WAS BARUCH GOLDSTEIN COMPLETELY INNOCENT?


In March, 1994, an angry and crazed Dr. Baruch Goldstein supposedly walked
into the Hebron Mosque within the Cave of the Patriarchs and shot 29
worshipers dead, while wounding another 60. A reexamination of the evidence
more than indicates that Dr. Goldstein was, in fact, a completely innocent
victim of a Shabak (General Security Services) sting operation.
I had suspected something like that back in April 1994, when I published
the article, Goldstein's Accomplices in my newsletter Inside Israel, but I
didn't have enough evidence to reach this conclusion until an Israeli
researcher, Avraham Yosef, provided me the smoking guns this week.
My suspicions were based on the following facts:

* On the very day of the massacre, an Arab reporter for the news magazine
Yerushalayim, Khalad Abu-Tuama interviewed 25 survivors from age nine to
eighty in six
different hospitals and all said there was either two or three shooters.
* A dozen of these survivors testified that there was more than one
shooter at the Shamgar Commission Of Inquiry Into The Hebron Massacre headed
by Meir Shamgar, the same former Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court
who later presided over the government inquiry which whitewashed the Rabin
assassination. Three soldiers on duty also testified that seconds after
Goldstein entered the mosque, another Jew carrying a Galil assault weapon
followed him in. Shamgar ruled that all the Arab witnesses perjured
themselves and that the soldiers were mistaken. Only by doing so could he
reach the desirable finding that Goldstein was a lone gunman.
* The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) originally announced that Goldstein
had arrived in uniform at the mosque in his civilian Subaru. The Shamgar
Comission heard very different evidence. Dr. Goldstein's wife Miriam was
surprised to discover a note informing her that Baruch was called to reserve
duty. She phoned the IDF duty commander for Kiryat Araba, Shmuel Eidelstein
to ask if he knew where her husband was. He said he didn't. And yet,
evidence presented at the Shamgar Commission proved that Goldstein arrived
in Eidelstein's IDF jeep.
* Orders were issued by the IDF to soldiers at the mosque to prevent all
women from entering. No such order had ever been previously given in the
soldiers' service.
* The IDF ruled that Goldstein shot 111 rounds in a minute and a half.
Ballistics experts such as Mustafa Adawi of the Palestinian police force
denied that was possible. All victims of the massacre said the shooting went
on for five minutes at least.
* The IDF denied that any of the victims died outside the mosque. In
fact, six Arabs, including the mosque iman, were shot by IDF soldiers at an
exit door. Shamgar ruled the soldiers shot into an unruly mob in self-defence.
* Police, normally on duty at the mosque, were called away to
investigate the shooting of one Muhmad Ibrahim Ayat in Kiryat Arba a few
minutes before Goldstein arrived at the mosque.

