Magazine article UN Chronicle

Assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Condemned

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Condemned

Article excerpt

The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel on 4 November at a pro-Government rally in Tel. Aviv--an "outrageous act of terror" which had struck "one of the greatest leaders in Israel's history" -- was condemned in the "strongest possible terms" by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

"I pay tribute to the wisdom and vision of Prime Minister Rabin, whose unswerving commitment to his country, and whose recognition of the need for Israelis and Arabs alike to put behind the hostility and bloodshed which had region for decades, led to the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and the agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)", the Secretary-General stated on 4 November. "Prime Minister Rabin will forever be remembered for his courageous leadership these past three years."

In a message to the special commemorative meeting on 5 December at Headquarters, the Secretary-General said: "There are times that call for greatness: for vision, for courage, for love of humankind. Of all those we call great, the peacemakers are the greatest. ... Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was working for peace on the day that he was killed. He was singing for peace on the night when he was so viciously struck down."

His loss conveyed the "horrifying truth that those who dare to pursue peace walk in the way of terrible danger. And the further they go upon this path, the greater the risk that they run", he stressed. But that cowardly act could not stop progress towards the goal of peace. "Yitzhak Rabin in his death still shows us the way....And we are uplifted by his memory to bear the beacon of peace forward, so that tomorrow will bring the better world he so valiantly sought", Mr. Boutros-Ghali declared.

General Assembly President Diogo Freitas do Amaral of Portugal said Yitzhak Rabin had been "assassinated for believing in a future without bloodshed, a future of tolerance and coexistence". He had paid a "very high price for his pursuit of peace for all", but his example would "live on to inspire others".

Gad Yaacobi of Israel declared: "With Rabin's assassination, we lost a great statesman, a courageous soldier in both war and peace, a fine human being, a devoted son of Israel, the Jewish people and mankind. ...Most of all, he was a soldier for peace who fell in the line of duty."

Madeleine K. Albright of the United States said that "building the future is no longer within the power of Yitzhak Rabin; that responsibility rests with us". President Clinton, President Yeltsin and other European leaders had expressed their continued support for Arab-Israeli reconciliation. "So, we are confident that the peace process will move forward", she stated. "But we know, as well, that we have suffered a grievous loss."

Sergey V. Lavrov of the Russian Federation said that the life which had been "cut short by a fanatic's bullet" highlighted the need to implement the Israeli-Palestinian agreements and "speed up the refashioning of the Middle East" in the image of the peace process to which Mr. Rabin had devoted himself.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Juan Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo of Spain reiterated the Union's firm rejection of terrorism and intolerance. "Yitzhak Rabin: your life has been irrationally cut short, but your ideals persist and continue to light our way", he stated.

Assembly action

The fiftieth General Assembly, in welcoming the Middle East peace process and expressing its full support for the results achieved so far, stressed (resolution 50/21) the need for a "rapid progress on all tracks of the Arab-Israeli negotiations" and called for the "timely and scrupulous implementation" of the accords reached towards the negotiation of a final settlement (50/84 H). …

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