November 5, 1995
Web posted at: 9:50 p.m. EST (0250 GMT)
(CNN) -- The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Saturday drew expressions of sadness and shock around the world.
Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres said:
"It's a tragic day for the Jewish people, for the state of Israel, for our neighbors, for the peace process ... all of the world. Yitzhak Rabin was an exceptional person and an exceptional leader. We never had anybody like him, and I'm afraid we shall not have anybody to succeed him completely."
Peres recalled his last moments with Rabin. At the peace rally, he said, Rabin agreed to sing a song for peace.
"It was the first time in his life that he has agreed to sing a song. He has said 'I am not a singer.' Tonight, he participated in singing the song of peace. Before it, we were given the words of the song, and he put it in his pocket. The bullet hit the song together with his body. You can tear a song. You can hit a body. You cannot kill the noble and great idea of peace."
Peres said Rabin's wish was that the peace process will be continued "with full sails, with full force, with full participation."
Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton said:
"The world has lost of one its greatest men , a warrior for his nation's freedom and now a martyr his nation's peace. To Leah Rabin and her children Hillary and I send our love and our prayers. (378K AIFF sound or 378K WAV sound)
"I want the world to remember what Prime Minister Rabin said here at the White House barely one month ago. And I quote, 'We should not let the land flowing with milk and honey become a land flowing with blood and tears. Don't let it happen.' (468K AIFF sound or 468K WAV sound)
"Now it falls to us--all those in Israel, throughout the Middle East, who yearn for and love peace to make sure it doesn't happen. Yitzhak Rabin was my partner and my friend. I admired him and I loved him very much. Because words cannot express my true feelings, let me just say, 'shalom haver,' goodbye friend."(245K AIFF sound or 245K WAV sound)
Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat told reporters in Gaza:
"I am very sad and very shocked for this awful and terrible crime against one of the brave leaders of Israel and the peacemakers. I hope that they will have the ability, all of us, the Israelis and the Palestinians, will have the ability to overcome this tragedy against the peace process and against the whole situation in the Middle East. I am offering my condolences to his wife, to his family, to the Israeli government, to the Israeli people."(168K AIFF sound or 168K WAV sound)
Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud party:
"This is undoubtedly one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the state of Israel, I think the history of the Jewish people. I personally am shocked to the core of my being. Yitzhak Rabin was a great soldier, a great leader who has been cruelly slain by a madman. And I think that it's important now to draw all of the people of Israel together. I think it's a grief that we share with men and women of goodwill throughout the world."
Israeli Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein, who attended the peace rally with Rabin and was at the hospital when he died:
"This is a great tragedy for all of Israel, for the Middle East and for the whole world. Mr. Rabin was a soldier most of his life and became a soldier for peace and he died because of it.
"We in the cabinet meetings warned time and time again that this constant stream of vilification, threat and accusation leveled against the prime minister, depicting him as a murderer and a traitor to his own people could (end) in a tragedy. And that tragedy came in the wake of the most impressive rally for peace that Israel has ever seen."
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:
"I've seen him as a great hero in military uniform. I've seen him as a great hero in peace. I'm just grieved about his death. He was a personal friend as well. I just hope his legacy of courageous peace effort will not be disturbed, but will be continued on by many more Israelis than had given him support in the past." (288K AIFF sound or 288K WAV sound)
King Hussein of Jordan
"It is a great ... loss and I share it with his dear family with the government with the people of Israel and with all those who love peace in this world."
"This was a man who served, was soldier and a soldier of peace and is a martyr for the cause of peace in this entire region. I hope this will shake people about in terms of the alternative, which is disastrous for all. And I hope that his last words, in fact his last mission, will be remembered and will echo in the minds and hearts of all in this region, and the world."
In a written statement, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said he was "deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news" of Rabin's death.
"History will record Rabin as one of the towering figures of the century. He dedicated his life to Israel, its security, and the cause of peace. Heroic in war and in service of his country, he pursued peace with the same courage and determination.
"The world has lost a leader and a statesman. Israel has lost one of its finest sons, and we have lost a strong and true friend of the United States."
