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Yitzhak Rabin assassination conspiracy theories

Yitzhak Rabin assassination conspiracy theories

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Yitzhak Rabin assassination conspiracy theories arose almost immediately following the assassination of
Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place on November 4, 1995 at 21:30, at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv...

 Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

, the Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister, on November 4, 1995. The gunman Yigal Amir
Yigal Amir
Yigal Amir is the Israeli assassin of Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin. The assassination took place on November 4, 1995 at the conclusion of a rally in Tel Aviv. Amir is currently serving a life sentence for murder plus six years for injuring Rabin's bodyguard, Yoram Rubin, under...

, a Jewish Israeli student, was apprehended within seconds by other people in the crowd. Rabin died later on the operating table of Ichilov Hospital. Amir confessed to the assassination of Rabin.

The matter has been reported as clear cut in the media, and the Shamgar national inquiry commission and the court all drew the same conclusion that Amir was guilty of murder. Yet, some inconsistencies in the evidence have been alleged, both in the medical records and in the inquiry testimony. These allegations and other suspicions have been included in occasional left-wing, and more prevalent right-wing conspiracy theories
Conspiracy theory
A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...


Conspiracy claims

Conspiracy theories have made some or all of the following claims. Others have been strident in opposing these conclusions.
  • Police reports state that gunpowder
    Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

     was found on Rabin's body and clothing, suggesting that he had been shot at point-blank range
    Point-blank range
    In external ballistics, point-blank range is the distance between a firearm and a target of a given size such that the bullet in flight is expected to strike the target without adjusting the elevation of the firearm. The point-blank range will vary with the firearm and its particular ballistic...

    , as gunpowder travels only a few inches before dispersing. According to the official version, Amir shot from a distance at which no powder traces could have settled on Rabin's body and clothing.
  • Surgery reports describe a bullet wound with the bullet entrance in the chest are inconsistent with the eyewitness reports and the Kempler video
    Kempler video
    The Kempler video is a film made by Roni Kempler while standing initially at the crime scene at the northeast side of the Tel Aviv City Hall and later on the roof of the "Gan Ha'ir"-mall overlooking the crime scene before and during the assassination of Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin on...

    , which suggests that Rabin was shot in the back while walking away from Yigal Amir. (Source of this provides link to a video in Hebrew and a written, inaccurate translation to English. Both versions, however, contain no hint that there was a chest entry wound, merely that there was a wound in the chest (can equally be an exit wound). Both versions report two gunshots rather than three.
  • Rabin would have walked after Amir's shots in a manner inconsistent with gunshot, an impossibility if they shattered the vertebrae.
  • Each medical record describes wounds which are "completely different" in nature to those concluded by the official Shamgar Commission
    Shamgar Commission
    The Shamgar commission was the official Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in late 1995...

    . Medical descriptions of Rabin's condition are described as suddenly appearing to change.
  • Dr Gutman, a physician, opined that "[t]he first two wounds, to the chest and abdomen occurred before Rabin's arrival. The third, frontal chest wound, had to have been inflicted after he entered the hospital," and that "it is inconceivable that Rabin had no spinal damage. The six members of the operating team were too skilled to have all been wrong about that."
  • Three police officers who had been present testified that "when Yitzhak Rabin was placed in the car, he showed no visible wounds." Gordon Thomas in his book "Gideon's Spies" adds: "The surgeons insisted there was no possible gunshot wound that would have allowed Rabin to leave the attack site showing no evidence of a wound and arrive at the hospital with multiple damage ... subsequently the doctors have refused to discuss the matter."
  • Rabin's motorcade took 22 minutes to arrive at the hospital, even though he had a highly experienced chauffeur, and the streets were cordoned-off. The distance between the crime scene and the hospital is a five minute walk.
  • Police ballistics tests on shell casings found at the scene did not match Amir's gun.
  • No gunpowder residue was found on Amir's hands, clothing, or hair. Gunpowder residue would inevitably have been present if Amir had shot genuine bullets, as opposed to blanks.
  • No blood was seen coming from Rabin at the scene, despite wounds to his lung and spleen, nor was any found later at that location. By contrast witnesses describe blood "gushing" from a chest wound upon arriving at hospital.
  • Some witnesses stated that someone shouted, "It's nothing ... they're blanks. It's a toy gun."
  • A Shin Bet (secret service) agent testified that "I heard a policeman shout to people to calm down. The shot is a blank."
  • Policeman Moshe Ephron stated: "The shots didn't sound natural. If they were real shots, they should have sounded much louder."
  • Leah Rabin stated that a security guard told her immediately after the incident that the bullets shot at her husband were "blanks". She further stated that she was told by an Israeli security chief that she "should not worry as the whole thing had been staged."
  • Amir, who was employed by the Shin Bet in Latvia about two years before the murder, commented at a court hearing, "If I were to tell the whole truth, the entire system would collapse. I know enough to destroy this country."
  • Nahum Shahaf
    Nahum Shahaf
    Nahum Shahaf is an Israeli physicist, best known for his role in an October 2000 Israel Defense Forces investigation surrounding the shooting of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Durrah...

