CNN World News

The famous handshake

Rabin seen as 'a great hero'

November 4, 1995
Web posted at: 10:20 p.m. EST (0320 GMT)


From Correspondent Jill Dougherty

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a heartfelt expression of his grief Saturday at the Rose Garden, President Clinton remembered Yitzhak Rabin as a "warrior for his nation's freedom" and a "martyr for his nation's peace." (205K AIFF sound or 205K WAV sound)

As the United States shepherded the Middle East peace process, the prime minister had become the personification of hope and peace. From the historic handshake at the White House two years ago between Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to another historic handshake this past September, everyone was hopeful.


I just hope and pray that his legacy of courageous peace effort will not be disturbed."

-- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Past U.S. presidents who had worked with the prime minister offered their praise. "I have seen him as a great hero in military uniform and I have seen him as a great hero in peace," said former President Jimmy Carter. "He was a personal friend as well, and I just hope and pray that his legacy of courageous peace effort will not be disturbed." (288K AIFF sound or 288K WAV sound)

Former President George Bush called Rabin a "true peacemaker whose efforts and sacrifice will be remembered through the ages."

Sen. Bob Dole called Rabin "a soldier who died because he was a man of peace."

President Clinton will leave Sunday to attend the funeral of prime minister Rabin, which is scheduled for Monday. He is expected to invite former U.S. presidents as well as members of Congress to accompany him in a U.S. delegation.

As a mark of respect for the memory of Rabin and America's support for peace in the Middle East, he ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff until Rabin's burial.

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