Avi Dichter
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Uproot all conspiracy theories

Rabin conspiracy theorists seek to promote hatred through their lies

Saturday night, the fourth of November, 1995. The report I received in my capacity as the Shin Bet’s southern district chief was brief, sharp, and stunning: “The prime minister was shot, hurt, and is being rushed to Ichilov Hospital.” The information about Islamic Jihad’s intention to carry out a high-profile terror attack was the first possibility that came to mind. Yet the update arrived within minutes: “The shooter was nabbed; he’s Jewish.”


The perception whereby a Jew will not hurt our prime minister collapsed at once. My mind was thinking about possible scenarios in the south, in Gaza, yet my heart was looking to the north, to the hospital where Yitzhak Rabin was fighting for his life, and for ours.


Gaza is quiet, our field people reported. Meanwhile, bits and pieces of information were arriving from the hospital, before being confirmed by Rabin’s right hand man, Eitan Haber: “The State of Israel announces…”


Forty seven years after its establishment, the State of Israel faced one of its toughest tests, and possibly the toughest of all. How do we prevent a society created through great patchwork from collapsing? How do we act cautiously in respect to leveling accusations at all directions at a time where the ground is fertile for more recklessness?


The man who was supposed to be assigned with the toughest security arrangements in Israel was murdered in a horrifically simple manner. The breaches in the security ring were incomprehensible to laymen, let alone professionals. The assassination was not carried out by a long-distance sniper or a suicide bomber, but simply by a murderer armed with a handgun who walked among the security personnel undisturbed.


The ease with which the assassination was carried out prompted many to look for hidden and complex explanations. The operative failure was exploited as a basis for conspiratorial turmoil. Many sought an additional and more significant motive that will “put some order” into this highly traumatic incident.


Rightist, leftist nutcases step in 

And so, any trace of information, whether accurate of baseless, was enlisted to the cause, ranging from the “dummy bullet, dummy bullet!” calls to the rumors regarding the “planted” photographer who documented the murder. Amateur detectives relied on false accounts in order to promote various and mostly bizarre scenarios.


Subsequently, nutcases on the Right and Left dove headfirst into this cauldron, which they viewed as an opportunity to promote delusional worldviews that in normal days would enjoy no resonance. Claims made by radical rightists and leftists arguing that Shin Bet officials joined forces in order to create an assassination scenario in the aims of curbing the Oslo process constitute an absolute folly at best, and incitement to rebellion at worst.


The public prefers to see a story where all loose ends are tied. The facts that were published were too simple, ranging from the killer’s background to the act itself. And so, we were given the whole story, but one that is depressingly simple. Leftist and rightist Israel-haters then stepped in and reinforced the existing puzzle with imaginary information laced with political and radical poison.


We must uproot the conspiracy theories so that they will no longer emerge in the future. We must do so mostly for the generations that did not witness the murder and today are learning about it and being exposed to it via false and tendentious information at marginal websites.


Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by an evil man who sought to murder an idea, cut off a path, and thought he is a messiah or at least his emissary. Our duty is to guarantee that this despicable murderer rots in jail until his last day and that he and his supporters know that he did not murder an idea or cut off a path.


Meanwhile, the various conspiracy theorists should be viewed not only as people who desecrate Rabin’s memory, but also as seeking to sow needless hatred within the nation and undermine Israel’s security agencies.


Knesset Member Avi Dichter was appointed to head the Shin Bet’s security chief in the wake of Rabin’s assassination


פרסום ראשון: 11.05.09, 09:35
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