Netanyahu swiftly rejects scholar’s claim of leftist plot behind Rabin’s assassination

Netanyahu condemned Prof. Mordechai Kedar’s assertion that a leftist political conspiracy was behind Rabin’s death.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called a theory put forward by a prominent Israeli professor that Yigal Amir did not kill Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 “nonsense.”

“The Prime Minister condemns the nonsense said in regard to Yigal Amir, the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin,” his office said in a statement.

Middle East expert and Arab scholar Mordechai Kedar made the startling claim at a Tuesday demonstration in support of the prime minister that took place near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandleblit, who is in the midst of deciding whether to go forward with three corruption cases against Netanyahu.

To the audience’s applause, Kedar demanded a thorough and unbiased state investigation into “the murder that perhaps Yigal Amir did not commit.”

“I call here for the removal of the false ‘top secret’ designation on the documents that do not jive with the theory that the Right killed Rabin,” he said, adding, “Twenty-four years of the Right being blackened politically” by the Left was enough.

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“Rabin’s murder was a man with the initials Y.R. – not Yitzhak Rabin,” Kedar said at the rally in Petah Tikvah, a city just east of Tel Aviv. “Y.R. The person behind this was, apparently, a leading politician who wanted to eliminate Yitzhak Rabin because he wanted to leave the Oslo Accords.”

Rabin initially didn’t know that his foreign minister, Shimon Peres, was negotiating secretly with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Norway’s capital on what was to become known as the Oslo Accords signed with PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 1993.

A hard-headed former IDF chief of staff, Rabin was less enthusiastic dealing with arch-terrorist Arafat than was Peres, who envisioned a New Middle East. Rabin had never publicly stated that he would back out of the Accords, however.

Although there have been several conspiracy theories expounded in books and articles about the assassination over the years, Kedar is perhaps the most prominent, and well-respected individual to adopt such a theory.

A well-known lecturer in Arab history, language and culture at Bar-Ilan University, he often defends Israel in Arab-language media such as Al-Jazeera.

Kedar is already feeling the heat from his workplace over his words.

The university administration said that it “strongly condemns Dr. Kedar’s remarks, which represent his views alone and do not represent the university and its staff.”

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Bar-Ilan then went further, putting out a statement that Kedar was being suspended from representing the university and therefore his participation in an upcoming conference in South America has been cancelled.