the Nile River near Luxor.

The attack occurred at Deir el-Bahri when six gunman tied to the Islamic group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya attacked a group of tourists inside the Temple of Hatshepsut, or Djeser-Djeseru.

The gunmen, who were armed with automatic weapons and knives, were disguised as security forces. They first killed two armed guards at the site. They then set upon the tourists trapped inside the temple, shooting and dismembering them with machetes. There were no survivors.

A note was left at the scene praising Allah. The gunmen then hijacked a bus. As they tried to escape, however, they ran into a checkpoint of armed Egyptian tourist police. Both sides started shooting. One of the attackers was wounded in the shootout, but the rest escaped, fleeing into nearby hills. Their bodies were later found in a cave, presumably all dead by suicide.

The attack produced an understandable drop in Egyptian tourism. But it also had another, long-ranging effect: It turned the Egyptian public against radical Islam.

 

Jesuit priests marched outside a San Francisco federal building in 1989 to protest the killing of six Jesuit priests and two women in El Salvador.

Nov. 16, 1989: Six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were gunned down in their university residence in El Salvador by an elite unit of the Salvadoran Army for preaching liberation theology.

The Jesuits were all scholars at the University of Central America in the capital city of San Salvador and included the rector and vice rector of El Salvador’s most prestigious university. They had published pieces on liberation theology and were seen as subversives by the right-wing Salvadoran government.

According to a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of El Salvador about the massacre, the Army officers responsible for the murders, all members of a counter-insurgency group called the Atlacati Battalion, tried to make it look like the killings had been done by a leftist group, the FMLN, by using an AK-47 that had belonged to a captured rebel leader.

The eight victims were taken from their beds, made to lie down in the grass, and then shot in the back of the head. There also was evidence that the eight people had been tortured before they were killed.

The priests who were killed were Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín Baró, Segundo Montes, Joaquín López y López, Amando López, and Juan Ramón Moreno. The housekeeper was Elba Ramos, and her daughter was Celina Ramos.

The murder of the Jesuits was a turning point in the Salvadoran civil war. It increased international pressure on the Salvadoran government to sign a peace agreement with the FMLN. It also helped spread the idea of liberation theology worldwide.

The killings also galvanized Jesuits internationally, but especially in the United States. Officials and faculty at Jesuit universities used their positions to draw media attention to the murders and to pressure members of Congress to alter U.S. policy in El Salvador.

In 1991, nine members of the Salvadoran Army went on trial for the killings in 1991, but only two of the Army officers were convicted of the murders. They were freed from prison a few years later.

In 2008, a Spanish court opened a new investigation in the case. Evidence showed that the planning of the murder of the priests went high into the Salvadoran government, possibly including Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani. Declassified documents from the American CIA showed CIA involvement in and knowledge of the murder. Some 20 members of the military — but not Cristiani — were found guilty.

Spain is still trying to extradite some of those found guilty from other countries, including the United States, which has come under criticism for allowing them safe harbor.

 

Cesar Climaco vowed not to cut his hair until Marcos lifted martial law. He died before he had a chance to cut it.

Nov. 14, 1984: A Filipino mayor who was a prominent critic of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and an ally of Marcos opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated in Zamboanga City on the southern edge of the Philippines.

Cesar Cortez Climaco served three terms as mayor of Zamboanga City. He became a popular mayor in the 1950s but moved to the U.S. when Marcos declared martial law in 1972. He strongly opposed the martial law regime of Marcos and was famous for promising not to cut his hair until democratic rule was restored in the country. He returned to the Philippines and was elected mayor again in 1980.

On the morning of Nov. 14, 1984, he was called to a fire in downtown Zamboanga City. After supervising firemen, he got on his motorcycle to leave when he was gunned down by an unknown assailant. His widow, Julia Floreta-Climaco, blamed the Philippines military; police and the military blamed a Muslim group.

In 2012, charges surfaced that the purpose of the assassination was to take political and business control away from Climaco. No one was ever punished for the killing.

