Of Rabin and Rodefs

“The ties that hold Israel together as a united society have long been in a tragic process of disintegration. What we have here is not a society but cells inimical to one another in a state of potential civil war. Israel will not be able to stand this way before an enemy or confront the difficult challenge of peace.” Professor Shlomo Ben-Ami

Yigal Amir, the unrepentant, fanatical right wing orthodox jew who murdered Rabin and is jailed for life, claimed justification of his act due to Rabin being defined a ‘rodef’ by several of his religious peers. However

Dayan Weiss (Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 8:148) notes that only responsible Jewish leadership (i.e. a recognized Beit Din) may determine that an individual constitutes a danger to the community and is classified as a Rodef.

One is tempted to wonder why Amir’s Shabak friend, Avishai Raviv, to whom he confided his plans, did not stop the assassination. If anyone would qualify as a rodef it would be Amir, given his murderous intentions. According to some sources, Raviv, the head of an ultra rightwing zealot organisation, Eyal, a tool of the General Security Service, incited Amir.

The classification of a forfeiter of land as a rodef states that “If a Jew gives up the land of other Jews to Goyim, and he persists in this, that is, he gives up the land of three or more Jews, he is a Rodef.”

Uri Dan, a journalist close to Ariel Sharon, wrote that witnesses heard Raviv tell Amir: “Be a man! Kill him already!”

Then GSS boss was Carmi Gillon, appointed personally by Rabin despite opposition from high-ranking security officials. Accused of human rights abuses during his GSS term, Gillon became mayor of the Jerusalem suburb Mevasseret Zion. After Rabin’s assassination, Nutanyahoo inherited the GSS position and the peace process de-materialised. What was Sharon up to at the time?

Why did the GSS foment crazed religious hatred toward Rabin?

Raviv, for those who might have forgotten, was the obedient General Security Service operative who was ordered to create violence-orientated rightist gangs, preferably kippa-wearing.

After successfully defending himself from implication in the assassination “on the grounds that he had just been doing his job and events had spun out of control”, Raviv has gone to ground.

From the New York Times, April 1999:

Once a high-profile fixture of militant opposition to peace deals with the Palestinians, he has been largely untraceable since Mr. Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, gunned down the Israeli Prime Minister in November 1995.

In 1999, Haaretz revealed that records involving Raviv were blacked out.

Justice Yaacov Turkel issued a gag order yesterday on the minutes of a secret discussion held in the office of Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein regarding former Shin Bet security service undercover agent Avishai Raviv.

The document in question is the minutes of a discussion held in May 1996 regarding what was called the “swearing-in ceremony” of the extreme-right Eyal group, organized by Raviv in the summer of 1995. Raviv is currently on trial in connection with his role in the group’s activities as well as on charges of not preventing a crime, in connection with the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The discussion was held in the office of then Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair, and was attended by the state attorney and other officials in the attorney’s office and the Shin Bet.


Raviv Prodded Amir to Kill Rabin

By Arutz-7

According to the classified chapters of the Shamgar report, GSS agent Avishai Raviv told Yigal Amir that Yitzchak Rabin falls into the classification of a “pursuer” who may be killed. According to the report, Raviv even prodded Amir to kill him, although Amir did not tell Raviv of his specific plans to do so.

The heretofore secret parts will not be released until Thursday — in accordance with a request by Labor Knesset faction head Raanan Cohen, who said that it would not be appropriate to release them on the official day of memorial for Rabin. Five of the seven pages that will be publicized deal with Raviv, and the others deal with the supervision by the prime minister over the GSS. Two other chapters, dealing with the performance of the GSS unit for protection of persons and the GSS relationship with the police, will remain classified.

Another conclusion gleaned from a perusal of the report is that the GSS had the police cancel the criminal files opened against Raviv during the eight years that he served as its agent. The report emphasizes that Raviv was not responsible for distributing the Rabin-SS picture, although he was the one who made sure to show it to a television reporter.

Guela Amir, A Mother’s Defense, published in George Magazine, March 1997, p. 138

The right wing conspiracy theory:

But according to an investigation by the Jerusalem Post, Raviv’s task involved much more than infiltration: His orders were to attract individuals to Eyal, incite them to illegal activities, and then inform on them to the Shin Bet.

One of the sources of this information was Rabbi Benny Elon, the dean of Yeshivat Beit Orot, a religious college, and son of a retired Supreme Court justice. Elon would later become a Knesset member in 1996. This prominent Jewish-settlement activist and leader of the right-wing group Moledet held a press conference and charged that Raviv had effectively manufactured the wild far Right. He was, in Elon’s words, an “agent provocateur,” carrying out a mission by the government to discredit the right-wing opposition, including, by association, the Likud. “I would venture to say,” Elon added, “that the whole organization [Eyal] and its activities, including the poster depicting Rabin in an SS uniform, were all paid for by the Shin Bet.” (The Shin Bet later denied the charge.) Elon went on to say, “There is a reasonable suspicion that [Raviv’s activity] was okayed by the legal authority.”

Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman

A racist, messianic rabbi is the ruler of Israel

The order came down: Lior was not to be arrested, tried or even seriously interrogated. The very belated and slight delay for an hour of questions relating to the book Torat Hamelech (The King’s Torah ) is therefore ridiculous. It’s even convenient for Lior. He’s responsible for more important and extreme books. Lior does not stop at incitement.

Nor does Lior stop at non-Jews. Leading rabbis have testified that Lior was the source of rulings labeling the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a “rodef” and a “moser” (a traitor who endangers Jewish lives ). Here, too, he didn’t stop at incitement. Rabin’s assassin used to travel to Hebron to see the rabbi. Baruch Goldstein (who massacred Arabs at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994 ) also visited King Lior for instruction. After he massacred dozens of people, the rabbi ruled that Goldstein was “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust.”

