- On May 25, one Avigdor Eskin took me to court demanding
compensation for my writing that he was a "known Shabak provocateur."
I viewed the trial as nothing but a nuisance because Eskin's claims were
so stupid. Quoting a nearly seven year old paragraph which appeared in
an obscure American web site with no Israeli readers, this liar claimed
that he was damaged. And it only took him seven years to feel the pain.
- My attorney, Dov Eben-Or wrote my defence argument and
quoted Israeli law which puts the onus
- of responsibility on the publisher in such cases, not
- So what did Judge Chaim Lakhovitzky do? He changed the
law. In an incredibly long-winded ruling, he declared that because the
Internet is based on forwarded messages, web site owners cannot be responsible
for damages the way a newspaper is by law. From now on in Israel, writers
who post on the Internet are liable for any message they write.
- Eskin is a known Shabak provocateur and I proved it.
I presented articles from much more influential sources claiming just that
and the most widely read such claim appeared in Haaretz a full year before
my little paragraph appeared on the tiny American site. Another witness
was Dahlia Pelesoff-Rabin, daughter of the late Prime Minister, who was
quoted in a leading women's magazine insisting that she had followed Eskin's
antics closely and had been told that he was acting for the Shabak.
- But pity little Avigdor's daughter who was banned from
school because little old me had damaged her father's reputation. The judge,
for reasons I'm beginning to more than suspect, dismissed the proven fact
that one word in Haaretz reaches hundreds of thousands of Israelis whereas,
my claim was read by not a one of my countrymen.
- I asked the judge an obvious question. "Why is Eskin
suing me and not Haaretz or Dahlia Pelosoff-Rabin?" Now get this reply:
"Because he didn't want to."
- I knew the fix was in at that moment.
- If Eskin isn't a Shabak provocateur, he fits the pattern
like a glove. Like his fellow provocateur Avishai Raviv, Eskin seeks the
weak-minded and the weak to join his gang of merry pranksters and prods
them into committing outrages. Like Raviv, he befriended Yigal Amir and
even acted as his matchmaker with his screwball fiance Larissa Trembovler.
Since my last piece on Eskin, three people wrote telling me how he tried
to recruit them into his gang. They will be witnesses, if they agree, in
my appeal to this travesty of a verdict.
- And I have one other witness, Amir A., who was Rabin's
emissary to Arafat. He provided me with inside information proving Eskin's
- Eskin did not appear at the trial with a letter from
the Shabak denying he was associated with them. That could have been acquired
from the Defence Ministry. He brought no proof whatsoever that he was not
working for the Shabak and I brought ample evidence that he was a widely
known Shabak provocateur.
- Judge Lakhovitzky admitted my evidence carried great
weight, so he reduced Eskin's damages by 5/6, from 18,000 to 3,000 shekels.
To do so, he had to change Israeli laws protecting journalists from the
kind of nuisance the Eskins of the country can inflict on a free press.
- As soon as he verdict was released on the internet, two
journalists, Raanan Bavli and Shahaf Pilovitz wrote me. Both are editors
of sites and forums on the Rotter portal. The message was the same. You
have to fight the verdict or the precedent will destroy internet freedom
- Which I think was the idea in the first place.
- Eskin didn't wake up after seven years and decide he
was damaged by me. He was sent. And he gave all kinds of hints that he
was coached. Lately, one attack against me has appeared over and over by
my paid detractors. A year and a half before Ehud Barak's Lebanon escape,
two helicopters crashed in northern Israel killing 73 soldiers. A minute
later, an American F-14 crashed into Haifa Harbor killing its two man crew.
An hour later, from Geneva, Shimon Peres declared that the accident proves
Israel must leave Lebanon. The next day, four engineers from Israel Aircraft
Industries were killed when an Arab truck driver smashed their car. One
was the chief navigation engineer for the helicopter division. You can
draw your own conclusion if this is all coincidental. I sure don't think
- Three times Eskin told the judge that I also wrote that
Peres caused the helicopter crash, which I never did. And that came from
- Then things became positively weird. After the trial,
I went to the court secretary for a copy of my verdict. I have been to
too many trials in my life and know the procedure. It is printed out on
the spot. Now, I needed that verdict to prepare my appeal, but I was told
it wasn't ready. I replied that I had only 15 days to file an appeal and
I needed that verdict. I was told it would be mailed to me.
