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Conspiracy Theories Grow Over Killing of Israeli Leader

Report connects an Israeli agent to the 1995 murder of Prime Minister Rabin.

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Israelis preparing to observe an official day of mourning Nov. 12 for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, shot two years ago at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, seem equally preoccupied with unearthing details about the assassination, which shook this nation like no other event in its short history.

In addition to memorial ceremonies, the government releases Nov. 12 previously unpublished findings of a commission that investigated the Nov. 4, 1995, assassination. According to Israeli media reports, government officials who have read the Shamgar Commission report say the document reveals that an agent of the government security service, Shin Bet, urged the killer to shoot Mr. Rabin.

The aftermath of the Rabin assassination has been filled with more recrimination than reconciliation. The left wing, which cheered Rabin's move to trade land for peace with the Palestinians, blamed the right for staging endless, hateful protests in which Rabin was called a traitor and compared to a Nazi.

But now, the climate of blame seems likely to reach new heights as people who have been propagating conspiracy theories since Rabin's death have more fodder for arguments that the Nobel Peace Prize-winner was the victim of a government plot.

In fact, it is the conspiracy theorists who have pushed the Rabin investigation to the fore. Until two weeks ago, they were little more than fringe pamphleteers who made the lecture circuit in far right-wing circles. That was until the country became captivated by the suggestion that a government plot may be more than wild imaginings.

It started when Hatzofeh, a right-wing newspaper, ran a story on the eve of the anniversary highlighting a conspiracy theory being propagated on the Internet by a man named Uzi Barkan.


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