Indy’s Matt Hill engages in cynical smear about Netanyahu and the Rabin murder


Given our past experience with Matt Hill’s false allegations against Israel, his recent essay at The Independent (Aug. 15) was not at all surprising.  In April, we prompted a correction by Indy editors to an inflammatory and inaccurate claim he made regarding the use of birth control by Ethiopian Israelis, and his latest Indy entry, If peace talks fail, Israel will be the loser, suggests that he is undeterred by past failures.

In an almost comically one-sided pro-Palestinian “analysis” of the current peace negotiations, Hill wrote the following about the villain in his tale, Binyamin Netanyahu:

Optimists hope Netanyahu has had a change of heart about a negotiated settlement since the days when he helped lead the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who was assassinated for launching the modern “peace process”.

Though I’ve heard some make the claim that Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the incitement leading up to Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, which itself appears to be untrue (as I demonstrate below), I’ve rarely come across such an explicit charge that he “helped lead the incitement”.  So, I followed the link and, sure enough, the article he cited doesn’t even go that far.  Hill’s source is an article in Arutz Sheva about Dror Moreh, the director of Israeli film “The Gatekeepers”, which includes the following quotes:

“There were many incidents of incitement against Rabin who was Prime Minister” in 1995 when he was killed by Yigal Amir. “Binyamin Netanyahu had a role in many of those incidents. Netanyahu made a speech in which a protester carried a coffin for Rabin, and I am sure he saw it. I am convinced he did. He was not naïve, and he knew what was going on in these rallies that he led. They called Rabin a Nazi collaborator.

“It is true that Yigal Amir, Rabin’s killer, is in prison,” Moreh said. “But I believe that many others who collaborated with him are guilty as well. They are just as responsible as the one who pulled the trigger. Amir was their messenger,” he added.

Before even fisking Moreh’s accusation, it should be noted that Hill’s claim that Bibi “helped lead the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin” is evidently based solely on one opinion by one film director that “Netanyahu made a speech in which [a couple of] protesters carried a coffin [of Rabin]”. That’s it – one protest against the Oslo Peace Process in which a protester allegedly incited against the Prime Minister.

However, even this claim has been completely deconstructed by, among others, the popular blogger Elder of Ziyon.  Here are the main points:

  • The Hebrew words on the coffin during a protest in Ra’anana in March 1994 (over a year and a half before the Rabin murder) which Moreh alludes to, were “Rabin, the burier of Zionism” (”רבין, קובר [ה]ציונות”) and “Rabin, the killer of Zionism.”* This is far different than the suggestion in the quote that there was a coffin carrying Rabin in effigy – which would signify the desire for his death. (Indeed, more broadly, if you place “protest” and “coffin” in Google Images you’ll see how ubiquitous such coffin symbolism is during both left-wing and right-wing non-violent demonstrations throughout the world.)
  • In this video, dated April 17, 1995, more than half a year before Rabin’s assassination, Bibi is seen telling a crowd of Likud supporters, who are shouting “Rabin is a traitor”, that Rabin is NOT a traitor. Bibi repeats this several times. He also tells the crowd that though Rabin is wrong, and that he’ll have to step aside, but that “we’re dealing with political rivals, not enemies. We’re one and the same people.“* Also see CAMERA’s reports and links demolishing the charge that Bibi called Rabin a ‘traitor’ here (second item) and here.

In short, there appears to be NO evidence whatsoever to back up the claim that Netanyahu incited violence against Rabin, yet alone “helped lead the incitement” against the slain Prime Minister. While Matt Hill can of course hate Bibi as much as he wants, he isn’t entitled to pass off old hateful rumors as if they were true, about something he evidently knows very little, and pass it off as fact.

Finally, it’s difficult not to note the abject cynicism of those like Hill who would falsely accuse an Israeli politician of incitement to murder a fellow Jew, while completely ignoring the countless examples of Palestinian leaders explicitly inciting the murder of Jewish civilians.  Here – to use just one example – is Mahmoud al-Zahar, senior leader and co-founder of Hamas, in 2010, waxing eloquently on the need to annihilate the “blood sucking” Jews.

What most defines Guardian-style Leftists (such as Matt Hill) is the risible platitudes they often advance that they’re truly concerned with Israel’s survival while simultaneously coldly turning a blind eye to explicit calls by Palestinians to engage in the mass murder of Jewish men, women and children.  

Those who can not summon the outrage necessary to condemn, without qualification, the often Nazi-style rhetoric of jihadists simply can not claim the mantle of anti-racism or liberalism, nor feign shock when their moral decency is called into question. 

(*Translations in the videos cited have all been confirmed by multiple sources.)

21 comments on “Indy’s Matt Hill engages in cynical smear about Netanyahu and the Rabin murder

  1. Matt Hill is lying about Israel.
    The Earth is round.
    Bears shit in the woods
    Etc. etc…
    I’m looking forward to read his indignation and whining here below. (or not)

  2. Although I am totally skeptical about the peace negotiations, one, albeit just one detailed history of prior negotiations leaves me with the impression that they have gotten amazingly close to a palatable agreement in the past, and it may not be impossible now. I am resolved not to focus on all the media speculations and crumbs for the next nine months and attend to other issues instead.