- I called my attorney Dov Eben-Or who was astounded that
the judge overturned his arguments. But he was astonished that I didn't
have the verdict to send him. The court had to issue it to me on the spot.
That is a basic legal right.
- One week passed and no verdict arrived in the post. So,
I called the Jerusalem district court
- to enquire what was going on. Here was the conversation.
- BC: I'd like to know if you posted me my verdict. (I
gave the file number)
- Court Secretary: Let me check. No, you have to get it
from Mr. Eskin.
- BC: What does that mean? I have to get it from you. Where
- CS: There is a problem. It's still in the computer. We
can't recover it right now.
- BC: Why not?
- CS: We are transferring data to a new computer.
- BC: You can't withhold the verdict from me. I can't file
an appeal without it. It's already been a week. When are you giving it
- CS. We'll notify you as soon as possible.
- Once more, Dov was astonished. "A verdict,"
he said, "is written by the judge and printed out in hard copy by
the court recorder after the trial. Verdicts don't get stuck in computers,
they are paper which is faxed or photocopied. This trial of yours really
- But I will continue to call Eskin a Shabak provocateur
if the evidence fits, rigged verdict or not.
- And I will appeal not only for myself, for every Israeli
journalist who will no longer be free to express
- himself on the Internet.
- If the appeal fails, I'll exploit the opening. I can't
begin to count how many real, baseless lies have been published against
me over the years on the net. I'll get them all with this new precedent.
I have one obsessive nutcase who has called me a Holocaust denier on innumerable
occasions. Just last week he was up to the same nonsense on a bunch of
Jewish newsgroups, this time anonymously.
- If the appeal fails, I'll go to town with him. But we'd
all better hope it doesn't or the only reporting you'll get from the Israel
internet is what the government allows.
- Which was probably the point of this show trial in the
- I shouldn't be doing this alone. It's really too much
of a burden. If anyone wishes to help me fund the appeal, just send a modest
- Barry Chamish
- Nakhal Zohar 40/2
- Modiin 71700 Israel
- This has been a stellar week for repression. It seems
to happen every time I make a breakthrough. And what a breakthrough I had.
Israel's most influential news portal, YNet, the outlet for Yediot Achronot,
did a very positive report on my webmaster and me. Have a look at:
- And while the outlet of the country's biggest newspaper
reported on my Rabin murder findings in a very fair way, the Jerusalem
Post locked me out.
- On Thursday. June 2, Root And Branch will present a most
impressive evening called, Two Views Of The Oslo Crimes. Speaker one, beginning
at 7 PM will be Dr. Atalia Ben Meir, author of Oslo: Fantasy Or Fiasc,
and I begin at 8:30. It'll be at the Israel Center, 22 Keren Hayesod, Jerusalem.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- The Post is supposed to provide a free listing for lectures
in its In Jerusalem and Billboard sections. For the first time, they turned
down the announcement.
- And I get so frustrated at the immigrant groups in Israel
but this time, let's pitch in to do the right thing. The English Speaking
Residents Association (ESRA) invited me to lecture on the Rabin murder
to its Modiin area chapter. The Chapter organizer is a nice lady named
Stella who was very excited by all the people who asked me to appear. Then
she sent the lecture announcement over the internert and she was so threatened
that she canceled the lecture. Now wouldn't it be nice if you called her
up and told her you want to hear me...and whatever else is on your mind.
Her number in Israel is 08 9727169. Long distance is 011 972 8 9727169.
- For all those outside the US who requested my new DVD,
The Deadly War Against The Settlers, it's being manufactured now. Be the
first on your yishuv to receive a copy. In America, write email@example.com
- As usual, you can order my English books; Shabtai Tzvi,
Labor Zionism And The Holocaust; Save Israel!; Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin;
Israel Betrayed; The Last Days of Israel; from firstname.lastname@example.org