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Photo: David Rubinger
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Photo: David Rubinger
Amnon Abramovich
Villain in a bottle: Rabin assassination conspiracy theories
Op-ed: A few days after Rabin's murder, conspiracy theories started springing up around us like mushrooms after the rain; some even claimed that Shimon Peres initiated the assassination; indeed, conspiracy theories make life more interesting, but at the end of the day, Rabin was murdered by a sole far-right, religious extremist; For the purpose of union and peace, we should all make an effort to tolerate the other and stand together against Rabin's murder—not for his legacy.

Conspiracy theories make life more interesting. Daily life is rather tedious and dull, as Macbeth says, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time." Schematic thinking breathes life into the humdrum day-to-day existence; it challenges our washed-out reality, whether out of faith, a desire to be original, or just for kicks. When the plot is attributed to strong or seemingly powerful bodies—politicians, security forces, police, prosecution, court system, media—it is reinvigorated by a generous power boost.

 

 

For the past 23 years, in the fall of every year, the same old debate transpires— who is behind Rabin's murder? Was the murder provoked by right-wing politicians, rabbis and settlers? When researchers of the Shamgar Commission (which examined possible solution to kidnappings of Israeli civilians or soldiers) asked Yigal Amir a simple and straightforward question— why did you murder Rabin? His answer was simple and straightforward: "to stop the political process!" Amir felt betrayed after the fact, he criticized his support base, his social and political surroundings. Everyone supported his ideas and thought Rabin should be killed, he said, and now, after it was done, they pretend and cry—they are all a bunch of hypocrites. The Shamgar Commission's report, Amir was quoted as saying: "If I did not have a back and hadn't had so many people backing me, I would not have acted."

 

Religious Zionism, which was in shock following Rabin's murder, held a national emergency conference under the title "preventing the radicalization process among youth", since then, the group changed its strategy from a defensive one to offensive, and its youth members became more extreme.

 

A few days after the murder, a media report claimed that Avishai Raviv was a Shin Bet agent who operated under the code name "Champagne."

 

The villain in the champagne bottle has been set free and is lingering around ever since.

 

 (Photo: Michael Kramer)
(Photo: Michael Kramer)
  

It became a heated point of debate— what was the role of "Champagne" in the assassination? Was he an accomplice? Did he print posters of Rabin dressed in SS uniform? Or just gave one to a reporter?

  

The Shamgar Commission determined that Raviv was a negligent free agent. Only this and nothing more— the classified part of the commission's report clearly states that he had nothing to do with the murder. Nevertheless, populist concerns, the prevention of lip service, and the need to calm right wing members finally led to Raviv's prosecution. He was acquitted of all charges.

 

This was an acquittal known in advance. And yet, the verdict did not convince two groups of people— right-wing extremists and conspiracy-theory zealots.

 

 (Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
  

One conspiracy theory claimed that Shimon Peres initiated the murder. It was so absurd that Peres was not insulted by this theory, and he was well versed in insults. He knew what to take to heart and what to fence off.

 

Peres was deeply offended by Amir's testimony: "Peres went down the stairs first, I could have shot him, but I did not target him because he was not Mr. Security, he had no authority, like Rabin had, to reinstate the territories."

 

For the purpose of unity, for peace, we should make a superhuman effort to tolerate the rulings of rabbis from the West Bank, including the Rodef ruling (a traditional Jewish law, in which one is "pursuing" another to murder him or her) and the Mesirah ruling ( the action in which one Jew reports the conduct of another Jew to a non-Rabbinic authority) Jewish laws, the Pulsa deNura (Kabbalistic death curse), the reckless arrogant speeches of right-wing politicians, among them Rabin's comrades, hectic demonstrations, inciting broadcasts and articles— like that of Benny Katzover, the Israeli champion of long-distance settlements, who wrote that Rabin and Peres should be put before a firing squad. For the purpose of union and peace… it might be worth it.

 

 (Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

Witch-hunting expeditions are usually not entirely fair. At the end of the day, Rabin was not murdered by right-wing activists, or by religious extremists, but by a sole far-right, religious extremist.

 

For this reason, the annual rally in his memory should be as inclusive as possible and incorporate all layers of Israeli society. Everyone who adheres to basic human principles, to the rules of the game, and to democracy must stand together against Rabin's murder, and not for his legacy.

 

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 11.04.18, 23:52
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