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November 12, 1995 – The end of a tumultuous week. With the assassination of Israel Prime Minister Ytzhak Rabin, the country was plunged into a period of mourning – the funeral earlier in the week brought a flood of tributes from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Hussein – both Arab leaders who had never set foot on Israeli soil, but felt compelled to offer heartfelt tribute and support to a nation enveloped in grief. As the memorials continued, the questioning of Rabin’s assassin went on. To the shock of most Israeli’s, the assassin of Rabin wasn’t an Arab, but rather a radical Israeli, Yigal Amir, fearful of the peace overtures Rabin had orchestrated and who had come close to finally arriving at a peace settlement with Arab nations and the PLO. On 6 November 1995, he was buried on Mount Herzl. President Bill Clinton delivered a eulogy whose final words were in Hebrew – “Shalom, Haver” (Hebrew: שלום חבר, lit. Goodbye, Friend).
The square where he was assassinated, Kikar Malkhei Yisrael (Kings of Israel Square), was renamed Rabin Square in his honor. Many other streets and public institutions in Israel have also subsequently been named after him. After his assassination, Rabin was hailed as a national symbol and came to embody the ethos of the “Israeli peace camp,” despite his military career and hawkish views earlier in life.
In other news: Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff General Colin Powell, bowed out of potential bid for the 1996 Presidential election. Powell’s experience in military matters made him a very popular figure with both American political parties. Many Democrats admired his moderate stance on military matters, while many Republicans saw him as a great asset associated with the successes of past Republican administrations. Put forth as a potential Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in the 1992 U.S. presidential election or even potentially replacing Vice President Dan Quayle as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Powell eventually declared himself a Republican and began to campaign for Republican candidates in 1995. He was touted as a possible opponent of Bill Clinton in the 1996 U.S. presidential election, possibly capitalizing on a split conservative vote in Iowa and even leading New Hampshire polls for the GOP nomination, but Powell declined, citing a lack of passion for politics. Powell defeated Clinton 50–38 in a hypothetical match-up proposed to voters in the exit polls conducted on Election Day. Despite not standing in the race, Powell won the Republican New Hampshire Vice-Presidential primary on write-in votes.
There was a lot more going on this week – the one which ended on September 12, 1995 – And ABC Radio’s World News This Week does its level-best to present it all on this broadcast.