THE FREEMAN CENTER
THE RAVIV PROTOCOL
Freeman Center military experts have examined the Raviv Protocol and find nothing in it that impacts negatively on Israeli security. We find exactly the opposite. We feel that Israel's democracy would be in grave danger if politicians and the GSS are allowed to coverup and suppress all evidence of unethical and anti-democratic behavior. Below is today's Jerusalem Post story on the suppression of this document. The Israeli Supreme Court justices saw fit to use a "security" excuse to ban what is obviously a matter of political censorship. This would seem to indicate that the plot to withhold the truth about the Rabin assassination has reached the highest levels of the Israeli judiciary.
Below you will find an English translation of the actual Raviv Protocol and that is followed by information on its significance.
At the Freeman Center we believe that democracy is served best by an informed electorate. Only a vigorous, free and uncensored press can provide a nation with an informed electorate capable of making wise decisions about its leadership.
....Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor
AN Unofficial Translation of the Document
Document dated June 16, 1996 File 403
Summary of a Meeting on the Swearing-In Ceremony of the Eyal Organization Meeting Date: May 2, 1996
In attendance: 1. Attorney-General Ben-Yair 2. Noam Solberg - Senior Assistant to the Attorney-General 3. Edna Arbel - State Attorney 4. Talia Sasson - Head of the anti-incitement unit of the State Attorney's office. 5. N. Ben-Or - Head of the Criminal Division in the State Attorney's Office 6. Leora Chavilio, Senior Assistant in the Jerusalem District Attorney's office. 7. Chezi Kallo - direct GSS handler of Avishai Raviv 8. G. Ben Ami - GSS official 9. Eli Barak - Head of the Jewish Division of the GSS after Carmi Gillon, and during the Ya'akov Perry era, head of Perry's office. 10. Ledor, Jerusalem District Attorney
Synopsis of deliberations on evidence 133/95 The swearing-in ceremony of the Eyal Organization, a document from 29.3.96 from Leora Chavilio; the summary report of the Eyal swearing-in ceremony; document from 5.2.96 from Y. Rodman
Attorney-General: We have all seen the videotape. Anyone who was there, on location, could have understood that this was not an authentic ceremony. Even the Shamgar Commission explicitly noted this in its report.
L. Chavilio: I didn't notice that the inauthentic sections were intentionally edited out of the video. I see a problem with issuing an indictment against the reporter.
A-G: Perhaps some disciplinary action can be taken against him?
C. Kallo: We are talking here about the handling of a problematic agent. The loss-benefit evaluation looks like this: He served as our agent for 8-9 years. Within this time period, he generally worked well, except for the last year. He transmitted to us thousands of pieces of information... During the last year, he lost control, and we were able to nip the problem in the bud. He underwent an initial investigation, and admitted [to his actions] We continued to employ him. As for the story of the videotape [of the staged Eyal swearing-in ceremony] - from our perspective, this is a most serious episode. Our officials deliberated on the matter, and decided that he was out of control and that it was impossible to permit him to continue operating...
But we established new rules of operation... and that he would undergo psychological examinations. It was made quite clear to him that we wouldn't continue along the same path, and that he would not receive immunity for crimes he committed. In hindsight now, if we had gone ahead and broken off our ties with him -maybe he would have given us the murderer [of Yitzchak Rabin].
A court case against him would essentially be a case against the General Security Services (GSS). We would have to reveal all of our rules operation, something that would cause serious operational damage. We have to remember that our opponents pose some serious threats today. During a trial, everything would come out into the open.
I don't remember any trial against a GSS agent that was conducted behind closed doors. Great
damage could be caused - revelation of operational strategies, etc.
N. Ben-Or: The attorney who represented Avishai Raviv will have a strong ideological bias, and it is possible that he would join forces with extremist elements, and that together, they would reveal secrets.
T. Sasson: They would do everything they could to reveal secrets.
G. Ben-Ami: As far as his criminal intentions are concerned: Did he intend to commit a crime? They suspected that Raviv was a GSS collaborator and he had to prove himself [to right-wing activists] He had to remove all their suspicions that he was an agent. Dorit Beinish gave approval for his activities next to Bar-Ilan University, to incriminate someone else who would then be caught. He had to protect himself. Any Defense Attorney will call Raviv to the witness stand.
E. Barak: Raviv was part of a violent group --- the fact is that they suspected him of being a GSS collaborator. He had to, at all times, prove that he was as "active" as them...
Ledor: We have to close the file "due to lack of public interest." An indictment [against Raviv] could seriously harm the GSS. We have to accept the GSS opinion on this. We close a lot of files in this manner, due to a "lack of public interest." The harm is clear - the trial would look crooked. Holding it "behind closed doors" just won't help.