  3. Though I’ve heard some make the claim that Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the incitement leading up to Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, which itself appears to be untrue (as I demonstrate below), I’ve rarely come across such an explicit charge that he “helped lead the incitement”.

    Are you joking ? Were you in Israel in 1995 ? Elder Of Zion can “deconstruct” all he wants to, but anyone who lived in Israel through this period was very aware of Bibi’s silence while his followers engaged in a loud public campaign of vilification of Rabin.

    It’s pathetic how you adopt one of the favourite tactics of the Guardian faithful: “proving” false something that is blatantly true.

    Disgusting and sickening !

    • Are you joking ? Were you in Israel in 1995 ?
      No I’m serious and I was in Israel even participated at the demonstration where Yigal Amir murdered Rabin. Netanyahu should have been more active in condemning the vilification of Rabin, but saying that he helped the inciters is a lie.
      Most of the inciters were from the ranks of the National Religious Party and not from the Likud, and at that time nobody could imagine that anybody would even think about an assassination including the Shinbeth and Rabin’s bodyguards.
      something that is blatantly true
      The allegation that Bibi helped the inciters is a blatant lie.

      • Peter:

        For once we are saying the same thing. I specifically said “Bibi’s silence while his followers engaged in a loud public campaign of vilification of Rabin. and never claimed that he incited them.

        I was referring to the statement in the article:
        Though I’ve heard some make the claim that Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the incitement leading up to Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, which itself appears to be untrue

        You say:
        Netanyahu should have been more active in condemning the vilification of Rabin, which is a polite way of saying exactly what I said !

    • Hill made the specific claim that “Bibi helped lead the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin”, which I demonstrated was untrue. If you have evidence to back up his smear please present it.

      • But I never referred to that claim by Hill in my comment. I only questioned your statement:
        Though I’ve heard some make the claim that Netanyahu turned a blind eye to the incitement leading up to Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, which itself appears to be untrue (as I demonstrate below), I’ve rarely come across such an explicit charge that he “helped lead the incitement”.
        It is very easy to “demonstrate” and “prove” when you use the same tactics as the CiF writers – just search for a blog that says exactly what you want to hear. They quote White or Silverstein as “proof”, you quote Elder. But Adam, you repeatedly show that a collection of cherry-picked facts plus opinions from biased blogs do not constitute the truth or reality, so why have you done the same here ?

        Unless you were here in 1995 and witnessed the unfettered incitement against Rabin you are unable to judge the degree of Netanyu’s “blind eye”, which BTW was much discussed at that time. It is also no secret that many senior Likud MKs were uncomfortable with Bibi’s tactics.

    • You can try and deconstruct the deconstruction all you want but it’s a fact that Bibi was NOT silent about Rabin’s vilification. I’m sorry but telling your supporters and followers that Rabin is NOT a traitor and denouncing the picture of him in Nazi uniform is certainly NOT silence. YOU are disgusting and sickening. No one believes the lies of the Israeli Left. We’re not in the 90’s anymore. Get over it!

      P.S

      I’m Israeli and was in Israel during the time, I doubt you were though.

  4. Wasn’t the coffin in fact meant to illustrate certain protesters’ claims that Rabin was responsible for the death of Zionism or something like that?
    Even assuming theoretically that it was indeed supposed to be the coffin of Rabin himself – it’s ridiculous to expand Netenyahu’s mere vague vicinity to claim he “helped lead the incitement”.

    • Pretzelberg:
      Your conjecture has no value unless you were in Israel in 1995 and witnessed the series of rallies . It wasn’t “vague vicinity” – they were organised by the Likud. I am not saying that the party approved the coffin or the Nazi pictures (nobody has claimed this), but it is naive to assume there was no cynical exploitation of the situation.

        • The coffin was NOT that of Rabin but of Zionism and the Nazi pictures were disseminated by Shabak agent provocateur Avishai Raviv (aka “Champagne”) in order to incite the settlers. Well, the Shabak got what it wanted, didn’t it?

  5. Fine in so far as it goes but it really is small town news isn’t it? Peace talks are starting , the cement mixers are ready to destroy them and there are tens of thousands of people living in squalor whose lives could suddenly improve . Are there not other issues at such a time?

    • The PLO, Hamas, and fellow travelers are always ready, willing, but so far unable to destroy Israel, but you won’t read about it in the Guardian.

  6. Yet another biased Matt Hill article, replete with his usual stereotypical thinking, phrases and images – “Israel’s aim is to drag the Palestinians to the table on a leash, offer them terms of surrender, and force them to add their signature”…

    This and a lot more like it from the same guy who, a couple of months ago, wrote virtuously: “we must do away with our caricatures of this conflict, and attempt to see the messy reality for what it is”.
    [“Good-and-evil caricatures of the Israel-Palestine conflict are costing lives” –

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9907661/Good-and-evil-caricatures-of-the-Israel-Palestine-conflict-are-costing-lives.html%5D

    Hypocritical much, Matt?

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