Every one knows who Yitzhak Rabin was, but not every one knows who Avishai Raviv is.
Going back in time, we recall the tragic assassination of then Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin, who according to opinion polls at the time, was losing credibility with his peace process due to the increase of Arab terrorist actions and in view of the many well attended demonstrations from the political right. Rabin made his own peace demonstration in Tel Aviv to bolster his falling image and to counter the political gains of the right.
As we know, as he left his pro-peace demonstration, he was shot by a young kippa (religious headcovering) wearing man by the name of Yigal Amir. Rabin died shortly after the shooting. The Israeli press instantly went into hysteria accusing the religious political right of being responsible. The nation's police force quickly rounded up many Rabbis and accused them of making speeches branding Rabin as a "rodef" (a person who is trying to kill another and according to Jewish law should be killed himself). The nation's press played up the theme that the religious in this country (and abroad) were too fanatic and must be stopped. A full-fledged witch-hunt was soon begun with the theme being that the religious are no good and Rabbis must be imprisoned together with the irresponsible leaders of the right.
The idealistic settlers, who as the behest of the many previous governments, settled the dangerous and hilly mountain slopes of Judea and Samaria, were branded as extreme and unwanted individuals. Free expression of opinion was reduced to that of the Stalinist era in Russia. Phones were tapped, letters were mysteriously opened and read by government agents, and the country was reduced to a terrorist state. All verbal opposition to the government was squashed and silenced. No one dared offer a criticism of Rabin, his policies or the government actions.
The right was thoroughly discredited throughout the media. The religious men subject to nasty comments comparing them to leeches and murderers. The political left lost no time in using the assassination to gain support and to further discredit the right blaming them fully for the tragic murder. The newspapers demanded that the Rabbis who influenced Yigal Amir to believe that Rabin must be stopped and that he was a "rodef", must be tried as accomplices. Hundreds of Rabbis and thousands of religious men and women were brought in to undergo torturous questioning as to who called Rabin a "rodef". The press was in full heat, calling for a full investigation of the conspiracy of the Rabbis.
To which fringe group did Amir belong? That became the new war cry! We must indite those irresponsible young (and old) fanatics! Then it became known that Amir, who attended the religious Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, was a member of an extremist group called Eyal. The newspapers/television/radio media were now into a hot story. A fanatic religious political right extremist group! Who were the members of Eyal? Who was their leader that goaded Amir?
The news came out! The leader of Eyal was Avishai Raviv. Let him share the murderous fate of Amir! But, the media wanted more, who was Avishai Raviv? Ah, well, at first the information was denied, but it slowly came out - he has a connection with the government. Not just a government employee, but an agent working for the GSS, the secret Government Security Services. At this point all information became stifled. Suddenly, as quick as the heat was turned on by the press, it was turned off.
The newspapers began focusing on other issues. The GSS, we were told, will investigate this matter thoroughly. A full report will be forthcoming. A full report never came - only some lies and some covering up. First Raviv was described as an informant, but not working for the GSS, that's all. But independent investigation proved that to be a lie. Then it was admitted that he was an agent, who did work for the GSS, but he was only to tell what he had heard.
The T-shirt distibuted by Raviv showing Rabin as a Nazi.
In the meantime, it became known that Raviv was not a mere agent, he was a government hired and paid provocateur. Raviv's assignment was to make the right look bad in the eyes of the middle ground voters. This was to be accomplished by having the right do extreme tactics, which would be repelled by the middle ground voters.
Raviv at a anti-peace rally.
Some of the tactics included beating up innocent Arabs, burning Arab vehicles, spraying walls with violent anti Rabin slogans. Raviv even distributed a photo of Rabin as a Nazi, which of course infuriated the press and the middle ground voters. He further infuriated the middle ground voters by toasting Baruch Goldstien, the man who murdered some thirty Arabs in Hebron.
Raviv was the head of Eyal, the group to which Amir belonged. The extremist group, Eyal, which was set up on the campus of Bar Ilan University, was instigated and funded by the GSS. Raviv who had a very close relation with Amir, goaded Amir, telling him that he is a coward and has not the courage to kill him. In a party which was attended by several girls, (witness testimony was given to the Shamgar commission report yet was never acted upon) Raviv prodded Amir to kill Rabin.
Raviv posing with a gun.
Up to here, my dear reader, is absolute fact. From here on is the theory.
It is strongly felt here in Israel, by independent news sources and many members of the public, that Amir was set up by not just Raviv, but also the GSS to stage an assassination attempt on Rabin. It was felt that that, and only that, could bring the sentiments of the people back to the side of Rabin. The scapegoat, Amir, was unknowingly given a gun with blanks. (As is known that someone yelled at the time of the shooting, "Blanks, blanks". He was to have shot Rabin with this gun. Rabin was to have escaped the shooting unscathed. The left would be discredited. Public opinion would come back to Rabin.
Somewhere, the blank bullets in the gun were switched for real ones. Amir who was psyched by Raviv (and the GSS) to assassinate Rabin really did it.
Yet, there is something greater that is wrong here. There is a principle of free speech, together with our knowing how much the government was involved with the manipulation of the opinion making instuments (i.e. the media) which are supposed to be independent. There is something which smells from the Israeli Government's closet of secrecy. Amir was tried without bringing Raviv to court. Raviv is a free man. The government keeps pushing off any investigation into his connection with the GSS and perhaps even Rabin's own knowledge that an assassination attempt was to take place.
Even worse, my dear reader, unlike every free country, the press, the radio, and the boob tube, are not interested in the story. Perhaps they are only interested in slandering the innocent right and religious. Perhaps they are afraid of the GSS.
What part did the Israeli government have in Rabin's murder? Why has no real information come out from the government to clear up the involvment of the GSS? What is the Israeli government hiding from us?
But you can help. Talk it up. Inquire about the case. Don't let it die. Truth is not just a gentile concept, but also a Jewish one.
from the January 2000 Edition of the Jewish Magazine