Yitzhak Rabin assassination conspiracy theories
Yitzhak Rabin assassination conspiracy theories arose almost immediately following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, on November 4, 1995. The gunman Yigal Amir, 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 theories have made some or all of the following claims. Others have been strident in opposing these conclusions.
- Police reports state that gunpowder was found on Rabin's body and clothing, suggesting that he had been shot at point-blank range, 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, 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. Medical descriptions of Rabin's condition are described as suddenly appearing to change.
- An anonymous physician who consulted Barry Chamish 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, an Israeli physicist who went on to play a major role in the Muhammad al-Durrah 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, who took over from Rabin as Prime Minister and later became the President of Israel.
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 conspiracy 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
- Barry Chamish – "Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?", ISBN 1-57129-081-8.
- David Morrison – Lies: The Israeli Secret Service And The Rabin Assassination
- "TWM – Death of a Peacemaker/Brook". washingtonmonthly.com.
- "יגאל עמיר ירה סרק". yigalamir.com.
- "No gunpowder on Yigal Amir`s Hands "Yigal Amir did not murder Yitzhak Rabin"". yitchakrabin.com.
- הירייה השלישית ביצחק רבין נעלמה בועדת שמגר
- "Yitzhak Rabin`s third wound – "The Rabin Murder Fraud"". yitchakrabin.com.
- "The Yitzhak Rabin murder – Eye Witnesses -"Yigal Amir did not murder Yitzhak Rabin"". yitchakrabin.com.
- ? אז מתי בדיוק נרצח יצחק רבין
- "MapsTel Aviv Insider Tour Travel Guide". tel-aviv-insider.com.
- "The Yitzhak Rabin murder-TESTIMONY OF CHIEF LIEUTENANT BARUCH GLADSTEIN". yitchakrabin.com.
- "הידיים הנקיות של יגאל עמיר". yigalamir.com.
- "Ichilov Hospital takes part in the cover up of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin". yigalamir.com.
- "Magazine Interview With The Daughter Of Yitzhak Rabin". yitchakrabin.com.
- "Ahavat Israel – Who Murdered Rabin? – Jews Protest in Jerusalem, Israel". ahavat-israel.com.
- "...יגאל עמיר לא ירה ביצחק רבין". yigalamir.com.
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- "יגאל עמיר ידע מראש על "בימוי הרצח
- "Politics: Discredited Shin Bet chief's comment resurrects Rabin conspiracy questions". israelinsider.com. 2005-10-30. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Yigal Amir blames Shimon Peres for the murder of Yitzhak Rabin". yigalamir.com.
- O'Loughlin, Ed (October 6, 2007). "Truth is sometimes caught in crossfire". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- United States Congress House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights (2001). Authorizing Appropriation for Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003 for the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and for Other Purposes: Hearings and Markup Before the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives and the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session, February 14, February 28, March 1, and March 7, 2001 and Markup of H.R. 1646 on May 2, 2001. 8–16. US G.P.O. p. 192.
- Israel's Plague of Conspiracism
- "Rudstein – the man suing Peres admits he was FBI plant against right", Voice of Judea TV, February 3, 2006
Articles in press and magazines
- "Geula Amir: Yigal didn't murder Rabin", Ynet
- "Israel's Plague of Conspiracism", by Professor Steven Plaut, 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
Articles on alternative news sites
- Top Israeli news site publishes crudely altered Rabin assassination video article on Israel Insider website
- "Rabin Assassination Eye-Witness Video Emerges After 11 Years" on Arutz Sheva website
- "Rabin Assassination Video Resurfaces After 10 Year Absence" on the Arutz Sheva website
- "Questions Remain; 28% of Israelis Say Amir Didn't Kill Rabin" on the Arutz Sheva website
- "Ten years after Rabin’s assassination, the case for conspiracy is reopened" on the DEBKAfile website, November 6, 2005
- "Discredited Shin Bet chief's comment resurrects Rabin conspiracy questions" on the Israel Insider website
- "Re-open the Rabin Murder Case" on the Israel Insider website
- "Shocking revelations in Rabin murder: Shin Bet "sting" went terribly wrong", 18 November 2005
- Conspiracy website that claims to unravel the murder
- "Treachery at the top?" on the "Gamla Shall Not Fall Again" website