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Transcript of the leader of the opposition the Hon John Howard MP doorstop interview



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Leader of the O pposition 5 November 1995

TRANSCRIPT OF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - SYDNEY

Topic: Assassination o f Yitzhak Rabin

E&OE........................................................................................................................................................

Well, I'd like, on behalf o f the Federal Opposition, to express my horror and revulsion at the assassination o f the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. There's always something particularly distressing and repulsive about the cowardly murder o f somebody who has done so much to bring about peace in a very troubled part o f the world.

It puts one in mind o f the assassination some years ago o f Anwar Sadat, the very courageous Egyptian leader, who also made a great contribution to greater peace in the Middle East. And the late Israeli Prime Minister displayed great courage, great leadership, great determination, and a great sense o f history in forging the peace agreement with the PLO, and the greatest

monument that the State o f Israel and the people o f the Middle East, indeed the people o f the world could erect to Yitzhak Rabin would be the successful prosecution o f the peace process, a successful consummation o f it, and a renewed determination to ensure that what he did for

the future o f Israel and for the future o f peace in the Middle East is not lost and that his death and his life has not been in vain.

And I again express my great sympathy to the people o f Israel, to his family, and to those millions o f people around the world, including many in Australia, who've always had a very special place in their hearts for the future and the survival and the peace and stability o f the Jewish State.

JOURNALIST:

M r Howard, what's your reaction to Palestinian people cheering in the streets?

HOWARD:

I saw Yasser Arafat on television this morning, and his was not a reaction o f exultation or o f happiness. It was a reaction o f distress and compassion. I would like to believe that that better expresses the feeling o f the Palestinian people. Remember that the late Israeli Prime Minister overcame many objections within his own country from those who thought he was adopting too gentle an approach to the peace process, and as I said a moment ago, that gives his death a special poignancy, adds a special dimension o f distress and frustration that those like Sadat before him, have risked so much domestically to bring about a broader peace,

should die in such tragic, cowardly, and wicked circumstances.

Thank you. COMMONWEALTH

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