Mnuchin’s awkward encounter with the daughter of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was confronted with Yitzhak Rabin’s daughter last week after a speech about the Arab-Israeli peace process in which he appeared to ignore the role of the late Israeli prime minister.Why is this important: Rabin is quite an important character to forget. He is remembered for making peace with Jordan, sealing the Oslo accords with the Palestinians, and establishing relations with Morocco, Oman and Tunisia.

What happened: Mnuchin was speaking to Israeli, Emirati and American businessmen in Abu Dhabi. He gave a historical overview of previous peace talks, but did not mention Rabin, say several in the room.

  • Mnuchin spoke about the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord of 1979 and referred to the work of US President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
  • He then moved on to the Israel-Jordan peace accord of 1994, mentioning the work of Bill Clinton and Jordan’s King Hussein but not Rabin, who negotiated and signed that accord.
  • He also left aside the Oslo accords, which Rabin, Clinton and Yasser Arafat negotiated.

Between the lines: The omission may not have been intentional, but it stunned at least one attendee: Dalia Rabin, the daughter of the late prime minister, according to a person who discussed it with her.

  • She contacted Mnuchin immediately after the speech, asking him why he hadn’t mentioned his father and if he thought his father’s work for peace was unimportant.
  • A surprised Mnuchin said to him, “It was my speech and I owe you no explanation.

What they say: Mnuchin didn’t realize he was speaking with Rabin’s daughter, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary for Public Affairs Monica Crowley.

  • “She did not introduce herself or identify her relationship with the Prime Minister. After their brief conversation, the secretary asked another guest for his identity, ”Crowley told me.
  • “It’s unfortunate because if she had presented herself correctly, the secretary would have been happy to discuss her father and his historic legacy of peace. “

To note: Next week, Israel will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Rabin by an Israeli terrorist who opposed the Oslo accords.

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