In the wake of the Rabin assassination, another fact proved most
bothersome. The Shabak ran a creepy division in Hebron called the Jewish
Department. Its duty was supposedly to surveil "radicals" but in fact, it
entrapped young people opposed to the Oslo Agreement in a series of sting
operations. Until the Rabin assassination sting, the most serious incident
was the entrapment and subsequent long imprisonment of the Kahalani
brothers, two innocents set up for planning a "massacre of Arabs." The full
details of this sting are found in Chapter Seven of my Feral House book Who
Murdered Yitzhak Rabin (cult@feralhouse.com).
The head of the Jewish Department at the time of the Hebron massacre was
Carmi Gillon. Though it was his duty to surveil a "radical" like Goldstein,
he was not called to testify at the commission of inquiry. This was
faciliated because his brother Ilan Gillon was the registrar of the court,
responsible for witness registration.
Nor was Gillon demoted for the Hebron fiasco. In fact, he was appointed
head of the Shabak shortly after, a position he held until a second Shamgar
Commission ruled he was guilty of sloppiness in the Rabin assassination.
I add that a few months ago, a source, well placed high in Israel's
security and political circles, informed me the real goal of the massacre
was to uprise the Arabs into conducting some massacres of Jews in
retaliation, forcing the IDF to remove the settlers from Hebron and other
sensitive areas in the territories for their own protection. After that, it
would be much simpler to fulfill the full terms of the Oslo Agreement with
the PLO.
Yet with all these facts and suspicions, I still did not have enough to
conclude that Goldstein was just another patsy of peace. One fact stood out
for many people; Dr. Goldstein was a mild-mannered, highly educated doctor
and a major in the IDF. His transformation into mass murderer did not fit
his personality. To bridge the reality gap, Jewish right wing writers have
come up with the unlikely theory that calls for a massacre of Jews on Purim
from the mosque drove Dr. Goldstein into a sudden, maniacal fit. As
psychologically improbable as this thesis is, worse is the justification
claimed by some desperate extremists that he slaughtered Arabs to prevent
the slaughter of Jews and thus died a hero.
Thanks to the research of Avraham Yosef, we see that Goldstein died as a
fall guy. He never intended to shoot anyone.
Mr. Yosef begins his article, The Murder Of Baruch Goldstein with an
explanation of how he gathered evidence. Simply, he read every word of the
Shamgar Commission report on the Hebron massacre. He notes that even though
Dr. Goldstein wasn't there to defend himself, a great deal of evidence on
his behalf was unintentionally offered, which was all, very intentionally,
dismissed by Shamgar.
The following evidence, taken directly from the Shamgar Commission's
Final Report, points to a very different massacre than the one Shamgar
described to the public in his findings. Point by point:

* Although the 60 people wounded were of varying ages, all 29 dead were
old. Although complete medical reports of the wounded were written, not one
full report was prepared for the dead.
* While some of the wounded were shot by bullets, most were hit by
shrapnel, the vast majority in their legs.
* A soldier in a booth had the duty of watching the mosque from three TV
cameras within the prayer hall. One camera was broken that day and the
shooter(s) stood within its lens field. Yosef asks if the shooter(s) was
told where to be out of camera range beforehand.
* Dr. Goldstein arrived in IDF unform. The guards asked him if he was on
reserve duty and he calmly answered that he was. They reported no change
from his normal behaviour. He left before his wife woke up and she knew
nothing of a call to serve in the reserves.
Yosef asks why he would have bothered putting on a uniform when he could
have just as easily entered the mosque in everyday clothing.
* The soldier guarding the prayer hall entrance within the mosque
testified that Dr. Goldstein did not pass by him. That means he could have
only entered through one of the two locked side entrances and since he
didn't have a key, that would have required help.
* An Arab witness who got a close look at Dr. Goldstein described him as
wearing black ear protectors. Goldstein's ear
protectors were found in his gun belt unused and colored off white.
According to this man's testimony, writes Yosef, Dr. Goldstein wasn't the
shooter the man saw.
* Numerous Arabs saw Dr. Goldstein subdued by up to twenty men armed with
the same metal nightsticks. The IDF soldier watching the events on his tv
monitor, saw three such men armed with iron batons subdue Dr. Goldstein. One
Arab witness told the police he saw a man open a storage closet and hand out
the nightsticks to the worshipers. Yosef concludes that such a collection of
weapons would not likely have been stored inside the mosque unless planted
there to be later distributed by an agent provocateur.
* All witnesses, Arab and Jew, heard two explosions before the shooting.
Yet no grenade shrapnel was found in the prayer hall. Shamgar concluded that
the explosions were caused by the imam Sheikh Jamal Natsha, twice slapping
his hand in fear on his microphone, which was broadcast loudly as booms in
the speaker system after the shooting began. As Yosef notes, the explosions
were heard BEFORE the shooting began "but we will never know the truth since
the imam was shot to death while leaving the mosque."

