Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of October 7, 1999
THE AVISHAI RAVIV CASE
By Uri Dan
Four years after the worst political assassination in the history of Israel, the case against GSS agent Avishai Raviv is finally being brought to trial. Raviv is accused of not preventing the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Let's assume for one moment that a whole year was required to investigate the involvement of agent-provocateur Raviv in this shocking crime. If so, why have three more precious years elapsed before opening the case against a person so central to the incident. The ramifications of the assassination continue to tear Israeli society apart and have been cynically exploited for the purpose of left-wing political propaganda, in an effort to stain the nationalist camp at all costs.
Let it immediately be stated, to the credit of GSS Director Ami Ayalon, that were it not for his willingness to clear the GSS stables, it is doubtful if Raviv would be standing trial today. Opposition to bringing Raviv to trial has come first and foremost from the ranks of the secret service itself, on the ridiculous grounds that the trial will expose the methods it uses to penetrate and operate agents in general, and among extreme right-wing Jewish organizations in particular.
These methods are merely pure garbage. At least now, after the murder, it is clear that placing agent Raviv so close to Yigal Amir did not prevent the murder, and on this count the agent is accused. More serious still, and this will apparently become clear during the trial, Raviv operated not only as an agent but also as an agent provocateur.
Clear evidence of this has been supplied by pupils from Kedumim - now girls in their late teens - who at the time gave evidence in camera to the Shamgar Commission, and later on to the police. They related how, during a sit-in against the redeployment (in Judea and Samaria) organized by settlers, they had witnessed and heard Yigal Amir openly threaten to assassinate Rabin and that Avishai Raviv had egged him on, saying: "You're all talk, let's see you be a man."
Naturally, the GSS has claimed that it knew nothing of this, that agent Raviv made no report of this. However, the GSS did know that its agent, who was paid a salary and expenses from the public purse, was a provocateur. The actual charge sheet states that Raviv, who was recruited as an agent in 1987, founded the Eyal organization (Irgun Yehudi Leumi - National Jewish Organization) as early as 1992 "without the permission of the GSS."
Raviv made every effort to publicize the organization through a variety of provocations: attacking Arabs; taking responsibility for the murder of an Arab who had in fact been killed by other Arabs; and a staged swearing-in ceremony of minors - "Jewish extremists" who on TV praised the massacre in the Machpela Cave. At least some of these incidents served as the basis for the government, including Rabin himself, making wild attacks against the nationalist camp and even comparing it with the Hamas, after and as a result of the Oslo Accords.
In this way, the Secret Service's agent provocateur, who was supposed to have been apolitical, became a political tool exploited by the ruling authorities as a way of attacking the legitimate opposition. This is reminiscent of the murkiest regimes of our century, and proves the extent to which dangerous rot had penetrated the GSS.
And now, according to the same charge sheet, it is clear that despite the fact that Raviv founded his organization in 1992 "without permission", the GSS continued to employ him until that terrible night in November 1995, and even afterwards, under the terms of service of a GSS agent. One wonders if he will also be paid a pension.
Furthermore, as an authorized agent, it was none other than Raviv who, according to the testimony of a TV reporter, directed the cameras to the banner on the sidelines of the Jerusalem demonstration which portrayed Rabin in an SS uniform. It is therefore no wonder that Raviv's GSS operators did not press to bring charges against him, using a variety of excuses. They face a range of serious questions which may be raised during the trial, and above all the question of why they continued to employ Raviv as an agent, despite the fact that, as early as 1992, he had established Eyal and continued to "organize" it until Rabin's assassination. Did the GSS leaders report to their most senior commanding officer - Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin himself, concerning the nature of Eyal during the period from 1992, when he was elected to office?
And what was known about Raviv's activities in the offices of the Attorney General and State Attorney? When the GSS asks for permission to carry out an unlawful operation, in order to assist one of its agents, it must receive the authorization of the State Attorney. What information did senior police officers receive from the GSS, when they kept silent after being ordered not to investigate the agent provocateur.
In short, after being uncovered as a secret agent by Amnon Abramowitz, Avishai Raviv held his GSS operators in a most sensitive spot. Abramowitz deserves the Sokolov prize for journalism for his impressive scoop, for without him certain interested parties in the GSS and beyond, who wish first and foremost to protect themselves, would have buried the devious actions of the agent provocateur for many years.
The truth is that they have successfully prevented exposure of the chilling truth for the last four years. They are concerned that the shortcomings of the GSS in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin will become clear to the extent that it will be renamed a "crime d'etat."
(c) Jerusalem Post 1999