by Barry Chamish

Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin?
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Coming up next month, after 16.5 years in the clink for supplying weapons and ammo to his patsy brother, Yigal to murder Yitzhak Rabin, Hagai Amir will be released according to Ynet News. Yigal Amir's brother, Hagai Amir, is to be released from prison in two weeks (May 2012) after serving a 16.5-year sentence in solitary confinement for his involvement in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Some readers have asked me, will he talk? Is Rabin about to return to the front page? Oh, if you only know the squeeze being put on him right now, you'd know he is trapped. He talks, his family dies. One brother "died" in the IDF shortly after the following report was filed:

Hagai Amir, brother of Yigal Amir, is about to testify in court. The tactical beauty of his summon to court is that it was made by the prosecution, hence, the content of his testimony is known before Hagai even steps into court. He will testify that Raviv did know about the attempt to murder Rabin before the event. What deal had been cut with Hagai Amir is really unknown, but given that the two Amir brothers (especially Yigal) consistently refused to testify against, or implicate, Raviv in any wrong doings - the latest move is quite a surprise.

Of the gun and bullets Hagai supposedly supplied brother Yigal to murder Rabin, I have quite a story from the good old days of me vs. those desperate out of their minds to concoct an alternative anti-evidentiary good for public consumption scenario:

At a recent lecture, a member of the audience asked to speak with me privately and requested that I do not reveal his name. He opened my Hebrew book to the page where I presented the report on Hagai Amir's weapons from police ballistics laboratory. Hagai Amir was imprisoned for keeping an arsenal of weapons in his home and for giving his brother Yigal the bullets which supposedly murdered Rabin. Included in the armory was a pistol whose serial number was noted. The audience member took out his own weapon and asked me to read the serial number. It was the very same number as Hagai Amir's pistol. How could that be, I asked? He explained, "The night after the murder, the Shabak raided my house and took my gun and bullets. They had to have handed them over to the police, claiming they actually belonged to Hagai Amir.

Here now is how badly Hagai was framed. After reading this, do you think Hagai will be in a mood to talk? From me back then, to you today:

On the night of the Rabin assassination, the police raided "assassin" Yigal Amir's house and found no weapons. This could not be permitted, so two days later the Shabak conducted their own raid and found a veritable armory, which they claimed belonged to Yigal's brother Hagai. Now they could explain where Yigal got his gun and ammo; from little brother's stockpile.

The Hagai armory was photographed and released to the press. Many noticed that among the stock there was an IDF - issued M-16 and lots of IDF ammo. How, many asked, did Hagai acquire army equipment?

The Shabak sprung into action and came up with a plan. They looked in their registry of young men opposed to the peace process and found Sargent Arik Shwartz, who was in charge of an armory in a small IDF base. He would be the source of Hagai's army weapons, whether he was or not.

What caught the author's eye was the sheer volume of documents related to the framing of Sgt. Shwartz. While Mann and his co-researcher saw little reason to pore over so many pages related to such an obscure side issue, the author saw great drama emerging from the Shabak's Humor and Absurdity Branch. The following tale comes right from the records of Israel Police.

The Shabak hands the police an order to raid Arik Shwartz's home based on their claim that he had stolen IDF weaponry, sold it to Hagai Amir and one of his bullets may even have murdered the prime minister.

The police are despatched to the home of Sgt. Arik Shvartz but he isn't in, he's at his base. But his 61 year old mother Sarah Shwartz is in, opens the door and a squad of police barge into her home. The commander barks at her,

"Okay, where does he keep his weapons?"

Sarah replies, "Who keeps what?"

"The weapons Arik stole from the army. Where are they?"

"Arik took his weapon back to the base."

"No, the rest of them. The ones he gives out to his assassin pals."

"He's never brought anything like that home. He's a wonderful boy."

Sarah refuses to allow her house to be searched but her husband Dr. Nafatali Shwartz, yes, the well-known dentist, acquiesces and the police turn the house upside down. In the end, they find one used grenade pin and handle, a souvenir of army training.

Behind the scenes and unreported, the police must have expressed their pique to the Shabak for sending them on a wild goose chase. The men of the Shabak's Humor and Absurdity Division spring back into action. They return to the Shwartz home in Ramat Gan and only Sarah is home this time. We don't know which threats were used on her but she did agree to go to the police and admit that she gathered all of Arik's weapons, put them in a suitcase and threw it into the Mediterranean Sea. Here is her testimony to the police:

"On the night of the Rabin assassination my son Arik called from his base and said there could be trouble if I didn't do him a little favor. He asked me to pack all his weapons and get rid of them where no one would find them. I found his weapons sitting in a carton and I packed them into a suitcase. Then I took a bus to look for a good spot to dump the suitcase. I got off near the Dolphinarium Disco and took a trail behind it to the sea. I climbed onto a rock outcrop and threw the suitcase into the sea. This I declare is the truth."

The police were hardly convinced. They asked her what was in the suitcase and she replied,

"Rifles, bullets, grenades, that sort of thing."

To which the police insisted that the suitcase would weigh 75 kilograms. That, they decided was too heavy for frail, 61 year old Sarah to lift onto the bus, let alone throw far enough into the sea that no one would detect its presence in the water. They sent her home.

