October 16, 2001
PRELIMINARY ZEEVI QUESTIONS
by Barry Chamish
Rehavam "Ghandi" Zeevi was murdered just six hours ago in the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem. At 6:45 AM, he sat with his wife in the hotel's dining room having breakfast. He told his wife that there was someone there staring at him suspiciously, in fact, he wouldn't take his eyes off him. The couple's room, which was his permanent residence while the Knesset was in session, was at the end of the eighth floor hall, opposite the fire escape stairs. The assassin waited by the stairs until Zeevi arrived, pumped two shots into his head, ran down the stairs, and out the hotel where a vehicle rushed him to Ramallah within ten minutes. The PFLP (Front For The Liberation Of Palestine) quickly took responsibility for the murder. That is about all that has been reported so far...but it's enough to start asking questions.
1. Two days before, Zeevi, the Tourism Minister in the Sharon government, resigned, taking with him Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beiteinu faction. The resignations were to take effect at 1:30 PM that day. Thus, Zeevi had a contingent of Shabak bodyguards attached to him, assigned to protect a government cabinet minister.
So where were they? When Zeevi spotted a suspicious character at breakfast, why didn't the Shabak check his identity before he could inform the assassin that his quarry was on the way? When the Zeevis went to their room, why were they unprotected? When they left their room before breakfast, why wasn't a guard posted outside their door? Why could the fire escape door opposite a minister's room be opened from the stairs side? Why could the escape car wait outside the minister's hotel without arousing suspicion?
And who knew the minister's routine well enough to provide exact intelligence to the hit squad? Someone inside the hotel perhaps, the bodyguards for sure.
To answer all these questions, the Shabak will claim, as they did after the Rabin assassination, that there was a massive screwup, and that Zeevi didn't want his bodyguards near him, as if he had a say in the matter. But we won't believe them this time, will we? 2. Let's look at the timing. Two days before, Zeevi threatened to resign unless Sharon fired Shimon Peres as Foreign Minister and provided real IDF protection for Hebron's Jews. Sharon refused and Zeevi quit. The next day, Sharon announced that he would be leading upcoming negotiations with the PLO. However, with Moledet and Yisrael Beiteinu out, Sharon's mandate to conduct such negotiations was severely compromised. The Jerusalem Post lead editorial on the morning of the assassination asked if Zeevi and Lieberman's departures were the beginning of the end for Sharon's government.
3. Post-murder reactions - Two cabinet ministers, Dahlia Itzik and Dan Meridor both echoed the same line: Israel must not over-react to the assassination. Two hours later, both Moledet and Yisrael Beiteinu rejoined Sharon's government. Zeevi would not have approved but then again, he really didn't have a say anymore.
4. The big winners - Shimon Peres stays on as Foreign Minister. Sharon survives as prime minister. Arafat gets his terror state soon. The outsiders who foisted Oslo on Israel can rest easy knowing Israel's path to destruction will continue as planned.
5. The conclusion - Anyone who challenges the "peace" process from within will die. Rehavam Zeevi joins the elite legion of the brave along with Mota Gur, Eliahu Ben Elissar and Yitzhak Rabin.