Climaco’s son and niece both succeeded him as mayor.

 

Karen Silkwood

Nov. 13, 1974: A chemical technician and labor union activist who warned about safety issues in the nuclear power industry died under mysterious circumstances in an Oklahoma car crash.

Karen Silkwood worked at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site plant near Crescent, Okla., making plutonium pellets for nuclear reactor fuel rods. Silkwood joined the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union and became active in the union’s work raising concerns about the health and safety of workers at nuclear plants.

In the summer of 1974, Silkwood testified to the Atomic Energy Commission about the safety concerns at the Kerr-McGee plant. She gave evidence that safety standards at the plant had suffered because Kerr-McGee had sped up production. During that trip to Washington, D.C., she also met with union leaders, and they agreed that she would get photomicrographs of faulty fuel rods, showing where they were being ground down to disguise faults.

In early November 1974, Silkwood tested positive for plutonium contamination, both in her body and her house. She was found to have 400 times the legal limit of plutonium contamination. She charged that Kerr-McGee had deliberately contaminated her; the company said she had deliberately contaminated herself to make the plant look bad.

Silkwood decided to go public with her charges. She told others that she had assembled documentation for her claims. She contacted David Burnham, a New York Times reporter, who agreed to cover her story.

On Nov. 13, Silkwood left a union meeting carrying a binder and a packet of documents. She was driving toward Oklahoma City to meet with Burnham and Steve Wodka, an official with her union’s national office. Silkwood never arrived at the meeting.

That night, her body was found in her car, which had run off the road, hit a guardrail, and plunged off an embankment. The police ruled her crash an accident, saying she probably fell asleep at the wheel. A state trooper at the scene said he found Quaaludes and marijuana in the car, and the coroner’s report said Quaaludes were in her blood, causing drowsiness. No documents were found in the car.

Her family and some journalists, however, said they found evidence that her car had been rammed from behind and run off the road. There was new damage to the back of the car, even though the accident was a front-end crash. Her family also reported that she had been receiving threatening phone calls.

Silkwood’s family sued Kerr-McGee for negligence. After a 10-month trial, the jury found the company guilty of negligence and awarded Silkwood’s three children over $10 million. The award was lowered on appeal, but part of it was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Eventually, Kerr-McGee settled out of court for $1.38 million.

Silkwood was portrayed by actress Meryl Streep in the 1983 Academy Award-nominated film, Silkwood.

 

Jean-Sylvain Bailly

Nov. 12, 1793: The man who served as the first mayor of Paris and is considered an early hero of the French Revolution was guillotined during the revolution’s Reign of Terror.

Jean-Sylvain Bailly was an astronomer, a mathematician, and an early political leader of the revolution. He has been described as the French Revolution’s Benjamin Franklin. He was elected as the inaugural president of the National Assembly in June 1789 and the first to swear the “Tennis Court Oath,” making everyone promise not to leave the area of their meeting until they had written a constitution.

Bailly became Paris mayor shortly after the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. When King Louis XVI made a famous visit to Paris to endorse the revolution, Bailly was the one who presented the king with the symbol of the revolt — the tricolor cockade.

But other, more radical revolutionary leaders such as Jean-Paul Marat and Camille Desmoulins attacked Bailly as being too conservative. He grew unpopular for expanding the powers of the mayor and for ensuring the passage of a decree guaranteeing Jews all rights as French citizens. He also created enemies when he called the French National Guard to restore order and declared a state of emergency in Paris in July 1791.

As the Reign of Terror began, Bailly retired to Nantes but was arrested in July 1793 for ordering French troops to fire on the Paris mobs. He was pressured to deliver evidence against Marie Antoinette but refused.

Bailly was tried and convicted before the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris on Nov. 10, sentenced to death the next day, and guillotined on Nov. 12.

 

Eight men were convicted in the Haymarket Square riot; four were hanged.

Nov. 11, 1887: Four union activists were hanged for their alleged roles in Chicago’s Haymarket Square Riot, even though there was no evidence linking them to a bombing at a labor rally in May 1886. The men became martyrs in the labor cause.

