Open Rabin's Grave

The connection between right-wing rabbis and the peace-promoting prime minister's murderer were never fully investigated.

Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, and his philosophy along with him. Nobody has had so many presumed heirs: Who hasn't donned his mantle only to remove it at the first opportunity and toss it by the wayside? Who hasn't remained loyal to him only to betray that loyalty out of fear and self interest?

Murdered and buried, at least six feet under. Even a criminal gunned down in an underworld vendetta merits a more serious investigation. Although the gunman was tried and imprisoned, those who supported him are walking around free and self-satisfied among us, and are continuing to cause harm as they did in the past. Having replaced Rabin, they are being fruitful and multiplying and inheriting the land.

Now rabbis are being summoned for futile interrogations. Back then they were not interrogated properly. Nobody ever found out what was said in talks between them and the murderer - what they allowed the scoundrel to do in the name of the Torah.

And what was the lethal influence of politicians, who walked behind his casket when he was still alive; who heard the voice of the people in their enthusiasm, tearing him to shreds in the city square, in SS uniform. They all joined forces at the time to bring an end to the events of 1994-1995, to consign them to oblivion, and even the Shin Bet security services and the police poured dirt over the ground to cover his blood. Rabin is today the deadest of dead men - his memory forgotten.

In late 1998 the subcommittee on intelligence and security services received a report about "the rabbis' activity in connection with Rabin's murder." That is how it appeared on the agenda, at my request. The committee was told, among other things, that already in January, 1995 rabbis from the committee of rabbis of Judea, Samaria and Gaza wrote to 30 of the leading rabbis in Israel and the United States and asked them: Does the law of "rodef" and "moser" (a Jew who betrays and endangers other Jews ) apply to the prime minister? The Shin Bet stammered and couldn't say whether replies were received and what their contents were. No contact was made at the time with the questioners and the respondents, in order to deter them from this sick preoccupation with dangerous halakhic decisions calling for murderers.

Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir met with additional rabbis - times and names were placed on the committee's desk - but the files were actually empty and closed. No real investigations began before the murder, nor afterwards. The Shin Bet did not fail in its role - it betrayed it. To this day, more is hidden than known.

The time has come to investigate. Most of those involved have resumed their evil ways - if they ever abandoned them - and sin lies at their doorstep. If we had a spirit of national conciliation now, as in post-apartheid South Africa, it would have been possible to continue licking our wounds without opening them. But an ill wind is blowing, which must be eliminated before it sweeps up everything in its path and leaves behind a wasteland.

If the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin decided to investigate the murder of Chaim Arlosoroff after 40 years to settle past accounts, then the murder of Rabin must be investigated after only 16 years because of future accounts. And if the ship Altalena is now being dredged up from the depths, then the three- bullet pistol also has to be brought up from the depths. Can not only a cannon but a pistol become sacred?

Recently the remains of Chile's late elected President Salvador Allende were exhumed, in order to examine them: Did he commit suicide 38 years ago, as was officially claimed, or did Augusto Pinochet's soldiers murder him on the general's orders? The circumstances of the death of poet Pablo Neruda will also be investigated there once again: Was he poisoned or did he die of cancer? Chile wants to know. Does Israel?

We should open Rabin's grave, where the conspiracy woven against him by his internal enemies was buried. He didn't die in his bed from an illness, nor did he commit suicide. The country was very sick, and hasn't been able to recover since then - its fever is only rising, it is bleeding. And any attempt to make peace in its name is like an act of suicide.