Ben-Or: I am bothered by the criminal aspect of this - I am not sure that it won't end in a finding of "not guilty." Then we will be in a strange situation. This person was working in a problematic situation. His involvement in Eyal was illegal. They didn't allow him to bring television cameras. A police agent who is commissioned to 'buy' drugs is not allowed to smoke them himself, etc. When you're in the trenches, though, it's difficult, and sometimes [an agent] will "give himself permission" to break a law. Maybe he will argue the defense of "necessity," maybe the justification that he had to "earn the trust of those around him." I don't want to make a decision about his criminal culpability.
A-G: We see this as a serious matter. I don't dismiss the damage to the organization [the GSS]. Even the revelation of his code name caused great damage. But the additional damage is relatively insignificant, and we can make an effort to minimize it. It is possible to conduct proceedings behind closed doors. The case itself is very serious and there is a real public interest in filing criminal charges. This episode shocked television viewers and caused enormous damage, a virtual public storm! I just don't see how we can avoid beginning [criminal] proceedings.
Ben Ami: Another factor [that must be considered]: The GSS ability to hire agents, and the organization's handling of already existing agents. Our sources demand that the Service ensure that they will not be revealed. It will be hard [if Raviv goes to trial] to handle present agents and hire new ones.
A-G: Sec.(b)(1); The whole trial will take place behind closed doors. The Shamgar Commission was also held behind closed doors. It is possible.
Sasson: Let's assume that there is evidence. The television clip made an impression on me. We see from Chezi Kallo's words what kind of damage [such a trial] would cause to the GSS. I must work with the assumption that there would be such damage. We have to weigh the benefits [of bringing him to trial] against the losses. It has to be evaluated in cold [objective] terms.
E. Arbel: From the perspective of the Attorney-General and the State Attorney's office: It is impossible to evaluate the evidence when we know that what is available there does not give an accurate portrait of what went on. The man was an agent. We don't know what the true picture was at the time. We can't know the clear details of the situation until he gets up on the witness stand, and maybe he will say that he was operating according to the directions of the GSS. It is impossible to say whether there is or is not evidence against him. The file [swearing-in] was staged. The lines were not clearly demarcated for Avishai Raviv. What would have happened if he would have prevented the murder? With all the difficulties that this [decision] entails, I am not sure that we can accomplish our goal. With a heavy heart, I suggest we close the file [against him].
A-G: Section 4(a) - I don't see a problem with the evidence. I don't see any problems in terms of his criminal intent. It is impossible to close the case without public exposure.
Ledor: Some time ago, we put together a format that we could use for a situation in which we announce that a file is being closed.
Arbel: It is simpler to defend the closing of a file due to a lack of evidence; it is possible that he [Raviv] wanted to convince them that he was "one of them." I see a problem with this. And if there is a problem with the evidence, it is easier to explain things [to the public]. I don't have to wait and come to the Court for it to say all this. My desire is to issue an indictment, but the risk is so big. We can in fact explain this to the Supreme Court; it's possible to defend [such an approach].
E. Barak: In actual fact, during the entire time that Raviv served as an agent for us, there were many "incidents." He could very well testify about the [numerous] cases in which we gave him directions. The entire story of his service will be revealed, and there will be legal difficulties. Even after the [Eyal] television broadcast, they continued to employ him.
Sasson: A "lack of evidence" and a "lack of public interest" together constitute good reasons [for closing the file]
A-G: I don't want to be involved in closing the file. I won't get into explaining. In any case, we have to send a letter to the Israel Broadcast Authority in which we express our bad feelings at the video clip [the swearing in ceremony of Eyal]. We have to write something against [TV reporter] Eitan Oren. I can't be involved in this. Were I to be the only one to decide, I would issue an indictment. But, as I said, I don't want to be involved in this. I would like to request that the issue be transferred over to the State Attorney's office, that the State Attorney's office make a decision on this, and issue a statement to the plaintiffs
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS DOCUMENT
November 2, 1999
1. RAVIV DOCUMENT CENSORED ON-AIR
A "secret document" of a meeting of General Security Service and State Prosecution officials reveals that the two bodies made a "pact to hide"facts about GSS agent provocateur Avishai Raviv, according to MK MichaelEitan. It also shows that GSS agents, only a few months after theassassination, felt that "if we had cut off our connections with Raviv, maybe he would have turned the murderer over to us." Television talk show host Nissim Mishal, whose guest MK Eitan was about to reveal the contents of the document on air last night, suddenly received instructions from Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein that the document's disclosure would "endanger public security," and was forbidden. Arutz7 has learned that the document may be seen on the internet at <http://126.96.36.199/>
Both Mishal and Eitan reacted with surprise to the order, saying there was nothing secret about the document. Eitan said, "When you try to fight the GSS and the State Prosecution, they are just too strong - they control things in this country that not even the Prime Minister, or the government, or the Knesset, controls, and they ignore the public - they claim 'public security,' when it's really only their own internal issues." Eitan claims that Rubenstein is attempting to prevent the revelation of a pact between the GSS and the Prosecution to hide the fact that Raviv did not act on his own.
