Former American Mid-East envoy Martin Indyk claimed Israel’s PM Netanyahu told him at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, “If he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the  elections.”
• Likud: Not a new incident. Indyk never stops slandering & defaming Netanyahu.
By Shlomo Cesana, Yoni Hersch, Mati Tuchfeld & Israel Hayom Staff
Former U.S. Middle East envoy Martin Indyk lied twice about a supposed conversation he had with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, a Prime Minister’s Office official said on Wednesday.
The spat involving Indyk began following the airing of a PBS Frontline program about Netanyahu that aired on Tuesday. In an interview for the program, Indyk referred to a conversation he claimed he had with Netanyahu at Rabin’s funeral. Rabin was assassinated on Nov. 4, 1995 in Tel Aviv by a right-wing Jewish extremist. At the time, Indyk was U.S. ambassador to Israel and Netanyahu was Likud leader and head of the opposition.
Indyk told PBS, “Netanyahu sat next to me when I was ambassador in Israel at the time of Rabin’s funeral. I remember Netanyahu saying to me: ‘Look, look at this. He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician.'”
In response to that comment, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a blanket denial on Wednesday, saying the conversation described by Indyk “never happened.”
PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Rabin funeral, with Indyk nowhere in sight – Photo: Israel’s Channel 1 screenshot
A video of the funeral showed that Indyk was not sitting next to Netanyahu.
Indyk tweeted later on Wednesday, “The conversation w Bibi took place on Nov 5/95 when we sat together at the Knesset ceremony to receive Rabin’s coffin to lie in state.”
This prompted the Prime Minister’s Office to issue another strong denial.
“After the first lying version was refuted, Indyk made up a second version, which was also a lie,” a Prime Minister’s Office statement said. “The prime minister never said the things Indyk attributed to him.”
A Likud statement said, “This is another blatant lie by Indyk, who never stops slandering and defaming the prime minister.”
Yuval Rabin, the son of Yitzhak Rabin, said: “My father’s place in history was ensured both if Netanyahu had won and if he had lost. I believe what Martin Indyk said. A large part of the public does not want to believe him and would prefer not to hear him, so I want to present the facts — after 15 years of repeated failures [by the Labor party led by Shimon Peres], Yitzhak Rabin led Labor to a big victory [in the 1992 elections].”
A Zionist Union statement said, “Netanyahu’s words at the funeral of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin show how low Netanyahu can go.”
In response to the Zionist Union statement, Yariv Levin (Likud) said: “Unlike the Zionist Union and unlike [Isaac] Herzog and [Tzipi] Livni, those who looked for pictures from the funeral found that Indyk was located on neither side of the prime minister. It [the conversation] never happened. This is the Zionist Union’s set pattern of behavior — don’t check the facts, slander the prime minister and disappear after their lies are exposed.“
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