Former U.S. President George Bush:
"I think history will remember him as a great peacemaker. It is a terrible shock and the only thing I would add is that I just hope the peace process will continue. I hope that those in Israel, the many, many thousands in Israel who want peace with their neighbors, will continue the work of Yitzhak Rabin, a great man, a great, great man who will be missed by all who crave peace in the Middle East." (178K AIFF sound or 178K WAV sound)
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, issued the following statement from Sioux Falls, South Dakota:
"Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was a hero in a land of heroes. He was a soldier who died because he was a man of peace. His courage and vision won the admiration of the world, and the world will sorely miss him. God bless him, and God be with his family and the people of Israel."
"I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Prime Minister Rabin and the people of Israel. He was a courageous leader who dedicated his life, and now has given his life, to the cause of peace. His senseless death brings great sadness to those of us who knew him and the many more around the world who admired his extraordinary leadership.
"Extremists on all sides in the Middle East should know that this cowardly violence will not deter the peace process but rather will encourage those who carry on the search for peace to redouble our efforts."
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, interviewed on CNN from Hong Kong, said:
Rabin was a "very gentle man, actually, once you got to know him, but basically rather shy...
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"He came to his convictions in a painful way but once he had reached them, he was prepared to walk a very lonely road. I saw him last two weeks ago, and he was actually quite optimistic. He also knew it would be a very a bitter period with great vilification...
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"What he was really doing was to work out a grammar of coexistence of two suffering people. ...
"Rabin was a great man ... but if what he did is to have any meaning, it cannot depend on him alone."
British Prime Minister John Major said:
"He gave his life for peace. His best memorial would lie in achieving it. We would wish his work to go on and I hope it will. ..."
"He was a personal friend who I much admired."
"I think that what Mr. Rabin would have wanted would be for this to be given some momentum to the peace process in the future and I very much hope that will happen."
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, hospitalized in Moscow, said through a spokesman:
"I learned of the death with deep sorrow. ...
"The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was an attempt to torpedo the movement towards peace and to again plunge the (Middle) East into suffering and blood. ...
"I am convinced that the cause for which Rabin sacrificed his entire life will continue."
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said:
"This cowardly murder struck a man who wanted to achieve peace in the Middle East through great courage and the full commitment of his personality. ...
"I know from the countless talks I had in the past few months with Yitzhak Rabin that he recognized the danger for his life, but it was important for him to use every chance to finally create peace for people in a region so marked by sorrow. ...
"Germans mourn along with his wife, his family, with the Israeli people and all peace-loving people in the world."
French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac said:
"France, more than ever, itself and in the heart of the European Union, is at the side of all those -- in Israel, in the region, Palestinians, nearby states -- who want peace and are working for it to triumph over war and evil. ...
"I knew Yitzhak Rabin well. I knew the man of combat who contributed so much to give Israel its security. I knew the man of peace, the visionary statesman who, with courage and lucidity, chose dialogue and reconciliation between the peoples of the region."
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said in a statement:
"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless and violent death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. We pray that the Prime Minister's efforts for peace will be continued and that the people of Israel will stand united in this time of tragedy. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Leah and his family."
Reverend Jessie Jackson addressing the congregation of the Lilydale First Baptist Church:
"The hatred must be stopped. And I hope that we would seize this moment as being a case of Ghandi assassinated, Dr. King being assassinated, John Kennedy being assassinated to see that there must be continuous efforts to stop the hatred." (213K AIFF sound or 213K WAV sound)
Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, New York said:
"For me this transcends politics. And it's up to every Jew whether you're on the right or the left to dig deep into his or her soul and to find the love in the mourning of the Prime Minister that will stamp out the deep hatred that has engulfed Israeli society." (178K AIFF sound or 178K WAV sound)
Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York said Sunday:
"I was privy to Prime Minister Rabin's thinking and therefore believe he died in a truly noble cause and its my view that Mr. Peres will continue to advance that cause as acting Prime Minister." (93K AIFF sound or 93K WAV sound)
Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker said:
"I just think that it is a terrible, terrible tragedy for a man who was a wonderful leader of the world and friend to a lot of us." (113K AIFF sound or 113K WAV sound)
Russian Foreign Minister Andre Kozyrev said:
"We want peace process to go on. Inspite of the irreparable loss of Mr. Rabin. He (Shimon Peres) will have full support from Russia and inside Israel they will now understand more how important those two figures were." (133K AIFF sound or 133K WAV sound)
Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin said:
"We are all shocked by the death of this illustrious statesman ho did so much to diffuse the situation in the middle-east." (70K AIFF sound or 70K WAV sound)
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