On May 4, 1886, radical labor leaders held a rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square to protest the killing and wounding of several workers at the McCormick Reaper Works by Chicago police. Police arrived at the end of the rally to disperse the crowd, but someone — it was never determined who — threw a bomb at the officers.

The police opened fire, and a melee ensured. When it was over, seven police officers and one civilian were dead, and a large number of people were injured. The incident spurred anti-labor sentiment and xenophobia throughout the country, as many labor leaders were foreign-born.

In August 1886, eight men labeled as anarchists were convicted in a sensational and controversial trial in which the jury was judged to be biased. Seven men were sentenced to death, and one received a 15-year sentence.

Four men — August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, and George Engel — were hanged. Two others had their death sentences commuted to life in prison, and one committed suicide on the night before his execution.

By 1893, the three still living were pardoned.

 

Germans pass the broken windows of a Jewish-owned shop.

Nov. 9-10, 1938: At least 91 Jews were killed in the attack known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, as Nazi forces instituted a coordinated pogrom on Jews throughout Germany and Austria.

Some 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Jewish homes, businesses, and schools were ransacked. More than 1,000 synagogues were burned.

On Nov. 7, a 17-year-old Polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, shot Ernst von Rath, a German diplomat stationed in Paris. He died two days later, on Nov. 9, which was the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.

The Nazi Party leadership, assembled in Munich to commemorate the anniversary, used von Rath’s assassination as a pretext to launch a seemingly spontaneous demonstration against Jews throughout the Reich. Nazi officials and Hitler youth members dressed in plainclothes to hide their identities as they launched an attack on Jewish neighborhoods.

The Nazi rioters destroyed 267 temples throughout Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Windows in an estimated 7,500 Jewish-owned business were broken, and their wares looted. Jewish cemeteries were decimated throughout the region. The damage was worst in Berlin and Vienna, which had the largest Jewish populations.

The original instructions to the Nazi officials did not include violence, but by the morning of Nov. 10, 91 Jews had been killed. There were also reports of widespread rapes and suicide in the aftermath of the violence. Many Jewish men were targeted for arrest; 30,000 were sent to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and other concentration camps.

Kristallnacht marks the first instance in which the Nazi regime incarcerated Jews on a massive scale simply on the basis of their ethnicity.

 

Edward Ward Carmack

Nov. 9, 1908: A Tennessee prohibition politician and editor of several newspapers in Tennessee was shot and killed on a Nashville street over an editorial about a political rival. His death led the Tennessee Legislature to ban the sale, manufacture, and consumption of alcohol.

Edward Ward Carmack represented Tennessee in the U.S. House and Senate and became a leader in the state’s temperance movement. After an unsuccessful run for governor, in which he ran as a prohibition candidate, he returned to his newspaper career.

As editor of the Nashville Tennessean, a prohibitionist daily, Carmack attacked the man who beat him in the governor’s race, Malcolm Patterson, in editorials. He also criticized a Patterson supporter, Duncan Brown Cooper, owner of the Nashville American, where Carmack used to work but from whom he was now estranged.

On Nov. 9, 1908, Carmack met Cooper and his son, Robin J. Cooper, on a Nashville street. Fearing an ambush, Carmack fired on the pair, wounding Robin Cooper, who returned fire, killing Carmack. Prohibitionists in Tennessee called Carmack’s death an assassination, and they used the killing to press their temperance cause.

In January 1909, Tennessee became the first state to prohibit the sale, manufacture, and consumption of liquor. Some counties in Tennessee remain dry to this day, and only recently has the Tennessee Legislature eased laws on liquor sales.

 

The kind of knife used in the famous Kentucky duel.

Nov. 8, 1889: In what is described as one of the most famous duels in Kentucky, two state political enemies attacked and ultimately killed each other in the lobby of the U.S. Post Office in Lexington.