Yosef paints the following scenario. Since he was on standby duty, Dr.
Goldstein would not have thought it unusual to be called into the reserves
in the middle of the night. He was driven to the mosque and escorted to a
side door. He entered with his two
unintended accomplices. They threw two stun grenades into the crowd and shot
blank bullets. Then they left the prayer hall, locking the door behind them.
Goldstein was alone and armed facing the mob.
The old people were trampled by the mob and they were the only ones to
die. Notes Yosef, "Dr. Goldstein wasn't capable of killing people so he
followed regulations and shot at their feet to keep the crowd at bay. Many
bullets ricocheted off the floor, explaining the sharpnel wounds in the legs
of most victims." NO ONE, NOT EVEN THOSE SUBDUING HIM WITH METAL NIGHTSTICKS
WAS SHOT DEAD BY DR. BARUCH GOLDSTEIN.
Avraham Yosef concludes, "Dr. Baruch Goldstein was found guilty of mass
murder by the government media in a pre-designed campaign though he killed
no one. The fingerprints of the real plotter behind this ghastly plot are on
the hands of the then-head of the Jewish Department of the Shabak."
This conclusion I do endorse. No act was too ugly or hideous to be
committed on behalf of peace.

* * *

GOLDSTEIN THE PATSY? by Barry Chamish

Response to my recent article indicating that the Hebron massacrer Baruch Goldstein was just another in a long line of innocent peace process patsies was confusing. The greatest criticism came from the far Right, which for irrational reasons wants to preserve the image of Goldstein as a mass murderer and saint. They claimed that I and Israeli researcher Avraham Yosef got our facts wrong, without pointing to one error.
So, hoping to put an end to the accusations, I turned to my Jerusalem Post archives on CD-Rom to discover the facts as reported to the media. I am certain readers will find the results eye-opening. Among the many articles that appeared are those offering fascinating insights into the diplomacy that followed the massacre, which resulted in Hebron being put on the Oslo chopping block and foreign troops inserted into the city. This, along with security issues are beyond the scope of this article but are covered in depth in my new Feral House book, Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin (cult@feralhouse.com) and in a full-length video by the same name (robalini@aol.com).
Instead, I concentrate on the evidence and testimony collected by the police and the Shamgar Commission of Inquiry into the Hebron Massacre as reported in the Post. After reading the reports, let the reader decide if this really was a straightforward case of mass murder by a lone gunman.
The massacre occurred on Feb. 25/94, the Press reports begin two days later and end with the Shamgar Commission findings in June of that year. I begin with the Post's coverage and add my comments beginning and ending with three stars ***.

Feb.27- Goldstein Called Wonderful Doctor

Yechiel Leiter of the Council of Jewish Communities...said, "I don't think you know what anyone is capable of but he did not fit into the high-risk category."
David Ramati saw Goldstein a few hours before the massacre...He was with his children and "looked like a perfect picture of normalcy."

Feb. 27- Wave Of Riots After Hebron Massacre

The IDF said 54 Palestinians were killed in the shooting at the tomb and the ensuing disturbances in Hebron. Thirty-nine of them were killed when Dr. Baruch Goldstein entered the tomb early Friday morning and fired nearly 100 bullets from his Galil rifle into a group of Palestinian worshipers...Preliminary findings indicate that Goldstein arrived at the site around 5:45 PM, Friday, equipped with a pistol and a Galil assault rifle with five loaded magazines. Cartridges found on the floor of the prayer hall indicate that some 95 bullets were fired from Goldstein's gun...
Several Palestinians inside the mosque at the time of the massacre said that from what they saw, Goldstein was not working alone. They said that after he finished each cartridge, he was handed another by a "settler", who later fled. The witnesses also allege several settlers stood at one of the entrances to the mosque and prevented soldiers from entering when the shooting began.
"We were all on the ground prostated forward when I heard gunfire from behind," said Hashem Gheith, 37. "The shooting lasted for at least three or four minutes."
"The first thing I heard was bombs going off," said Adlay Jabari, 14. "Then I heard a machine gun."
Dr. Daoud Obeidi, director of the Aghli Hospital in Hebron, said from the shrapnel wounds suffered by some, it appeared hand grenades were used in the attack.