The document also quotes a GSS agent as telling the Attorney-General and the others at the meeting that a previous State Prosecutor had approved activity by Raviv at Bar Ilan University that would incriminate "someone else." The document shows that both the Prosecution and the GSS representatives were seeking ways to close the investigation against Raviv, while Attorney-General Rubenstein was against closing it.
Arutz-7's Haggai Segal notes that Rubenstein's action was fairly unprecedented. Segal said that when two GSS agents were imprisoned in Amman after the bungled assassination attempt of a Hamas leader, the head of the Mossad begged the press not to publicize the news in order not to hurt chances for a quick release - but Rubenstein did not intervene to order or ask the media to be silent.
2. MK EITAN ON THE DOCUMENT
MK Michael Eitan reacted with bitterness to the order blocking the publication of the document. He told Arutz-7 today, "Instead of answering my grave complaints about the fact that the Shabak and the StateProsecution made a pact and submitted false information to the government ministers, and concealed information from the government and the public - they accuse me of leaking classified information, so that I'll have to answer their charges, instead of them answering clearly my charges. For example, I claimed that when the head of the GSS came before the special security cabinet forum - which I convened when I was a government minister - to discuss indicting Raviv, the GSS head told us clearly that the GSS decided that it should not investigate him, and that the police found that Raviv knew nothing and was not involved in the assassination. But I tell you that this is totally misleading and false - the Shabak DID interrogate him, and the whole story was meant to mislead the ministers... They simply want to ensure that the story of Avishai Raviv not be made public... This document contains nothing that will harm state security... Do you have any doubt that Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein would trouble himself to call television stations and newspapers and threaten them if he thought that the document would not embarrass the Prosecution?!"
"The large picture," concluded Eitan, "is that this document shows that my long-time basic assumption is correct, that there is a pact between the GSS and the Prosecution to go above the levels responsible for them, and even above the law. They run things as if they are above every suspicion, and no one can ask or raise any doubts about them... How could it be that the newspapers are not rising up against threats by the Atty.-Gen. not to publish a document that has no bearing on state security! [The Prosecution] doesn't want it published because it will show how the two bodies work together to fool the government and the public, and they don't want it publicized because it's THEM. Civil rights of people have been trampled - trampled! And instead of punishing those who were guilty, and instead of leading the campaign to look out for civil rights, the Prosecution cooperated with them, became a rubber stamp, and became their partner."
MK Benny Elon said that the document shows how anxious the relevant bodies were to ensure that Avishai Raviv would not be tried, in order that he not take the witness stand: "They searched for excuses not to hold the trial, such as 'no public interest' and 'insufficient evidence,' and Rubenstein tried to disassociate himself from these ideas, and said that he doesn't want to be involved in closing the file."
TO OUR READERS ON THE RAVIV COVERUP
On November 3, 1999 our Freeman Center Broadcast published the Raviv Document. At the time it had been suppressed (censored) by the Israeli Justice Department with the consent of the Israeli Supreme Court on the grounds of "national security." We assured you that security was not an issue. Yesterday, the Israeli Supreme Court reversed its position and agreed with the Freeman Center that the document had been suppressed for purely political ends. Please read the details below.......Bernard J. Shapiro, Editor
Subj: Important -
Date: 11/11/1999 12:49:43 PM Central Standard Time
Dear Mr. Shapiro,
You might want to send out an announcement to your email list to the effect that today, The Israeli Supreme Court struck down Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein's gag order on the secret Avishai Raviv document! Judges Matza and Dorner harshly reprimanded the Attorney-General for claiming that "national security" prevented the publication of the document. For a full report on the issue, readers can check Arutz-7 news at our website.
ARUTZ-7 NEWS - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1999
PUBLICATION OF DOCUMENT
Calls continue to be heard for an official committee of inquiry into the workings of the General Security Service and/or the State Prosecution, following the publication yesterday of the heretofore-secret Raviv-Beinish document. Housing Minister Rabbi Yitzchak Levy (NRP) demands that the GSS be investigated for continuing to employ Avishai Raviv despite his activities. MK Tzvi Hendel called upon Prime Minister Barak yesterday to establish a public commission to look into the State Prosecution's role in approving Avishai Raviv's incitement against the right-wing with the purpose of "delegitimizing it and causing it to be reviled by the public."
In addition, popular calls for the resignation of Justice Dorit Beinish from the Supreme Court have been heard. Atty.-Gen. Elyakim Rubenstein, who was sharply criticized yesterday by the Supreme Court for his attempt to prevent the document's publication, issued a defense of Beinish, in light of the document's damaging impression about her. The no-longer secret protocol quotes a GSS agent as saying that because Raviv had to remove suspicions that he was a GSS agent, "Beinish approved activities by Raviv... and that he would cause someone else to be incriminated, who would be caught." Rubenstein explained last night that what actually happened was that Beinish had agreed to an urgent GSS request for Raviv to take an action that would incriminate one of the agency's operatives - with that operative's consent. It was noted, however, that the document says "another person,"and not "another operative," and that it nowhere implies that this was done with his consent.