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An Estimated Two-Hundred Thousand Israelis Gather In Tel Aviv's Rabin Square To Remember Assassinated Prime Minister

Former U.S. President Clinton: 'There Has Not Been A Week I Have Not Thought of Him And Missed Him'

New Labor Party Leader Peretz: 'I Pledge To Follow In The Path Of Yitzhak Rabin And Return To Oslo And End the Occupation'

An estimated 200,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square at the site where the former Prime Minister was assassinated on November 4th 1995. Among those attending was former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife, U. S. Senator Hillary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea. The U.S. President and the Israeli Prime Minister had become very close friends and Clinton, with tears in his eyes at times, spoke movingly about Rabin and the ultimate price he paid in his heroic quest for peace with the Palestinians.

At an address to the Saban Forum - Jafee Center, Clinton also held former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to account for rejecting the peace offer at Camp David five years ago.

'Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat made a colossal historical blunder in not accepting the Camp David peace proposal'. That was the view of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who hosted Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David five years ago. Clinton had prodded Barak into agreeing to return over 95% of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to become a Palestinian state that would also control parts of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. A land exchange was also involved in return to the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, ending the conflict and relinquishing their so-called right of return of the refugees to Israel. Rather than accepting the Clinton backed proposal, Arafat simple walked away from the negotiating table to launch a wave of suicide bombers which continues to this very day.

At the main Rabin memorial service in Tel Aviv, Clinton was given a tumultuous welcome by a throng of some 200,000 Israelis. They had come from all over the country to wave Israeli flags, hold memorial candles and sing the song of peace. Amir Peretz, the newly elected Labor Party leader, vowed to follow in the path of Yitzhak Rabin declaring the Oslo peace process was very much alive.

Peretz also vowed to end 'the occupation' of Palestinian territory that he said was eroding Israeli democracy. Peretz declared: 'I have a dream that one day Israeli and Palestinian children will play together'

David Essing

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