Thursday, October 19, 2006

"WHO MURDERED YITZHAK RABIN?" Chapter Two: Provoking Amir to Murder


Chapter Two: Provoking Amir to Murder

copyright (c) 1998, 2006, by Mr. Barry Chamish

R&B Editor's Notes:

Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?: The Root & Branch Information Services is serializing the book Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?, by Mr. Barry Chamish, with permission of the author, to commemorate the upcoming eleventh anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (November 4, 1995 -- November 4, 2006).

The Bible Says:

"How is the faithful city [Jerusalem] become a harlot. She that was full of justice, righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. Your silver is become dross, your wine is mixed with water. Your princes are rebellious and companions of thieves; every one loves bribes, and follows after rewards; they judge not the fatherless, neither does the cause of the widow come to them.

Therefore, says the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: Ah, I will ease Me of My adversaries, and avenge Me of My enemies; and I will turn My hand upon you, and purge away your dross as with lye, and will take away all your allow; and I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors as at the beginning; afterward you [Jerusalem] shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they who return of her with righteousness.

But the destruction of the transgressors and the sinners shall be together, and they who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. For they shall be ashamed of the terebinths which you have desired, and you shall be confounded for the garden that you have chosen. For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades, and as a garden that has no water. And the strong shall be as tow, and his work as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them".

[Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:21-31]

YERUSHALIYIM, Israelite Tribal Territories of Judah and Benjamin, Kingdom of David and Solomon, United Israelite Kingdom of Judah and Joseph, Yom Chamishi, Day 27, Seventh Month ("Tishrei"), 5767 ("Thurs"-day, October 19, 2006), Root & Branch Information Services [] []:

Chapter Two: Provoking Amir to Murder

Numerous witnesses saw Avishai Raviv provoke Yigal Amir into [allegedly] assassinating Yitzhak Rabin. Raviv utilized a long campaign of psychological pressure on Amir and Amir alone. He did not concentrate his efforts on any other Eyal activist. Amir was chosen for the task and for good reason. Not many people are capable of murder even if prodded relentlessly into it. Somehow, Raviv knew Amir was the only fit candidate for the job.

Yigal Amir spent the spring and summer of 1992 in Riga, Latvia on assignment from the Liaison Department of the Prime Minister's Office, usually called Nativ. In one of the greatest ironies of the assassination drama, it was Prime Minister Rabin who was ultimately responsible for assigning Amir to the Riga post. Or to put it another way, Amir was an employee of the man he was blamed for murdering.

Yet there was an even greater irony. Acting on reports from the State Comptroller of massive financial corruption, Rabin was preparing to shut down Nativ. Some have considered this a motive for the murder. An early, and false, excuse of the Shabak to explain how Amir was let into the sterile area was that he presented government credentials in the form of his Nativ identity card.

Nativ was and is a nest of spies. Founded in the early 1950s as a liaison between Israel and Jews trapped behind the Iron Curtain, over the years, according to Ha'aretz (November, 1995), "It had developed its own independent intelligence and operational agenda".

A hint of what that means was revealed in June, 1996, when the Russian government arrested, and then expelled, a Nativ worker named "Daniel" for illegally acquiring classified satellite photos. Indignant, the Russians threatened to close all of Israel's immigration offices in the country. The indignation was renewed in January, 1997, when "Daniel" was appointed Nativ's head of intelligence.

Another source of indignation is the fact that Nativ has been granting visas to Israel for major criminals including members of the Russian mafia and a former president of the Ukraine who escaped to Tel Aviv with $60 million stolen from his country's treasury. The escape occurred barely five months after a meeting with Police Minister Moshe Shahal, and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, in Kiev.

Within days of the assassination, the government went on full tilt to explain away Amir's Riga sojourn. First, the government admitted that Amir was a Hebrew teacher there for five months. But since he had no teacher's degree, nor spoke Latvian, the story didn't wash. So Police Minister Moshe Shahal explained that Amir was a security guard there for only three months.

That explanation had its drawbacks, as elaborated by Alex Fishman in Yediot Ahronot, who wrote, "As a guard [Amir] he was trained by the Shabak in techniques and weaponry, training he used to deadly effect on that miserable Saturday night in Tel Aviv".

The government clearly didn't like Amir's Shabak ties speculated upon, so Aliza Goren, the spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's Office, told reporters, "Amir was never in Riga and anyone who reports that he was is being totally irresponsible".

That ploy fell to bits when the B.B.C.'s Panorama program interviewed Amir's family and filmed his passport. Stamped within was a bold C.C.C.P. Goren had lied and by implication was guilty of covering up a fact the government clearly did not want known.