The government is taking action. Twenty-five senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, including its chairman and the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, ruled that a shocking deed had been done. How did they dare to investigate Rabbi Lior? Shocked, they demanded the full force of the law be used against Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, who is bringing down the State Prosecutor’s Office and the police.

And the ruler of the coalition? Upon returning as a victor from President Barack Obama, he went to Mercaz Harav. The featured speakers endorsed each other. And then the prime minister warmly thanked the rabbi who refuses to be investigated or to explain himself, as Lior and his disciples had given Netanyahu the strength to confront the American president. They are the elite commando unit leading the nation and paving the way, Netanyahu said.

Summer vacation begins today. Yesterday, most of the first graders who are defined in Israel as Jews were attending religious and ultra-Orthodox classes. Many of their educators receive a state salary to preach in the spirit of inflammatory and racist “Torat Hamelech.” There’s a reason why the “moderate” chief rabbis supported Lior.

It’s not a one-hour delay that Israel needs. Without dramatic change here, the government is making all of its laws illegal. As long as hesder yeshivas like Nir are not dismantled; as long as rabbis who identify with Rabbi Lior are not ousted from their jobs; as long as funding for the present religious education is not stopped; as long as Lior’s involvement in acts of murder, according to the testimony of the perpetrators, is not prosecuted, the country has no right to demand its citizens serve in the army or pay taxes. Until the change takes place, Israel is not a state.


Translation from Hebrew Haaretz Rabin was assassinated as an Israeli, not as a Jew

Salman Masalha

4 November 2012 4.08

As the years keep on passing, both the name and the memory continue to wane away. But the memory does not become duller by itself. There are those who have put in the effort to ensure that it does. Seventeen years have passed since that fateful Saturday, 4 November, in the square that then bore the name of the Kings of Israel.

The impact of the shock that hit the country was limited to producing a crop of memorial candles, which were lit everywhere but nothing more. So much emphasis was placed on establishing internal peace within Jewish society that no one saw the assassin and those who were behind him, or the victim. Everyone has been satisfied with commemorating Rabin by naming the square after him as well as well a street here and a building there.

Now, that the official ceremony, the national Memorial service, and all the speeches are well and truly over we can revert to calling the murder by its true name. Because fixing the date of the commemoration of the 12th day of Jewish month of Cheshvan, also has a substantial role in diminishing the significance of the murder.

We need to reiterate and remind those who trying to make sure the assassination’s memory is dimmed forget that Rabin was assassinated on 4 November. He was not murdered on the 12th of Cheshvan. In other words, the Israeli prime minister was assassinated as an Israeli. He was not murdered as a Jew. Only the murderer and his ideological dispatchers (who have remained behind the scenes) acted as Jews functioning under the Jewish order of the day.

In a society ruled by tribal codes, the individual has no value, even if he is the Prime Minister of the tribe. The value of the individual is measured by their ability to adopt the strict tribal codes and operate by them. Any violation of these codes could lead to an extreme response from those who view themselves as the tribe’s flag bearers and guards of honour.

The original Zionist sin during the creation of state was the way the ZIonist leaders, from the left to right, did not use their wisdom to differentiate between the Jewish religion and the Jewish state. Two decades later the Six Day War broke out, which in turn brought the Jewish tribe closer to places laden with religious and tribal values.

As the years went on the occupation, settlements were established and demography continued to chart its own course. The First Intifada prompted a change in Yitzhak Rabin’s point of view. In 1967 he had been the Chief-of-Staff of the Occupation. During the First intifada, as Defence Minister, he was busy taking charge of the breaking of the arms and legs of protesting Palestinians.

But belatedly, Rabin realised that the continued Occupation of another people, who continues to proliferate thus threatening the existence of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority, was creating a knot that would be too difficult to untangle. So he turned, however hesitantly, to the Oslo path.

But in order to reach his Zionist-Israeli destination Rabin crossed the red lines drawn by the Jewish tribe’s flag bearers. To form a government he relied on an Israeli majority in the Knesset. His government was propped by the so-called “Arab parties” who ensured his government survival. This act can be compared to waving a red flag at the swaggering bull of Jewish fundamentalism and Israel very existence as a “Jewish state.”

For this reason the Right levelled the racist accusation at him of not having a “Jewish majority” to carry out his policy. In response, he began a civil society discourse using the state-owned channel for the purpose. He tossed such terms as racism and Apartheid at the Right.

The tribe elders gathered and out of the past began to evoke such concepts as Din Moser [Halachic law relating to someone handing Jewish persons or property to non-Jewish authorities] Din Rodef [the law dealing with someone believed to be about to murder] and a host of other laws and ways to treat a son who has gone astray. Only one minor question remained open – Who would carry out the verdict.

The shots were fired by those who saw the Kings of Israel Square as the Shabbat Square, the Tribe’s Square [An alliteration in Hebrew.] In other words, Rabin was assassinated as an Israeli who relied on an Israeli majority. That is, for crossing the Jewish tribe’s red lines. He was murdered in an honour killing, for defiling the honour of the Jewish tribe.

The discourse which is centred on the concept of a “Jewish state” has deepened in recent years. It seems that as far as the Israeli Right is concerned the assassination continues to pay off.

Salman Masalha is a Druze-Israeli poet, writer, essayist and translator.

Hebrew original: http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/1.1856203

Translated by Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service, Melbourne Australia.