***In another early report in a separate article, a survivor says there was more than one gun because, "When one them changed clips, the shooting continued." The first reports tend to be the only consistently trustworthy ones. After that, versions are corrected to fit the prevailing coverup of undesirable facts. At first, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) announced Goldstein killed 39, with 95 shots from his Galil rifle. In the final Shamgar findings, Goldstein killed 29 with 111 bullets shot in a minute and a half. Originally he arrived at 5:45, Shamgar would later find that he arrived at 5:20.
However, the Arab witnesses told a very different story right after the event. They heard explosions and suffered shrapnel wounds. Shamgar later concluded that Goldstein carried no grenades and the explosions were really just noise from the mosque speaker system.
And they insist Goldstein was not alone in the prayer hall. He had accomplices handing him bullet magazines when his ran out and entrapping the worshipers inside. Further, the shooting lasted two to three times longer than Shamgar later found. Avraham Yosef makes a strong point: The Arab worshipers did not know Goldstein personally or by sight and only used his name because the Jewish authorities blamed him for the crime.***

Feb.28- IDF Satisfied With Measures Against Kach

In yesterday's cabinet meeting, Brig. Gen. Danny Yatom (later appointed head of the Mossad) said that preliminary findings conducted by the command's investigation committee indicate that all 111 bullet cartridges found match Baruch Goldstein's assault weapon...
Apparently, a second lieutenant on shift in the Machpela Cave called the Border Police at around 5:15 AM Friday and complained that two policemen due to arrive to reinforce his three-man contingent had failed to show up.

***The first two of an inordinately high number of security no-shows that morning is reported. Note the time of the call, 5:15 AM, a full half hour before Goldstein supposedly arrived according to first reports from the IDF.***

March 4- Rabin To Testify Behind Closed Doors

At yesterday's session, Kiryat Arba's chief security officer, Haim Sherf, told the commission that the driver of the jeep that had carried Goldstein to the Machpela Cave had disobeyed orders. The jeep is permitted to leave Kiryat Arba only if this is warranted for security purposes, he said.
Baruch Segal, a police ballistics expert, told the commission he had collected all the objects left behind in the cave after they had been filmed. Another expert, Lior Nedivi, said ballistic tests confirmed that 109 cartridges had come from Goldstein's Glilon (small Galil) rifle and five from the guns of two of the soldiers stationed there. One cartridge was unidentified, he said...
Dr. Mahmud Abu Ramile, director of the private Al-Hl'alie Hospital in Hebron said, "Soldiers on the rooftops with telescopes picked out people in the courtyard and started shooting them."

***Let us assume for the moment that the Arab doctor was giving false testimony, as Shamgar did and just concentrate on the devastating ballistic evidence. Five bullet cartridges were found to be from soldiers stationed in the prayer hall. In fact, no soldiers were stationed in the hall and no soldier later testified that he shot the bullets. The question of who shot those bullets remains unanswered, as does the question of who shot the "unidentified" cartridge.
One might try to find an explanation for the cartridge; perhaps a worshiper was armed. If so, why didn't he shoot Goldstein? Maybe it just happened to be lying on the floor from the day before. So why wasn't a shot from the prayer hall reported then? The cold fact is, this cartridge, in fact all six, prove that in all likelihood Goldstein was not the only shooter in the mosque.***

March 10- Wakf Officials Asked To Testify Before Shamgar Commission

Wakf officials yesterday requested an invitation to testify before the commission of inquiry into the Hebron massacre..."We want to bring the truth to light for the sake of both peoples," said Sheikh Sallah Natsha. "The Wakf officials are the true witnesses...they are the guards who were present at the event."
Natsha charged that the authorities had destroyed some of the evidence in the cave. "The authorities made it difficult to see what happened when they cleaned the place, even though we asked that they do not do anything until you see what happened," he told the commission. "They hid the evidence."