Speculation was rife by the beginning of 1996 that Amir was on an intelligence mission on behalf of the Prime Minister's Office in Riga. So Israel Television's Channel One broadcast a long interview with Moshe Levanon, the former head of Nativ. He insisted that his organization had no intelligence ties and then presented a series of photos illustrating his work. Included was one of him standing with former C.I.A. Director George Bush, apparently in Russia.

Amir was in Riga for a reason, and the mild-mannered soldier returned in the fall of 1992 with a changed personality. He was now Amir, the campus radical of Bar Ilan University. Something happened in Riga to alter his mind set. But whatever it was, Amir was still not quite capable of murder. Avishai Raviv had his job set out to exploit Amir's psychological weaknesses and transform him into a political assassin.

Ma'ariv, November 9, 1996

"'It was said amongst us that Rabin was a persecutor and could be sentenced to die according to biblical precepts', related Avishai Raviv at his hearing yesterday".


Ma'ariv, November 10, 1995

"An Eyal poster on Bar Ilan campus showed a photo of Rabin covered in blood. Interested students were asked to phone Raviv's beeper number for more information".


Ma'ariv, December 12, 1995

"'Several times I heard from Yigal Amir that he intended to hurt the prime minister, but I didn't take it seriously', Avishai Raviv testified to the Shamgar Commission".

Behind closed doors, Raviv testified that he once had a discussion with Amir about bullets for the gun. One implication of this testimony is that Raviv may have supplied Amir with what he thought were blank bullets.

Ma'ariv, November 26, 1995

"According to Sarah Eliash, a school teacher working at the Shomron Girls Seminary, some of her pupils heard Raviv encourage Amir to murder Rabin. Raviv told Amir, 'Show us you're a man. Do it'".


Yediot Ahronot, December 11, 1995

"One of the pupils said Raviv called a few government members 'monsters' and added that it was necessary to blow up the whole government to get rid of the 'persecutors'".

Another pupil told how Raviv used quotes from biblical commentary to prove the need to kill Rabin.

Uri Dan and Dennis Eisenberg, writing for The Jerusalem Post, elaborated on the girls' later testimony behind closed doors at the Shamgar Commission:

"Sarah Eliash had already appeared voluntarily before the commission and related how her pupils had run to see her on the night of the killing. In tears they said they knew Yigal Amir. They had met both Amir and Avishair Raviv, the General Security Services (G.S.S.) [Shabak] agent, at the settlement of Barkan last summer. 'We used to see Raviv and Amir on Saturdays during last summer', they related.

"These gatherings were arranged by Yigal...Raviv was real macho. He kept saying to Yigal: 'You keep talking about killing Rabin. Why don't you do it! Are you frightened? You say you want to do it. Show us that you're a man. Show us what you're made of'".

The other girls present corroborated the evidence. How did Amir react to the goading by Raviv? All replied in roughly the same way:

"He didn't react. He just sat there and said nothing or changed the subject".

Geula Amir, Yigal's mother, "writes" in the February, 1997 George Magazine (her piece was actually ghost-written by two Jerusalem-based journalists):

"According to Yigal's friends and others who have since testified in court, Raviv seemed to be obsessed with one topic: killing Rabin. He and Yigal frequently engaged in discussions about the feasibility of the assassination...Several young women said that they recognized Yigal and Raviv from a Sabbath retreat. The girls told their teacher, Sarah Eliash, that Raviv had denounced several Rabin government officials as 'traitors'. During several marathon ideological discussions that weekend, Raviv had attempted to goad Yigal into killing Rabin, ridiculing his cowardice for not being willing to kill a 'traitor'".

Eran Agelbo, testifying as a witness for the defense at Yigal's trial, revealed that Raviv had said that Rabin was a "Rodef" -- the Hebrew term for someone who endangers others and therefore should be killed. Agelbo also maintained that Raviv had verbally pressured Yigal to attempt an assassination of Rabin.

"Raviv told Yigal and others that there was a judgment on Yitzhak Rabin. He said, 'Rabin should die and whoever killed him was a righteous person'. Raviv had a powerful influence on Yigal. He continuously emphasized to him and other students that whoever implemented the judgment against Rabin was carrying out a holy mission".

Nice talk from a Shabak agent -- and so much for Raviv and other Shabak officers' claims that Amir came up with the idea to kill Rabin all by himself. To acquire original testimony I phoned one of Sarah Eliash's pupils. She began talking to me in Hebrew, but the phone was taken from her by her American-born father. A twenty-minute discussion took place, extracts of which follow:

Father: " not willing to talk to you, do you understand? She has nothing to say".

