Amid growing controversy over the handling of the
investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister
Yitzchak Rabin, Rabin's children, Yuval Rabin and MK Dalia
Rabin-Pelossof (Center Party), are calling for a new probe
into the circumstances surrounding their father's death. The
call came as the state was busy fighting a seemingly hopeless
struggle to prevent certain aspects of the case from being
released to the public.
Also, in a civil action brought against the State for libel,
Mayor Tzvi Katzover of Kiryat Arba asked some very pointed
questions. The suit is in preliminary stages, and the State
has asked that it be dismissed. Katzover says that the State
and its agent Avishai Raviv caused anguish and suffering to
Jews and Arabs alike due to the lies that they spread.
Perhaps the central question posed by Katzover is: What was
the point of the whole "Champagne" project that extended over
many years, cost a lot of money, caused anguish to so many
Jews and Arabs, and libeled the residents of Kiryat Arba and
Hebron, if in his apparent main task Raviv failed in that he
did not prevent the murder of the Prime Minister?
Meir Shamgar, the retired judge who headed the commission
which investigated the murder, said in an interview on Army
Radio that he was not opposed to clarifying the details of
the case which are still unclear to the family.
Shamgar discussed the principal unresolved question: the
meaning of the shouts of "Blanks, blanks" as Rabin was shot,
calling it "truly one of the points which have remained
unclarified," and claimed that the question "haunts all three
of [the commission members]."
In response to the public calls, Prime Minister Ehud Barak
expressed full confidence in the Shamgar Commission's
investigation into the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
Barak also said he will allow ministers to view the top-
secret classified sections of the Shamgar Commission's
report, which deal with Shin Bet operational procedures,
including the employment of Avishai Raviv, an undercover
agent who worked for the security service as an informer on
the extreme right wing.
Barak added that if Rabin's family -- or anyone else --
wished to investigate the committee's findings, then their
request would be passed on to Attorney General Elyakim
Rubinstein, who would then determine a further investigation
An order issued by Justice Yaakov Turkel banning the
publication of a document containing the minutes of a 1996
conversation between the state attorney, senior attorneys,
and General Security Service representatives, came to naught
after the document appeared on the Internet a day later. In a
highly unusual move, the order not to publish the document
was received by a television program during the course of its
The conversation dealt with the 1995 videotape of the
"swearing-in ceremony" of the Eyal organization, which was
led by GSS agent-provocateur Avishai Raviv. It was eventually
revealed that the entire ceremony was staged for the press by
Avishai Raviv, the GSS agent. Later the Eyal organization
with its bizarre initiation rite was held up as an example of
the extreme right-wing opposition to the government.
MK Benny Elon (National Union) has called upon Supreme Court
Justice Dorit Beinish to suspend herself from the Court until
her role in the provocative activation of GSS agent Avishai
Raviv is clarified. Specifically Beinish, who was then State
Prosecutor, is said to be the one who gave approval for the
Shabak to activate Raviv and also closed many police files
Regarding the secret Raviv document, Elon said, "The GSS was
behind the [fake] Eyal organization, which [falsely] took
responsibility for the murder of Arabs in Halhoul. At the
time, this led to a giant wave of condemnations against the
Jewish settlers, beginning with the [Rabin] government, and
including even American-Jewish organizations.
"As someone who fights for civil rights, I ask: Shouldn't
this be investigated? Shouldn't someone pay the price for
this? Shouldn't there be an apology?
"And what about the State Prosecution? Instead of looking out
for basic civil rights, they are engaged in whitewashing and
in looking out for themselves. This culture of lies is simply
Attorney Shmuel Casper said that Israelis must be reassured
that the agencies charged with ensuring law and justice in
the nation are in fact not trampling the judicial process.
He said that the current "secret Raviv document" confirms his
earlier suspicions that the GSS was engaging in provocations
aimed at implicating otherwise innocent people.
"We had long thought that this was happening, based on the
criminal files that we handle originating in Judea and
Samaria . . . Now we have seen, with our own eyes, that this
is in fact the case."
Meanwhile, Leah Rabin said that she also has many question
marks about the assassination of her late husband. She stated
she would not oppose the reopening of the investigation into
her husband's murder, and that she respects her children's
desire to reopen the investigation of the murder.
Extreme right-wing groups, who claim Rabin was killed as a
result of a conspiracy involving the GSS, hailed Rabin-
But Rabin-Pelosoff said her doubts do not legitimize the
conspiracy theorists. "They don't need me to air their ideas
and I repeat that I utterly rejected and continue to reject
the conspiracy theories," she said. "There are lots of holes
and mistakes in the facts they present."
In her La'isha interview, Rabin-Pelosoff listed the
aspects of the assassination which trouble her and which, she
believes, the Shamgar Commission of Inquiry failed to answer.
"We all have the feeling that they put a lid on the story by
saying it was a foul-up," she said. "That's too simple.
"There are many [unanswered] questions regarding the night of
the murder. For example, someone shouted [that the bullets
fired by Yigal Amir were] `blanks' and there is no answer as
to who it was."
Rabin-Pelosoff rejected the suggestion that the blanks story
might have been based on a false rumor. "My mother heard the
shouts with absolute certainty," said Rabin-Pelosoff. "She
called me at home immediately after the shooting and said,
`They shot Daddy, but it wasn't real.' "
She added that her mother was not the only one who heard the
shouts: "When the security men took her in a separate car to
the hospital, they told her the bullets weren't real. And
when she asked questions, they hushed her up and didn't reply
to a single one.
"There are many questions about what happened immediately
after the killing: Why didn't they let my mother travel in
the car with my father? Why did they take my mother from the
murder scene? Why did they want to whisk her away as quickly
"Why did they tell her it was an exercise? An `exercise,'
really! And what about the oh-so-vital instincts of the
security men? Why didn't they shoot the killer immediately?
How come they didn't open fire?"
Conspiracy theorists claim that the commission did not
explain the discrepancy between the report by Chief Coroner
Yehuda Hiss that Rabin had been struck in the back by two
bullets and the report of the doctor who allegedly received
the prime minister when he was rushed to Tel Aviv's Ichilov
The physician reportedly wrote that Rabin had also been
struck by a third bullet in the chest and was suffering
According to Shamgar, however, Dr. Barabash, head of Ichilov
at the time, and Hiss, both of whom testified before the
commission, presented identical reports saying that Rabin had
been struck by two bullets in the back.