Ten Years Since the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

Exclusive: Recorded Interview with Yitzhak Rabin
One Month Before His Assassination and Broadcast for the First Time

Yitzhak Rabin:
ĎI Believe Separation Between Israelis & Palestinians
Is The Best Solution To the Israeli-Palestinian Conflictí

ĎPalestinian Authority, Not Hamas, Is The Only Palestinian
Partner And It Bears Responsibility For What Happens In Areas Under Its Controlí

ĎHow Do You React To Israeli Protestors Holding Effigies Of You In
A Nazi Uniform?í Yitzhak Rabin: ĎI Will Not Relate To Such A Criminal Mind & Actí

Broadcast November 2nd, 2005 on IsraCast.com

Yitzhak Rabin

A short time before his assassination at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin discussed some of the key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an exclusive interview, part of which is now broadcast for the first time. It was one of Rabinís last in-depth interviews before he was shot dead by Yigal Amir on November 4th 1995. Amir, who was sentenced to life in prison, is now seeking a retrial. What is startling about the interview is the many similarities with the current situation, ten years later; simply substitute the name of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for Yasser Arafat.
This was the scene at the time of Rabinís assassination back in November 1995: THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WAS THEN TRYING TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH HAMAS ON HALTING THE TERRORISM. Scores of Israelis had been killed and wounded by suicide bombers (including in Hadera where five Israeli civilians were murdered last week) and Rabin had lost some of his supporters in the Knesset. The night before the interview, some anti-Oslo protestors had waved effigies of Rabin in a Nazi uniform in Jerusalemís Zion Square.
The interview begins with a question about Prime Minister Rabinís agreement to a PA request to allow four or five Hamas fugitives to leave for abroad in order to promote a cease-fire deal.
Audio Interview:

Listen to Yitzhak Rabin

ĎI believe that in the long run, separation between Israel and the Palestinians is the best solution for resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflictí. That was the position of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated by right-wing fanatic Yigal Amir at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on the night of November 4th 2005. Rabin saw the solution of Israel as a Jewish state separated form a Palestinian entity in which most Palestinians would live on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. This, in Rabinís view, was the only real solution to the conflict in the long run.

In a stunning similarity with todayís situation, Rabin talked of how Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority were trying to reach an agreement with Hamas to prevent terrorism from areas under the PAís control. As a means to this end, Arafat had requested and Rabin approved the sending of five Hamas fugitives abroad. When Rabin was asked if he was in fact sending a conciliatory message to Hamas he retorted: ĎBy no means, I have got one address on the Palestinian side, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. They are the partners for the whole peace process and they bear responsibility for whatever happens in the areas under their controlí. On this score, Arafat was not doing enough top halt the terrorism.
The later Prime Minister then said Hamas, Islamic Jihad other organizations were carrying out the attacks not the PLO. One hundred and nineteen Israelis had been murdered since January 1994 until shortly before Rabin was assassinated on November4th, 2005. Rabin said 77 of these fatalities, some 70%, were killed by suicide bombers who also came from territory under IDF control. Therefore, he concluded that separation was the best solution to prevent terrorism.
When asked about his ability to set policy in light of his dwindling support in the Knesset, Rabin declared: ĎIíll continue to carry out whatever we are committed to. Whatever we believe leads us to a permanent solution the way we want it, THE WAY I WANT ITí.

The night before the interview, some protestors at a big anti-Rabin rally in Jerusalemís Zion Square, had waved effigies of Rabin decked out in a Nazi uniform. When asked to comment the Prime Minister replied: ĎI donít believe I have even to relate to such a criminal mind and actí.
The words of Yitzhak Rabin a short time before he was assassinated on November 4th 1995.

David Essing, ISRACAST, Jerusalem

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Transcription done by Yael Yaffe-Last
Studio Production by Avi Yaffe Jerusalem Recording Studios LTD.

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