Chamish: "We'll never get to the truth if she doesn't".

Father: "Find someone else if you can. I'm not willing to let anything happen to my daughter. You have to understand that, don't you? You don't know what's going on. They promised her if she testified that nothing would happen afterward, no arrests or threats. They lied. She can't talk to you and that's that".

Chamish: "What about her civil duty? What kind of a country will it be if everyone lets criminals off?"

Father: "I used to think like that. This is no democracy. You don't know what it is. When I came here I thought it was to be free as a Jew. Now I just want to avoid getting in trouble. I can't tell you what they said they'd do to her if she talked anymore".

In total, a dozen people testified to seeing Raviv prod Amir into killing Rabin. But that was not the sum total of his involvement. There was another function to be taken care of after Amir "shot" Rabin. Arieh Oranj told me,

"Our plan was to go to Gaza to participate in another demonstration to counterbalance the one in Tel Aviv. But at the last minute he [Raviv] changed his mind and led us to the Tel Aviv rally. Not two minutes after the shooting, Raviv told us, 'Do you know who did it? Yigal Amir".

Ma'ariv, November 10, 1995

"Last Saturday night, minutes after Prime Minister Rabin was shot and well before the killer was identified, Avishair Raviv, head of Eyal, already announced that the assassin was Yigal Amir".

Immediately after the shooting, several reporters received messages on their beepers proclaiming that "Eyal takes responsibility for the deed". Minutes after the shooting, an unknown group called Jewish Vengeance called dozens of reporters leaving the message:

"We missed this time but next time we'll get him".

After Rabin's death was announced, the same group left a followup message for the same reporters, taking responsibility for the murder. Clearly, the message leaver -- most likely Raviv -- originally thought Amir was supposed to miss Rabin and was caught off guard when it turned out that Rabin was assassinated.

Ma'ariv, November 19, 1995

"As recalled, minutes after the assassination, before any reporter even knew Rabin's condition, Avishai Raviv, head of Eyal, passed on the identity of the killer. Thinking that it was a mere assassination attempt, he anonymously passed on his 'We Missed' but we'll get him next time message".

Moments later he told a Ma'ariv reporter, "We have no connection to this act. This is not our type of operation". Despite the denial, he gave out details about Yigal Amir including his exact name, that he was a student at Bar Ilan, and his army record.

Dan and Eisenberg interviewing an unnamed Shabak official:

"If this wasn't a deliberate set up", we asked, "what is? How do you react to the evidence of the bystander who heard Raviv talk to someone on his mobile phone at the peace rally and announce that it was Amir who had shot Rabin -- 40 minutes before Amir's identity was released on TV and radio?

"Of course the Shabak official didn't react. He said the testimony was unproven. What else could he say? If the testimony of so many people is true, then Avishai Raviv knew ahead of time that Amir was going to murder Rabin. And unless he kept this fact from his superiors, so did his officers in the unit he worked for, the Jewish Department of the Shabak, who had to have informed their superior, the head of the Shabak, Carmi Gillon.

"If Raviv genuinely withheld his prior knowledge of Amir's intentions, then he is an accessory to murder, if not an actual accomplice. However, no one in the Shabak, police or government is treating him that way. He has not been charged with any crime and has been hidden away in jobs aiding autistic children".

Raviv's activities on the night of the assassination strongly suggest that he thought Amir was not actually going to succeed in killing Rabin. His duty was to accept responsibility for the attempted murder on behalf of Eyal and Jewish Vengeance and thus to link the murderer to a radical, right wing religious organization. Thus, he had no compunctions about bragging to everyone within listening distance that Amir was the shooter, 40 minutes before anyone in the media knew his identity.

But Raviv, like many other Shabak agents, was double-crossed. The supposedly benign and justifiable plan to have Amir caught in the act to promote the "peace" process had turned into a murder they didn't expect. Obviously caught unaware, Raviv corrected his first telephoned press announcements after Rabin's death became official.

After that, he [Raviv], like many other Shabak agents, police officers and Rabin associates in the government became part of a murder coverup. They had no choice. They had all willingly conspired to keep "peace" alive by blaming the opposing camp for an assassination attempt. This was a crime that would end careers, smear reputations and land long term prison terms. And if that wasn't frightening enough, there was always the knowledge that murderers have no compunction about killing twice.

Shabbat Shalom from Modi'in,
Mr. Barry Chamish