PM accused agency of printing posters of Rabin in Nazi garb

Ex-Shin Bet heads accuse Netanyahu of lying about lead-up to Rabin assassination

Retired chiefs, hundreds of former agents in security service say premier’s autobiography promotes false conspiracy theories about the 1995 murder of his predecessor

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaks to a crowd of more than 100,000 Israelis at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995. Rabin, 73, was assassinated minutes later. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaks to a crowd of more than 100,000 Israelis at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995. Rabin, 73, was assassinated minutes later. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Hundreds of former agents in the Shin Bet, including retired heads of the security service, have sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him of promoting conspiracy theories regarding the lead-up to the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In the letter, sent last month, the former agents denounced Netanyahu for accusing the Shin Bet of taking part in incitement against Rabin in the period before the murder in 1995, Hebrew media reported Sunday. They demanded that he retract his statements on the issue, published in a recent autobiography.

Netanyahu was elected for his first term in the aftermath of the assassination.

Netanyahu’s book, “Bibi: My Story,” published in the fall of last year, details his military and political careers. In it, Netanyahu claims that Avishai Raviv, who served as an agent provocateur within the extreme right, was tasked with inciting right-wingers against Rabin, using posters printed by the Shin Bet.

Netanyahu referred specifically to a demonstration that was held in Jerusalem a month before Rabin was murdered, at which he spoke from a balcony in Zion Square while protesters below held posters showing the then-premier dressed in Nazi uniform.

The protest was considered one of the key events at which incitement levels peaked in the lead-up to the assassination.

Then opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu looks down at a right-wing rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square in 1995 (video screenshot)

The letter from the Shin Bet chiefs said Netanyahu’s book contained “lies and distortions,” and asserted that his claims “damage the legitimacy of the secret service and harm national security.”

“We were silent for 28 years. Netanyahu needs to recant his statements. He needs to say, ‘I made a mistake,'” the letter read.

Among the signatories were five former Shin Ben chiefs, including the recently retired Nadav Argaman.

Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995, by Yigal Amir, an extremist Jew who was opposed to the Oslo Accords and the handing over control of portions of the West Bank to the Palestinians as part of the landmark agreement.

A poster showing late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Nazi uniform. The poster was used in a demonstration against Rabin weeks before his assassination in November 1995. (Screenshot: Channel 12).

Amir shot Rabin to death at the end of a mass peace rally in Tel Aviv that was called to highlight opposition to violence and to showcase public support for his efforts to negotiate with the Palestinians.

Raviv, the Shin Bet agent, had been in contact with Amir before the murder. Earlier this year, in a rare interview, he accused Netanyahu of lying in the book. The premier claimed to have seen Raviv holding the infamous Nazi poster among hundreds of protesters.

An ultra-Orthodox man who was a teenager at the time confessed to creating the posters and was later convicted. The man, in an anonymous interview last year, said he had printed a few copies of the poster in a small size that could not have been seen from the balcony by Netanyahu.

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