Daily Israel Report

Civil War "Talk" Heats Up

As tensions over the withdrawal/expulsion plan intensify, talk of a civil war or violence between Jews is also heating up. Some fear another Avishai Raviv-type provocation against the right-wing.

First Publish: 2/13/2005, 12:43 PM / Last Update: 2/13/2005, 1:49 PM

The following items have been noted in recent days:

* A resident of Itamar in Samaria was accused on Friday of having attempted to run over a policeman during a fracas over the deployment of a caravan. Eyewitnesses say that nothing of the sort occurred, other than the fact that a resident didn't stop when told to do so by a policeman. They say that a similar complaint was made two months ago following a confrontation near Yitzhar, also in Samaria; an officer claimed that a resident tried to attack him while soldiers destroyed two empty trailer homes. The case was later closed.

* Voice of Israel Radio devoted considerable time on this morning's shows to discussing the "similarity" between the events of this week and those that preceded Rabin's assassination. The host asked why the police and legal authorities are not doing more to arrest agitators.

* Last week, a group of protestors yelled at Education Minister Limor Livnat, who attended a memorial ceremony for Lechi fighter Ya'ir Stern, for her support for the disengagement plan. Many headlines said she was "attacked," though in fact she was not.

* Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit, a pro-withdrawal Likud member, says he received a letter threatening his family.

* It was widely reported that Chabad youths attacked Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this past Thursday night, threw something at him, and slashed his tires. It was quietly reported afterwards, however, that none of this actually happened. The driver of Netanyahu's car saw that his tire was low on air, but criminal intent is not suspected.

* MK Tzvi Hendel, a resident of Gush Katif, said that the alleged attackers "cause harm not only to our cause, but also to the entire country. But they are only a tiny fraction of the entire populace, and they must be related to in this manner. It's actually the Prime Minister who sees fit to mention Judea, Samaria and Gaza and extremist Kach members in the same breath. A citizen who hears the Prime Minister make such an equation is liable to believe him... I don't see anyone being arrested. I'm beginning to think that this is another case of [Shabak agent-provocateur] Avishai Raviv, and that [these incidents] serve Sharon's ultimate objective of de-legitimizing all of us."

Avishai Raviv (pictured above) is believed to have encouraged Yigal Amir to assassinate Yitzchak Rabin in 1995. Among other evidence, two high school girls said they heard Raviv goad Yigal Amir into assassinating Rabin. Raviv was similarly the driving force behind the fictitious Eyal organization, which "took credit" for attacks against Arabs that never occurred - leading to the ostracizing of the nationalist camp by many.

* Minister Matan Vilnai, who aspires to head the Labor Party, said yesterday, "We have to 'lower the heads' of the extremist inciters. There is no reason that they should sit quietly at home. We must chop off the incitement against public figures immediately."

* The police department plans to grant "immunity" to police officers charged by settlers with undue violence during the expulsion from Gaza. So reports the Yediot Acharonot newspaper today. The report states that the police believe that the settlers plan to "intimidate" policemen from carrying out the evacuation by filing illegitimate complaints charging them with undue violence and the like. The police will therefore not suspend these policemen, in keeping with long-running custom, but will rather investigate the charges even as the policemen continue to carry out their jobs.