It is indeed unfortunate that the GSS needs to protect the prime minister from criminals who apparently wish to harm him. But with all due respect to the habitually shocked, those who belong to the “we have not learned a thing” school, it is even more unfortunate that the prime minister has decided to besmirch the community of settlers in order to prepare the ground for implementing his plan.
In every country there are attempts to assassinate the state leaders on political or religious grounds, or just for no reason by an unbalanced person. In every country the security services are forced to deal with VIP security, and sometimes even with orderly intelligence work. But only in Israel do the heads of the GSS run and “warn” of extremist intentions of this type in the media. This practice in itself provokes hatred, and perhaps even encourages various sociopaths to stand up and take action. And only in Israel does a prime minister threaten to expel 200,000 citizens from their legal homes.
There is no doubt that the prohibition “Thou shalt not kill” also includes the murder of prime ministers, and there is no doubt that it is important to explain this-but along with this, there is also no doubt, in the definitely legitimate opinion of a sizeable portion of the Israeli public, that Sharon’s political plan is destructive and dangerous. It is very unfortunate, as Sharon confessed in the ears of the Shinui Knesset faction, that he, who has protected Jews all his life, must now be protected from Jews. However, it is also unfortunate that he, who has protected Jews all his life, is now determined to carry out moves that will encourage Palestinian terror and endanger the lives of many Jews.
It would appear that the noisy and excessive public attention to the expected dangers from the extreme right wing is intended to silence the sane right wing, including the dwindling voice of the authentic Likud. Perhaps elements on the Left think mistakenly that it is enough to mention Rabin’s assassination to frighten the Right into complete paralysis. The sane right wing, including Ariel Sharon in his better days, never saw itself as culpable for Yigal Amir’s act, since it never agreed that political opposition-even fierce opposition-is tantamount to incitement to murder. Now Sharon has joined with the ever-correct Left, which is ever-threatened by the ever-bad Right, and in retrospect incriminates the Sharon who spoke against the late Rabin’s policy on the balcony in Zion Square. One must not speak against a prime minister who enjoys the support of the Left, and anyone who does so will be accused of murderous intentions.
Rabin’s assassination was a great and terrible national tragedy, but it did not prove that the Left is good and correct and the Right is bad and mistaken. It proved mainly that the security of prime ministers needs to be tighter and more effective, that the Jewish department of the GSS did not fulfill its primary task, and that the intelligence department failed monumentally. It also proved that it was not enough for the GSS director to make an announcement to Israeli newspaper editors, about six weeks prior to November 4, 1995, that there was a growing danger that the prime minister would be assassinated by marginal characters identified with the extreme Right.
When you hear today the assessments of the former department heads, who are invited to various media platform to proffer an “expert opinion” on the “right wing radicalization,” it appears that indeed, we have not learned a thing.
This appeared in Yediot Aharonot on July 7, 2004