|Southwest Asia News Digest
Shin Beth Chief Warns of Rise of Jewish Terrorists
Nov. 3 (EIRNS)The backers of Israeli right-wing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the settlers movement are planning a reign of terror inside Israel, which Yuval Diskin, the head of the Shin Beth intelligence service, is warning could target Israeli leaders.
AFP reports that Diskin told a Cabinet meeting yesterday, "As we mark the anniversary of [Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin's assassination the Shin Beth has identified among this extreme right-wing group ... a willingness to use firearms in order to stop political processes and target political leaders.... The Shin Beth is extremely worried about this issue."
Thirteen years ago, on Nov. 4, 1995, Yigal Amir, a member of the right-wing settler networks, assassinated Rabin immediately after the Knesset approved the "land for peace" deal that was part of the Oslo Accords. Last week, Amir, who is still in prison, was interviewed illegally by Israeli television, and said he feels no remorse for killing Rabin. The interview was done by phone from prison, with prison authorities claiming they knew nothing about it. Amir said that he was inspired politically to kill Rabin by Ariel Sharon and Rafi Eytan. Israeli President Shimon Peres denounced the TV stations that gave coverage to this terrorist.
In the last four weeks, there have been clashes between the Israeli Defense Forces and armed settlers who constantly expand the Palestinian land under Israeli occupation by setting up "outposts," i.e., new illegal settlements, on the West Bank. The settlers have been inflamed by rumors that Olmert is going to order the removal of settlers from Hebron, which houses the most rabid of the Jewish terrorists, including members of the outlawed Kach movement.
Rabin Memorial: Warnings Voiced on Next Assassination
Nov. 5 (EIRNS)Warnings that a right-wing extremist could assassinate a leading Israeli political figure and peace advocate were voiced at a ceremony commemorating the 13th anniversary of the Nov. 4, 1995, assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
In a ceremony at Rabin's grave, attended by 100 friends and family members, Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned in his opening address, "The next political murder is just around the corner. The seeds of the calamity were sown in certain towns and bizarre Messianic circles in Judea and Samaria [West Bank], but there are also outgrowths within the Green Line," i.e., within Israel itself. He also denounced two Israeli television stations for seeking to air interviews with Rabin's murderer Yigal Amir last week. He called it part of the "reckless worship of the almighty ratings." He also said that Amir "should rot in his cell. He should have been living in prison with minimal luxuriesno radio, no television, no telephone, no newspaper, no letters, no family visits.... He receives the full rights of a democracy, and laughs and makes a circus of the state of Israel.... How far can stupidity go? How far can foolishness go?"
Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, a peace activist who was wounded in September when extreme rightists planted a bomb near his house, also spoke, describing Rabin as a man who tried to bring about a revolution based on "the idea that the War of Independence is over once and for all, and that in this country live two nations, and both of them have rights to this land." In order to kill the idea, "they murdered the man."
Sternhell recalled a doctored photograph that appeared just prior to the assassination, showing Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform, and added that to this day, some rightists liken Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to Nazis. "This motif is alive and well, and at times it seems nothing has been learned and nothing has changed," he said. Sternhell denounced West Bank rabbinic council head Dov Lior, for comparing the recent evacuation of a West Bank settler outpost to his experiences during the Holocaust. The professor called the comparison "a forgery, evil, despicable, a disgrace."
Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a signer of the Geneva Peace Accord, appealed to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was also at the ceremony, to "stop issuing warnings, and start doing something" about the extremists, adding, "Yitzhak would not have allowed [them] to break the arms of reserve officers. Under his watch this wouldn't happen. Not to reserve soldiers, not to Border Policemen. We have learned to complain, but we have not learned to do."
Rabin's daughter Dalia told Army Radio, "Today we are also hearing the same shrill voices, perhaps with different terminology, but it is impossible to ignore their intensity."
Rally in Tel Aviv for Rabin Memorial
Nov. 10 (EIRNS)100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv on Nov. 8, to commemorate the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Warnings were voiced of a repeat of a political assassination by Israel's terrorist movements.
Attending such a rally for the first time, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said: "I didn't vote for Rabin, but he was my prime minister, too.... There are no more unifying words than the words that were displayed here 13 years ago: 'yes to peace and no to violence.'"
President Shimon Peres said, "We are facing a crisis. There is no point in trying to hide it. The disputes between us have worsened and they damage the wondrous human fabric that is called the State of Israel. People ask themselves how they can personally benefit from things rather than asking themselves what all of us can gain from them. Instead of lending a hand, they pull their hand back. If we won't pull ourselves together, shake hands and make the effort, our future will be difficult."
Warning of the Israeli right-wing extremist threat, Labor Party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the rally: "We used to call them bad seeds, but now they are tumors with secondary growths. This is no longer a warning sign, it's a threat to democracy, the IDF, the police and on all the authorities of a normal society. I promise you we will uproot this evil from within us."
After the rally, right-wing political figures accused Barak of incitement. Shas party leader Eli Yishai said the statement "incites against the right, a sector that constitutes the majority in Israel...."
Sources close to Barak said in response that the right-wing political factions are ignoring the intelligence on violent actions against soldiers and policemen by a growing group of Jewish extremists in the West Bank.
Rabin's daughter Dalia told the rally, "We all came here to tell you, father, clearly and loudly, that we guard your spark and we will never stop doing it." She called on the people of Israel to vote in the national election on Feb. 10 for "a leadership that will uproot the hatred and will be wise enough to give hope and prosperity to the silent majority."
Speaking at the Nov. 2 Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "We want to hope that what gave rise to the atmosphere that, in the end, allowed someone to murder the prime minister, has changed within public discourse in the State of Israel. I am not sure that this is so. I am not sure that the atmosphere has changed ... that the incitement has changed ... that the attempt to delegitimize a political line that does not jibe with the expectations of a section of the public has changed, and that the situation today is better than it was on the eve of Yitzhak Rabin's murder. We must ask ourselves if we are really doing what needs to be done, if we know how to fight the forces that threaten the stability and integrity of Israeli democracy."