***The Sheikh wanted to tell the truth for the sake of both peoples. He wanted to expose which evidence had been destroyed. But, as we shall see, he wasn't permitted to do so.***

March 11- Border Police Officer Testifies

Dep. Cmdr. Meir Tayar, who heads the Border Police unit in Hebron, gave testimony which revealed bizarre procedural rules among the Border Police which contributed to three policemen's fatally late arrival at the Machpela Cave the morning of the massacre. They were late, Tayar said, because they hadn't been woken on time...
Supt. Uri Reiskop, who was acting commander of the Hebron police station also had trouble explaining why the policemen had failed to show up in the morning of the massacre. He initially said the men had been sent to investigate a shooting near Kiryat Arba.

***How fortuitous for Goldstein that on the morning of his alleged deed, the cops didn't man their posts at the mosque because they either slept in or were investigating a more urgent matter.***

March 17- Wakf Officials Boycott Massacre Inquiry

Yesterday morning's session of the Shamgar Comission on the Hebron massacre was cancelled after five Wakf officials failed to appear...
"We decided to boycott the inquiry commission because the Israelis cannot be both the enemy and the judge," said Hassan Tahboub, who heads the Islamic High Commmittee. The Palestinian committee said yesterday it believes soldiers played a role in the deaths at the mosque, despite testimony to the contrary by Israeli officers.

***My, how the Sheikh had a change of heart in a hurry! He would no longer tell the truth to the Shamgar Commission but we are given a strong hint of what it would have been; more soldiers than Goldstein were involved in the massacre.***

March 18- Soldiers' Testimony Conflict In Inquiry

Yosef, Drori and a third soldier, Erez Elimelech also all testified that they had seen Goldstein enter with an M-16. This contradicted the testimony of Lt. Rotem Revivi, the only soldier inside the cave when the massacre took place. Revivi said Goldstein had entered with a Glilon - the type of rifle from which the massacre bullets were actually shot.
In response to questions from commission members, Yosef and Drori both said that one person had entered with a Glilon that morning - a settler they didn't recognize who arrived shortly after Goldstein. The arrival of a settler they didn't recognize was unusual, the two said, since they knew all the regulars at the early prayer service.
Rotem also said Goldstein entered the cave at about 5:20: the other three put the time around 4:45...Commission member Judge Ahmed Zuabi commented if Rotem's assertion that Goldstein could not have used the main entrance without seeing him is true, it raises the possibility that Goldstein had assistance. One of the other entrances into the Yitzhak Hall is from Avraham Hall...Since this door was bolted from the Jewish side after the massacre, Zuabi noted, if Goldstein used this entrance, someone must have bolted it behind him.

***If I had to start naming suspects in the conspiracy or coverup, I would start with Lieut. Rotem Revivi, who backed the government's case that Goldstein carried a Galil rifle and arrived at 5:20, against those of three other soldiers who testified that Goldstein BROUGHT AN M-16 INTO THE CAVE OF THE MACHPELA 45 MINUTES BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT SAID HE ARRIVED. I will stress the most important fact of all, the IDF and Shamgar concluded that the massacre was caused by a Galil rifle not an M-16, yet three soldiers on duty testified that Goldstein carried an M-16.
Judge Zuaabi has finally awoken and publicly expressed his belief that a conspiracy was possible. Rotem testified that Goldstein did not pass by his post and enter the prayer hall through the main entrance. That leaves two other doors but only one on the Jewish side of the Cave wHere Goldstein was free to roam. Since it was found bolted from the Jewish side after the massacre, if Goldstein entered through it, someone else locked him into the prayer hall afterward.***

March 21 - Goldstein Carried Glilon Into Machpela Cave

Baruch Goldstein was almost certainly carrying a Glilon rifle the morning of the Hebron massacre, settlers told the commission of inquiry.
Motti Unger, who gave Goldstein a ride to the cave that morning, said he was almost certain Goldstein was carrying a Glilon. Unger said he dropped Goldstein at the cave around 5:20 AM. This contradicts the three soldiers mentioned above. Unger said Goldstein seemed completely normal that morning.