Both men — Judge William Cassius Goodloe and lawyer Armistead Swope — had fought in the Civil War on the Union side, and both were Republican politicians vying for leadership roles in the Kentucky Republican Party. Goodloe had served in the state Senate and Swope had been appointed a federal revenue collector. The two had a history of exchanging insults, and mutual friends finally arranged a truce, with both men retracting their insults in writing.

Goodloe had received a gift of a Bowie knife from his uncle, the antislavery activist Cassius Marcellus Clay. Clay reportedly told Goodloe that if he was insulted and didn’t fight, “You’re no Clay. I never want to see you again.”

When Goodloe met Swope in the post office lobby to retrieve mail from a post office box, Goodloe ordered Swope to move, saying he was “blocking the way.” Swope answered that Goodloe’s comment was an insult, and both men drew weapons. Goodloe stabbed Armistead 13 times with his Bowie knife, and Armistead shot Goodloe twice. Armistead died that day, while Goodloe died two days later. It was reported that Goodloe died as Swope’s funeral cortege proceeded past his window.

A contemporary newspaper account of the incident described “such a magnificent display of manly courage and bravery. Colonel Swope … the very picture of manly symmetry, and Colonel Goodloe, … as handsome a man as one could find anywhere, stood facing each other like two gladiators.” Goodloe’s uncle made this comment: “I couldn’t have done better myself.”

Accounts of the incident were retold in the books Wicked Lexington, Kentucky, by Fiona Young-Brown and Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood, by James C. Klotter and Richard Reid.

 

Elijah P. Lovejoy

Nov. 7, 1837: An abolitionist newspaper editor and Presbyterian minister was assassinated by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois, for his strong stances against slavery. He became the first white martyr to abolitionism and became a catalyst for the movement in the North.

The Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy was a newspaperman who had a religious conversion in which he became a strong abolitionist. He became a minister and the editor of the St. Louis Observer.

In the paper’s editorials, Lovejoy condemned slavery and wrote about gradual slave emancipation, as well as criticizing other religious denominations, especially Catholicism. His strong stances were met by threats of violence, and he was sometimes accosted on the street.

Lovejoy finally was forced to move his press across the Mississippi River to Alton, 15 miles north of St. Louis. There he started publishing the Alton Observer in 1837, a Presbyterian weekly that was supposed to stick to religious topics but still contained a strong anti-slavery message.

Despite Illinois’ status as a free state, pro-slavery mobs regularly attacked his presses in Alton, often destroying them by throwing them into the Mississippi. Lovejoy called for a founding convention of an Illinois Anti-Slavery Society, but pro-slavery men packed the meeting, stopping passage of any business.

Lovejoy arranged a meeting with the pro-slavery forces who kept destroying his equipment, but his stern stances offered no compromises. “If the civil authorities refuse to protect me, I must look to God; and if I die, I have determined to make my grave in Alton,” he told the group. His words proved prophetic.

On the night of Nov. 7, 1837, Lovejoy and his followers were protecting a new printing press that had just been delivered and was being stored in a warehouse. A mob attacked the warehouse, and gunfire erupted on both sides. The mob set fire to the roof of the warehouse, attempting to smoke Lovejoy out of the building. When he emerged, he was shot and killed.

Lovejoy’s younger brother, Owen Lovejoy, a Congregational minister, came to finish his brother’s work and became the longtime leader of Illinois abolitionists. In 1897, Alton erected a 110-foot column in Lovejoy’s memory, topped by an angel, in the cemetery where he is buried.

 

Marcus Foster

Nov. 6, 1973: A renowned African-American educator was shot and killed by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army after a school board meeting in Oakland, Calif.

Marcus Foster was the first African-American superintendent of schools in predominantly black Oakland. He had gained national prominence and a reputation for academic excellence as a high school principal and an assistant superintendent in the Philadelphia school system.

On the day of the shooting, after Foster left the school administration building, the SLA members involved in the attack approached Foster’s car and shot him with bullets laced with cyanide. Foster’s deputy superintendent, Robert Blackburn, also was shot but survived.