We do not know how the police chided the Shabak for again wasting their time but the Humor and Absurdity Brigade was back in action, once again visiting Sarah Shwartz. They ordered her to find a co-conspirator, a strong young man who could have conceivably thrown the suitcase in the sea. She phoned her nephew, seventeen year old Moshe Khakham (pronounce KH like the end of Bach) of Bnei Brak and asked him to do her a teeny little favor. One can only imagine his enthusiastic response:

"Sure I'll help you destroy vital evidence connected to the biggest murder in the country's history! I like the idea of spending fifteen years in prison for you."

Sarah and Moshe tramp down to the police station and once again confess. Moshe gives the following testimony:

"On the night of the Rabin assassination, my aunt Sarah phoned me to request a small favor. She asked if I wouldn't mind picking up a suitcase of hers and throwing it into the sea. I went to her place, rang the bell and waited until she came down. She was walking the dog and carrying a suitcase. She didn't tell me what was in it. But she asked me to take a ride in my car and throw it into the sea. I saw a trail behind the Dolphinarium which led to a rock outcropping. I stood on it and threw the suitcase fifty meters into the sea. This I declare this to be the truth."

Here comes the drama. The police don't believe that Sarah carried the suitcase down to his car but they especially don't believe that Moshe could throw 75 kilos fifty meters.

Moshe explained, "It was stormy that night. I threw it only a few meters, then watched as the waves carried it fifty meters out."

The police react, "Then the suitcase floated?"

"For a little while, just long enough for the waves to take it fifty meters out."

"And how long does a suitcase full of steel float?"

"Longer than you'd expect. Look, can I talk to my aunt?"

Sarah is brought into the room. She looks at Moshe and says,

"You told them, didn't you?"

He replies, "They made me."

This show over, the police ask Sarah a simple question. How did she know about the trail behind the Dolphinarium and the rock outcropping if she wasn't there? Now, I guess in hindsight she would have preferred to say,

"I asked Moshe where he threw it and he drew a map for me," but she was stunned by the question and couldn't answer it.

The police tell Sarah and Moshe to get lost and once again we can only imagine what they told the Shabak. But nothing deters the Humor and Absurdity Battalion. They visited Sarah Shwartz again and the next day she was back at the police station. This time her testimony was:

"After Moshe came back without the suitcase, I became curious where he had thrown it. So I asked him to drive back with me to the exact spot. We got out near the Dolphinarium, crossed a trail behind it and climbed onto a rock out cropping.

Then he pointed to the left and said, 'I threw it over there.'"

This Sarah declared to be the truth.

Now why was the author so entranced by the sad saga of Sarah Shwartz?

Because it showed just how panicky and irrational the Shabak were in the days after the Rabin murder. The plan did not go off as anticipated and a brand new conspiracy had to be built almost from scratch. If Yigal Amir had access to IDF ammo, which they were now saying Hagai prepared for him to murder Rabin, then a source for the ammo had to be found.

They viewed this as crucial to their coverup. They started with Sgt. Arik Shwartz and by George, he was going to be their culprit no matter what. At this point in the drama, the tempo picks up. The police are worn down and finally accept Sarah's sworn testimony. At one in the morning, a team of police frogmen and their hi-tech night vision equipment, assemble on a beach opposite the Dolphinarium. It turns out the water Moshe Khakham had tossed the suitcase into was too shallow to swim in, so the frogmen first formed a line to feel for the suitcase with their feet. Only after nearing the magic fifty meter offshore mark, did any swimming underwater take place. But alas, no suitcase was found.

However, since a compact suitcase weighing at least 75 kilos could not have drifted far or anywhere, the frogmen reassembled at 6:45 in the morning to finally track down the proof that Hagai Amir supplied army issue ammo to his assassin brother Yigal from Arik Shwartz's considerable, stolen weapons cache.

But the suitcase just wasn't there. This time the police were hopping mad. At the next interrogation they invited Sgt. Arik Shwartz to testify with his mother. Enjoy the next scene as inscribed in the police records:

Arik Shwartz:...And then I asked my mother, if she wouldn't mind, to collect all my stolen weaponry and throw them in the sea where no one would find them.

Sarah Shwartz: Enough lies!

Arik Shwartz: Mom, no! Sarah Shwartz: Maybe if we tell the truth, we can get Moshe out of jail.

It was all too much for Sarah, she cracked. She couldn't go on. The last straw for her was when they arrested and jailed her teenage nephew on suspicion of destroying evidence vital to the investigation of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin. Through circumstances she could not possibly have understood, she managed to get her nephew to face up to fifteen years in prison. She couldn't do the same thing to her son. Sarah had had enough of the threats and lies and said so. This is why the sad saga of Sarah Shwartz was never mentioned in the Shamgar Commission findings or the protocols of either Hagai or Yigal Amir's trials. The Shabak's Humor and Absurdity Force didn't foresee that sixty one year old Sarah Shwartz would tell the truth at the end of the day.

And now for the punchline: Sgt. Arik Shwartz was charged and indicted for stealing weapons from the IDF and selling them to Hagai Amir. Why not, with such powerful evidence against him gathered by the Keystone Shabak?

Now, you wanna bet he shuts his trap??

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