Israel vows to curb Jewish extremists Man linked to assassin reportedly was informer

November 20, 1995|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

JERUSALEM -- As a state inquiry began into the security failures that led to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, the Israeli Cabinet said yesterday that it would crack down on Jewish extremists.

The government established three committees to study ways to disband Jewish extremist groups, to bar Jewish extremists from entering Israel and to cut off funds to institutions believed to incite against democracy, Cabinet Secretary Shmuel Hollander said.

"The government declares that extremist, violent, racist and terrorist organizations pose a great threat to the democratic regime of Israel, to the security of the state and the safety of the public," Mr. Hollander said.

Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein said the action represents the launching of "a war against Jewish terrorism."

Right-wing political leaders accused the government of engaging in a witch hunt.

But legal expert and civil libertarian Moshe Negbi said the government's actions are negligible.

"They made the same promises after Baruch Goldstein carried out his massacre in Hebron," Mr. Negbi said. "And nothing happened."

In February 1994, Goldstein, a Jewish settler, killed about 30 Muslim worshipers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron. After the attack, the government banned the extremist Kach and Kahane Chai organizations and shut their main offices.

"But that was it," Mr. Negbi said. "The courts and the police have done nothing against Jewish extremists. I am sorry to say that I do not think that the right wing has anything to worry about."

Mr. Rubinstein agreed that the government's attitude toward Jewish extremist groups has, in the past, been "indifferent." But no more, he said.

In another revelation yesterday, police ballistics experts said their tests showed that Yigal Amir actually stood with his gun against Mr. Rabin's back when he fired the first bullet. In a reconstruction of the crime last week, Mr. Amir demonstrated to police that he stood slightly behind the prime minister, his arm extended, when he opened fire.

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