The SLA claimed that they killed Foster because they objected to a student ID system that proponents hoped would keep non-student drug dealers out of the schools. Foster actually opposed the plan and had worked to make it less intrusive. The SLA also blamed Foster for the plan to put police officers inside schools, but Foster opposed that proposal, too.

SLA members Joseph Remiro and Russ Little were sentenced to life in prison for the killing. Remiro remains in prison; Little was retried and acquitted. A third suspected shooter, SLA leader Donald DeFreeze, died in a shootout with Los Angeles police in 1974.

Nearly 30 years after the attack, the survivor of the shooting, Blackburn, said, “In the senseless murder of Marcus Foster, they robbed our nation of arguably the finest urban superintendent we had in that day.”

Some historians say that after the murder, the SLA decided to take another action to make people forget about Foster’s murder and commit another act that would bring it infamy — kidnapping the 19-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst.

 

 

Rabbi Meir Kahane

Nov. 5, 1990: An American-Israeli rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League was shot and killed by an Arab gunman in a Manhattan hotel after giving a speech warning American Jews that they needed to emigrate to Israel.

Rabbi Meir Kahane was an ultra-Zionist who figured strongly in both Israeli and American politics. In the 1950s, he served as a rabbi for a Jewish Center in Queens before he was let go because of his extremist beliefs. He started publishing articles in the Jewish Press and writing books spreading his Zionist views.

Kahane founded the militant Jewish Defense League in 1968 and called for establishing Jewish defense squads in Jewish neighborhoods in the U.S. He made speeches throughout the U.S., at synagogues and on college campuses, calling for Jewish mass migration to Israel to avoid a “second Holocaust” in America.

In 1971, Kahane was convicted on terrorism charges of conspiracy to manufacture explosives and received a suspended sentence. He also was accused of leading an attack on the Soviet United Nations mission, an attack that injured two officers.

Kahane emigrated to Israel and served in the Israeli Knesset during the 1980s. He eventually was banned by the Israeli government for being “racist” and “anti-democratic” and returned to the U.S.

On Nov. 5, 1990, Kahane gave a speech to Orthodox Jews at a hotel in Manhattan, telling them they needed to leave America before it was “too late.” He was shot by El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born American.

Nosair was tried and acquitted of Kahane’s murder but was later convicted for a separate crime — his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Nosair was tried again for Kahane’s murder because the killing was thought to be part of a terror conspiracy. This time, Nosair was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Kahane was buried in Jerusalem after one of the largest funerals in Israeli history — it reportedly was attended by 150,000 people.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Nov. 4, 1995: The prime minister of Israel was shot and killed at a rally in favor of the Oslo Accords in Tel Aviv by a right-wing Israeli extremist who opposed the peace initiative with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s first native-born prime minister, came to power through the military. He rose through the ranks of the Israeli Army, becoming army chief of staff in 1964. He led the country’s military during the Six-Day War in 1968, which took over much Arab territory, including the Golan Heights from Syria, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the West Bank, the area on the west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, from Jordan.

Rabin served two terms as prime minister, once in the 1970s and from 1992 until his death. Rabin negotiated the Oslo Accords with PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 1993, which outlined an Israeli process of withdrawing from the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and aimed to establish peace between Israel and the PLO.

Rabin, Arafat, and Shimon Peres, who also served as Israeli prime minister and president and was foreign minister at the time, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for signing the agreement. But the peace treaty divided Israel; some saw Rabin as a traitor for giving away hard-won Israeli territory.

On Nov. 4, 1995, after Rabin spoke at a peace rally in Tel Aviv in favor of the accords, he was gunned down by Yigal Amir, an Israeli law student and Orthodox Jew. Amir was immediately arrested by Rabin’s bodyguards, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. Rabin is the only Israeli prime minister ever to be assassinated.

The square where Rabin was assassinated in Tel Aviv, Kikar Malkhei Yisrael, or Kings of Israel Square, has been renamed Rabin Square.

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