Benjamin Netanyahu denies Rabin incitement claims

Benjamin Netanyahu denies Rabin incitement claims

Israel's prime minister rejects accusations he contributed to a climate of violence before the former leader's assassination

Benjamin Netanyahu 
 (photo by: JINIPIX)
Benjamin Netanyahu (photo by: JINIPIX)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied he incited against Yitzhak Rabin in the months leading up to his 1995 assassination as the country marked the anniversary of the former leader’s killing.

In a Facebook post, Mr Netanyahu rejected long-standing accusations he contributed to the climate of violence before Mr Rabin’s killing.

He wrote: “Rabin’s assassination was a shocking political assassination that we all renounce.

“Since the assassination there have been ongoing attempts to distort the historic truth and to attribute the incitement that preceded the assassination to me.”

He then posted old videos of his denunciations of the incitement, adding: “Judge for yourselves.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Mr Rabin was shot dead after a peace rally on November 4, 1995 by Yigal Amir, who opposed his policy of trading land to the Palestinians for peace.

Repeated attempts to make peace since then have evaporated, leaving bouts of violence in their wake.

In the months before the killing, political hard-liners branded Mr Rabin a traitor and some extremists called for his death.

Critics claimed the climate of incitement inspired Amir to kill Mr Rabin.

In one famous incident, Mr Netanyahu, then the opposition leader, addressed a protest in Jerusalem where demonstrators held posters portraying Mr Rabin in an Arab headscarf or Nazi uniform.

Mr Netanyahu claims he did not see the banners or hear violent chants.

Mr Netanyahu vehemently opposed Mr Rabin’s planned concessions and only grudgingly accepted the concept of a Palestinian state after taking office for a second term in 2009.

He has since distanced himself from those comments and during his re-election campaign last year said he would not allow a Palestinian state on his watch.

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