Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk were picked as Time magazine's 1993 "Men of the Year" for "common genius" as peacemakers.

The four were chosen because they "reasserted the principle that leaders matter: that an individual's vision, courageously and persuasively and intelligently pursued, can override the rather unimaginative human preference for war," the magazine said Saturday."Without Rabin and Arafat, the Israelis and Palestinians would have continued down the same bleak, violent road they have followed since 1948," Time said. "Without Mandela and de Klerk, blacks and whites (in South Africa) would have descended into the bloodiest race war in history."

The magazine noted that the peacemaking deal in the Middle East and the one in South Africa are works in progress.

"Extremists on all sides threaten to destroy the arrangements, which look at times like fragile shelters being nailed together in a high wind," Time said.

De Klerk, president of South Africa, and Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, were joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Rabin is prime minister of Israel and Arafat is leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

View Comments

"In 1993, Rabin and Arafat, Mandela and de Klerk all rose to the occasion before them. Their common genius was that they saw in the convergence of circumstances a ripeness of moment - and that they acted," Time said.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.