Arab Leaders Set Aside Politics, Pay Respects
IN the past, Arab leaders have refused to come to Jerusalem for fear that a visit would imply recognition of Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital. Palestinians want east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, as a future capital.
But King Hussein of Jordan and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt put aside those political differences yesterday to attend the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was the Arab leaders' first visit to Jerusalem since it came under Israeli rule.
More than 40 world leaders, including President Clinton, came for the funeral. Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat did not attend; an aide said he wanted to avoid security problems for Israel.
Visiting the disputed city, a politically risky move at home, was a powerful gesture recognizing the slain prime minister's efforts to make peace with the Arab world.
An emotional King Hussein delivered a eulogy mourning ''the loss of a brother, a colleague, and a friend. You lived as a soldier, you died as a soldier for peace,'' he said. ''I believe it is time for all of us to come out openly and to speak out for peace. Not here today, but for all times to come. We belong to the camp of peace. We believe in peace.''
Mr. Mubarak called Rabin a ''fallen hero of peace,'' adding: ''The best memorial to Yitzhak Rabin is to continue what he started, which is the peace process.''