Newsletter : 7fax1105.txt
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>JN Nov. 5, 1997, Vol. 5., No. 203
Two Years Later, Rabin Killing Haunts Israel
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
As Israeli-Palestinian talks continued in Washington Tuesday,
Israel marked the second anniversary of the assassination of one of
the peace architects -- Yitzhak Rabin.
Protesters followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a
visit to Beersheva tuesday, carrying signs and chanting slogans
like "Resign, Israel deserves better." Netanyahu responded by
saying some Israelis are trying to blame the entire right-wing,
about half the population, for the Rabin murder, and he said they
should stop trying to "divide the people."
The incident in Beersheba was indicative of the debate on this
second anniversary of the assassination. Right-wing conspiracy
theorists are recycling a variety of accusations the Israeli
security services -- or even Rabin's successor Shimon Peres -- are
responsible for the killing. The head of the commission which
investigated the killing sharply denies the accusations.
Leftists are reviving complaints the assassin, Yigal Amir, a
right-wing Jewish student, achieved his goal of stopping the
peace process, and are again blaming Netanyahu and other right-wing
leaders for allegedly encouraging extremists who opposed Rabin.
Some leftists are trying to block the prime minister from speaking
at a special memorial session of parliament next week. Peres said
Tuesday that although the murder was tragic, and the Labor Party
lost power afterwards, the peace process did not die with Rabin.
"It is a tragic moment, it is a painful moment, it is an
unforgettable moment, but his colleagues and ourselves, we shall do
whatever we can to carry on with the peace process. Nobody will
stop us, and nobody will frighten us."
Commentators write Israel is more sharply divided than ever between
right and left, religious and non-religious, rich and poor, and
between Jews of European descent and those from Arab countries.
Some lament talk of trying to bridge those gaps in the months
immediately after the shock of the assassination never really went
Only half of those visiting Rabin's grave, who were surveyed by a
newspaper, said they planned to mark the anniversary in any way.
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat said he and Rabin had made a
"peace of the brave" and it is difficult to pursue it with the
current Israeli government.
A divided Israel marked the second anniversary of the assassination
of Yitzhak Rabin on Tuesday in a dark national mood of mistrust and
recrimination. A stream of Israelis paid homage to the late prime
minister by lighting candles in the wind at his Jerusalem grave.
Under gloomy skies, others visited the Tel Aviv square where a
religious Jew opposed to his peace policies shot him. Rabin's widow
Leah laid a wreath at her husband's headstone in Mount Herzl
cemetery during a memorial for family, friends, comrades-in-arms
and political allies.
The demonstrators trailing Netanyahu accused him of killing the
peace. But he and his supporters say by slowing down the growth of
the areas under Palestinian control and insisting on a crackdown on
militant groups, they are saving Israel from the dangerously
lenient policy Rabin was pursuing.
Israel's Sharon Loses Lebanon War Libel Suit
Ariel Sharon lost a libel suit Tuesday against a newspaper
which reported the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin had felt the
former general misled him over the planned scope of Israel's 1982
invasion of Lebanon.
The Tel Aviv District Court ruled there were grounds for Uzi
Benziman, a reporter for Haaretz newspaper, to conclude in a 1991
article that Begin knew Sharon had deceived him over how far
Israeli troops would push north. Judge Moshe Talgam said in the
ruling "Begin knew Sharon had not acted honestly toward him."
Grieving Family Refused Fare to Visit Grave
By IINS News Service
The parents of Sgt. Gideon Posner were turned down by the
Defense Ministry regarding their request for financing to visit
their son's grave three times a year.
Posner was one of the 73 IDF soldiers killed in the Feb. 4 mid-air
helicopter crash. His parents live in England and requested that
the Ministry of Defense finance three trips a year to Israel, to
permit them to visit the grave of their son. In its response, the
Defense Ministry offered to finance one trip every 10 years.
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