Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of May 22, 1997
(May 22) - Incitement, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. Last week's purportedly objective TV documentary financed by David Mosevics and directed by Michael Karpin harped constantly on one theme: that right-wing provocateurs, influenced by Binyamin Netanyahu, then leader of the opposition, created the climate for Yigal Amir to murder Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995.
About the role of Rabin himself and his administration, there was nothing.
Yet hours before the assassination, Rabin was fulminating against Netanyahu and the entire national camp, accusing them of disseminating the "betrayer, murderer" slogans hurled at the premier every time he appeared in public. Even before this, as Rabin's popularity sank ever lower in the polls, he and his ministers were calling Likud leaders collaborators with Hamas, whose suicide bombers killed some 200 Israelis during that period.
In a bid to drive home the wickedness of the right-wing fanatics, Rabin said that although he personally was not bothered, they upset his wife Leah when they screamed their taunts on Friday afternoons outside the couple's Ramat Aviv apartment. A reasonable enough complaint - except that the leader of those screaming banshees who gave Leah Rabin such a headache on Sabbath eves was a certain Avishai Raviv, whom Karpin "forgot" to interview for his documentary.
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. This was decided after it became clear that no such gangs existed at that time. Raviv's creation, Eyal, specialized in chanting things like "traitor, liar," at Rabin.
Then GSS boss was Carmi Gillon, appointed personally by Rabin despite opposition from high-ranking security officials. As head of the organization, he surely knew about Raviv's dangerous game as provocateur. And Gillon's boss was the prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin.
The makers of Ilana Dayan's Fact program, which presented the film, were well aware of Raviv's controversial role. Yet they too ignored Raviv, a key player. Which leads us to an obvious conclusion: Mosevics and Karpin set out quite deliberately to mislead the public, on the basis that the bigger the lie and the more often you repeat it, the more people will believe you.
By inciting the Left against the man who is the democratically-elected prime minister and leader of the entire Israeli national camp, Mosevics/Karpin are guilty of the very crime for which they condemn Netanyahu.
Let us take our case one logical step further. Mosevics/Karpin are doing nothing less than inciting to murder - of Netanyahu. If this sounds too harsh, let us look at the facts. It's no secret that there have been warnings of attacks against the prime minister ever since he took office. To forestall such an eventuality, extraordinary steps have been taken by the security services to protect him. Jerusalem motorists snarled in traffic have seen for themselves just how professionally the prime minister's bodyguards ensure his safety.
When Netanyahu went to the cinema in Tel Aviv recently, dozens of seats around him were filled with sharp-eyed security men, who rarely glanced at the screen. In the same city a week ago, there was a massive traffic jam along the coastal road - all because Netanyahu was having a night out in a nearby restaurant.
In recent months, left-wing journalists and politicians, mocking these super-safety precautions, have displayed the hypocrisy and myopia typical of our "freethinkers." These are the very same scribes who bitterly attacked the GSS for being so slack in guarding Rabin as to allow Yigal Amir to shoot him from point-blank range.
It is worthwhile looking at the mind-set of Mosevics, financer of the documentary, or, more accurately, of this blatant piece of brainwashing. So outraged was he when Netanyahu won the election by a landslide of Jewish Israeli votes that he paid for a prominent advertisement in Ha'aretz. It quoted the biblical story of how the Prophet Elijah, speaking for the Almighty, said to King Ahab, who had murdered Naboth then seized his vineyard: "Have you killed and also inherited?"
Within a day or two, "Have you killed and also inherited?" appeared in black and red graffiti on walls in the Ramat Aviv area; it was repeated in the chic cafes Mosevics frequents to this very day. So we see why it was inconvenient for Mosevics and Karpin to include Raviv - because many of the incitement incidents blamed on the national camp and Netanyahu were in fact instigated or encouraged by this GSS provocateur.
It was Raviv, for instance, who arranged for and directed the video in which an "armed right-wing militant student group" took aim at a dummy of "Rabin the traitor." The clip was repeatedly shown on TV.
And the provocative poster of Rabin dressed as Nazi Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler was created by two youngsters who took part in a summer holiday camp on the Kinneret run by Raviv. They handed the posters, mounted on sticks, to Raviv at the Zion Square rally held in Jerusalem a month before the assassination. Raviv brought one of the posters to the attention of TV reporter Nitzan Chen, pressing him to air it that very night.
The opprobrium heaped on Netanyahu by this shameless film cannot go unanswered.
The prime minister should act boldly and insist that the Shamgar Commission's findings be presented in full - specifically that the blanket of secrecy surrounding Raviv's evidence be removed. Teenage girls who met Raviv at the settlement of Ma'ale Yisrael told the commission that they heard him urge Amir: "Be a man! Kill Rabin!"
Netanyahu, who knows more than we do about Raviv's role as agent provocateur, has been openly challenged and demeaned by this slanted and misleading film. Mr. Netanyahu: You are GSS boss. In view of the film's distorted conclusions, you must demand that you be given the file detailing Raviv's activities, how he operated and who were the top men who approved the whole scurrilous operation.
Failure to do so would be to allow Mosevics/Karpin to get away with perpetuating nothing less than a blood-libel.
Uri Dan and Dennis Eisenberg are the authors of Rabin: A State Crime, published by