November 7, 1995
Web posted at: 11 a.m. EST
TEL AVIV, Israel (CNN) -- The widow of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said Tuesday that a "silent majority" of Israelis who favor peace with Arabs made a mistake by not being more vocal in their support for her husband's policies. (133K AIFF sound or 133K WAV sound)
"They should have been louder," Leah Rabin told CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walter Rodgers in a live interview from her Tel Aviv home one day after her husband was buried. In the aftermath of the prime minister's death, "(the silent majority) will become loud now," she said.
Mrs. Rabin said she was troubled by "religious extremism" in Israel and she repeated her contention that a highly charged political climate led to her husband's murder. She singled out Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing opposition Likud party, which has bitterly criticized land-for-peace deals with Palestinians. Netanyahu has condemned the assassination. Before Rabin was gunned down, Likud held a series of protests in coordination with far-right groups that branded the prime minister a traitor to the Jewish people for surrendering biblical lands on the West Bank.
Mrs. Rabin said that every Friday afternoon, including the day before the assassination, demonstrators gathered outside their home to shout death threats at her husband -- and sometimes at her, as well. (100K AIFF sound or 100K WAV sound) She condemned the "horrible language" used by her husband's critics but she said neither of them took the death threats seriously.
Mrs. Rabin said she was not angry at the Israeli security agents responsible for protecting her slain husband. "They are such wonderful, hard-working guys," she said. "I can not find myself accusing them. This guy (confessed assassin Yigal Amir) was determined."
Her husband would not have wanted the peace process to stop "for anything, even if it meant his life," she said.
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