PM Rabin killing 'written on wall', filmmaker Gitai says

Mon Sep 7, 2015 2:05pm EDT
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By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai says his film "Rabin: The Last Day", screened at the Venice Film Festival on Monday, won't end conspiracy theories about the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995

But it does show, he says, that there was a right-wing hate campaign against the late war hero and former general.

Rabin was excoriated by critics on the right for signing the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords that recognized the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and ceded limited control of parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

He and Shimon Peres - his then foreign minister and later Israel's president - knew they were targets, Gitai told Reuters at the festival, where his film is in competition for the top Lion d'Or prize to be awarded on Saturday.

"I think that we have to go back 20 years and see this political figure Rabin, just being elected, who from Day One of his re-election puts as his main issue to try to reconcile the conflict," Gitai said.

"He's obviously risking his life, because we know the end."

The film uses archival footage of a campaign rally by Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister who at that time was leader of the opposition Likud party, speaking from a balcony draped with a huge banner saying "Death to Arabs".

Rally participants hold up posters showing Rabin dressed like PLO leader Yasser Arafat in a traditional Arab keffiyeh headdress, or caricatured as a member of the Nazi Gestapo.   Continued...

Director Amos Gitai attends the red carpet event for the movie "Rabin, The Last Day" at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, northern Italy September 7, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini