Zahava Gal-On
Zahava Gal-OnFlash90

Meretz party head Zahava Gal-On accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of being indirectly responsible for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, adding that she believed the killing was a major boost to Netanyahu’s political career.

Despite criticism for accusations made on Sunday, which marked the 21st anniversary of the assassination, the Meretz leader doubled-down on her claims on Monday, saying that Netanyahu owed his career to the killing of Rabin.

Speaking to Channel 10 Monday morning, Gal-On said she stood by her controversial comments.

On Sunday, Gal-On addressed the Prime Minister, accusing him of “unleashing the demons” that led to Rabin’s murder.

“With all due respect,” said Gal-On, “you were not the victim of the Rabin assassination. You can keep telling us how you were against the murder, and of course it wasn’t you that pulled the trigger, but there was no one in the world who benefit from the assassination of Rabin like you. It was the perfect murder, and a beneficial one [for you], and you owe your political survival to it. Every citizen in the country knows that – the foundation of your government were laid in the blood of Rabin.”

“I have no doubt that you didn’t want the assassination, Mr. Prime Minister, but you were responsible for releasing the demons. And 21 years later, you proved that you have no compunction in releasing them again. The incitement continues today under your watch.”

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in November, 1995, more than two years after signing the Oslo Accords with PLO chief and arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat. Rabin's immediate successor Shimon Peres actually "benefited" directly from the murder, but in May 1996, Netanyahu narrowly defeated him in the following election, winning by less than 30,000 votes.

Rather than aid his political career, polling data from 1995 shows the assassination likely harmed Netanyahu’s chances.

Prior to the assassination, surveys almost unanimously showed Netanyahu defeating Rabin in the 1996 election.

A Dahaf poll published May 29th, 1995 showed Netanyahu defeating Rabin 43-37. A Gallup poll in June gave Netanyahu a four-point lead, 41-37. Just one poll, conducted by Mina Tzemach for Channel 1, showed the race essentially tied, with Rabin at 39% to Netanyahu’s 38%.

All subsequent polls prior to the assassination showed Netanyahu with a decisive lead, including polls by Gallup in July giving Netanyahu leads of 44.5-37.1 and 43-36.

On Sunday, the prime minister posted a video on Facebook with examples demonstrating that he had condemned incitement against Rabin.and lashed out at those who continue to assign responsibility of any kind to him for Rabin's murder.