    , an Israeli physicist who went on to play a major role in the Muhammad al-Durrah
    Muhammad al-Durrah
    The Muhammad al-Durrah incident took place in the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000, on the second day of the Second Intifada, amid widespread rioting throughout the Palestinian territories...

     affair, has asserted that he had photographic evidence that the wrong man was being held for the assassination. He blamed the assassination on a conspiracy headed by Shimon Peres
    Shimon Peres
    GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

    , who took over from Rabin as Prime Minister and later became the President of Israel
    President of Israel
    The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...


Criticisms of the conspiracy theories

There are three types of criticisms of the conspiracy theories. The most common type refutes and relativizes claims made in the conspiracy theories or by the conpiracy theorists and points out that the theories are detached from Israeli political culture, social relations and historic events. This criticism is not necessarily politically "colored" and may refer to both the right wing and left wing conspiracy theories. The other criticism focuses entirely on the more common, right wing theories.

A second, mostly Israeli left-wing criticism, attacks the very existence of such theories as a denial of what they consider to be right wing "responsibility" for the murder. This "responsibility" for the murder would have been by creating an extreme hostile environment to the late Prime Minister, in which Yigal Amir and his immediate accomplices Hagai Amir and Dror Adani were just a small group of the actors.

A third type of criticism, by right-wing activists, claims that the mostly Israeli right-wing conspiracy supporters embarrass the Israeli right by supporting fringe theories for which no proof exists. The conspiracy theorists, according to this criticism, move the debate away from the responsibility of what they call the "perpetrators of the Oslo crimes". These right-wing critics conclude that the right-wing conspiracy theorists serve the goals of the Israeli left.


  • Uri Barkan - Srak, web-publication in Hebrew
    Hebrew language
    Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

  • Barry Chamish
    Barry Chamish
    Barry Chamish is a Canadian-Israeli writer and public speaker. Chamish is known for his controversial views regarding the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.-Early years:...

     - "Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?", ISBN 1-57129-081-8.
  • David Morrison - Lies: The Israeli Secret Service And The Rabin Assassination

Articles in press and magazines

  • "Geula Amir: Yigal didn't murder Rabin", Ynet
    Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

  • "Israel's Plague of Conspiracism", by Professor Steven Plaut
    Steven Plaut
    Steven Plaut is an American-born Israeli associate professor of Business Administration at the University of Haifa and a writer. Plaut is a member of the editorial board of the Middle East Quarterly, a publication of the Middle East Forum think tank....

    , published in the Jewish Press weekly, January 18, 2006
  • "A Mother’s Defense", by Guela Amir, originally published in the defunct George Magazine, March 1997, p. 138
  • "10 years after murder, website asks who killed Yitzhak Rabin", by Natalie Prishkolnik in Ynet
    Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

Articles on alternative news sites