The Devil's Own
Illegitimate Government Informants
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1746. The Mission finds that the imposition of a near blanket exclusion of the media and human rights monitors from Gaza since 5 November 2008 and throughout the operations is inconsistent with Israel’s obligations with regard to the right to access to information.
A Systematic Violation of Society
These are hardly news. This was not the first time the work of the Shin Beth (or Shabak) and its illegal network of informants became news.
Eight years and twenty-five days before I was shot at by an Israeli agent, I was half-listening to “Reshet Bet,” the Israeli government’s news radio station. They were broadcasting live from a peace rally on Tel Aviv’s main square. At around 9:30 PM, a slight change in the tone and semantics used by the anchors hinted that something had happened. There were unclear shouts in the background; panic filtered into the anchors’ voices, while they were trying to buy time and understand what was happening. Death was in the air. Three gunshots had shattered a dream. Rabin – Israel’s Prime Minister – had been assassinated by a religious Jew, and a promising peace process had died.
The event had been videotaped by Roni Kempler – a man with unclear but published connections with the security services – who was standing on the “Gan Hair” shopping mall roof. Inexplicably, he was allowed to stand within the sterile security area surrounding Rabin’s exit point. In the minutes before the killing, his video focused mainly on the assassin, as if he knew what was about to happen. In the video, the rear bodyguard was seen clearing the way to the assassin, who shot three bullets before he was restrained by the police. Later, the video was purchased by “Channel 2” – allegedly for a million dollars – and then broadcast to the astonished public, before being banished from the Israeli media.
Rabin was allegedly the best secured head of state in the world. The thought that a civilian could enter the “sterile area” surrounding Rabin was unbelievable.
This is the link to Rabin’s Assassination Video
Later, it became known that the assassin, Yigal Amir, was targeted by the Shin Beth months before that and that the Shin Beth trained him in the use of arms. Avishai Raviv, a Shin Beth employee, was placed next to him. They claimed he was only an information gathering agent. Yigal Amir, a former Yeshiva student studying at the religious Bar Ilan University, killed Prime Minister Rabin with the blessing of his Pharisaic rabbi. He moved from one rabbi to another until he found one who agreed that the killing would save many Jewish lives; and thus – the religious authority claimed – it was justified.
Raviv knew that and reported Yigal Amir's plan to assassinate Yitzhak Rabin, based on “din rodef,” law of the pursuer, which rabbis interpret as allowing the killing of another Jew to prevent him from handing Jewish land over to non-Jews.
Despite that, the Shin Beth did not stop Amir.
The most troubling part of this story is that “The Jerusalem Post,” an English, right-wing newspaper published in Jerusalem, reported witnesses having heard Raviv telling Amir: “Be a man! Kill him already!” Later on, Raviv’s name came out during Amir’s trial. It was published that his operational code was “Champagne.” Nothing seems more appropriate for an agitating agent, which is a better definition to the role he performed.
There is no need to present the Stasi. The Ministry for State Security, or Stasi, was the official secret police of East Germany. Its network of civil informants was legendary in size and efficiency.
When East German collapsed, I was thrilled. I could imagine the trials of the Stasi network: informants being finally accused by their victims and facing justice, being left to collect information on the jail’s cockroaches. Yet, nothing happened. The extensive archives of the Stasi were shown to the public and then no word about the informants.
Apparently they were absorbed by the unfied German security services. Stasi 2 was born, a predecessor to what now is known as Stasi 2.0 – the obsessive and illegal communications surveillance performed by modern governments.
Governments cannot claim this is done in a passive fashion and exclusively for the sake of intelligence gathering functions. The Israeli government behavior in the case of “Champagne” shows otherwise: this is performed to illegally advance the political goals of those manipulating the agents, even if that means killing their boss, as it was done in the case of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The point to keep in mind – especially the minds of low level informants – is that each one of them is committing a crime, even if it is just informing on what the victim had for breakfast. In the same way they take false pride in their evil actions, they must take responsibility for their crimes. As for the rest of us, we must be aware of this Orwellian reality, collect information on the informants and make sure it would be available the day they will face justice.
It is worth remembering the words of Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 6:2 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”
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