***Somebody's lying. Either the three soldiers or Rotem and Unger. Goldstein could not have arrived at the Cave at two separate times carrying two different weapons. The three soldiers had no obvious reason to lie, (unless they were not actually at their posts, in which case court martial proceedings should have been initiated against them) while Unger was letting the authorities off the hook.ý There is no possible way the three soldiers could have been so mistaken about the details. And since their testimony was later rejected by Shamgar, why weren't they tried and imprisoned for giving perjured testimony to an official investigation? If perjury was going on, it was from the IDF as you will dramatically see in the next article.***

March 30 - Police Have Different Open-Fire Orders

Earlier in the day, spectators in the courtroom listened spellbound as Eliezer Spitzer described Goldstein's movements just before the massacre. "I was driving with (security officer) Motti Ungar in his jeep in the early hours of the morning, "Spitzer said. "He got a message over the communications system to pick up Dr. Goldstein at the medical clinic...Goldstein did not seem to be behaving strangely..."
Goldstein's wife, meanwhile was trying to reach her husband. Shortly after 5 AM she called Shlomo Edelstein, who was on reserve duty at the telecommunications center. Edelstein, swinging nervously on his swivel chair, told the commission he had spoken to Goldstein and told Ungar to pick him up. A short while later, Miriam Goldstein called, asking if he could help track down her husband.
"I told her he was at the clinic and tried calling him on the communications network. I asked her if everything was fine and she said it was." But he admitted that later he had told her Goldstein might be at the Cave praying. Miriam said her husband "did not go there to pray."
Members of the commission had a surprise for Edelstein. According phone records of the calls to the center, obtained from the phone company, Miriam Goldstein had called him twice. "If she did, I don't remember," an uncomfortable Edelstein said.

***Suspect number two, Shlomo Edelstein. In another Post Article, it is reported that Goldstein once belonged to a prayer quorum in the Machpela Cave but quit it over a year before. Since then, as Miriam Goldstein supposedly said to Edelstein, her husband "DID NOT GO THERE TO PRAY." So why did Edelstein tell her he was going there? And why did other soldiers testify that Goldstein was a regular worshiper at the Machpela Cave? The commission trapped Edelstein in his own lies with phone company records. What was he covering up and why?***

April 4 - Wakf Guards: Goldstein Entered Yitzhak Hall Alone

Baruch Goldstein was alone when he entered the Yitzhak Hall of the Machpela Cave, Moslem guards testified yesterday. One witness said that three wakf guards were missing for morning duty the day of the massacre. "They took vacation," said Ismail-al-Shalmun.

***And so on. The wakf change of heart is complete. Gone are the days when their Sheikh was going to testify to the truth for the sake of both peoples. Now, some of the guards didn't show up and those who did agreed with the exact version desired by the Israeli authorities. The Palestinians have cut a deal to smother what they know, in return for huge concessions. A very early IDF withdrawal from Hebron was probably the grand prize for silence.***

June 26 - Shamgar Commission To ReLease Findings Today

The commission stressed that Dr. Baruch Goldstein had acted alone in committing the massacre. Testimony by three soldiers that another, unidentified man had entered that morning with a Glilon rifle, and the entry times given by these soldiers did not mesh with the other infomation received by the commission. These soldiers also claimed that Goldstein entered carrying an M-16 rifle: again, however, no one else saw an M-16 that morning.
The commission also rejected Arab testimony that a grenade had been thrown, since no fragments were found in the hall...
In the course of this testimony, glaring operational faults by the security forces were revealed. For instance, five of six members of the security forces who were supposed to be in the Cave the morning of the massacre were absent.

***And so forth. Shamgar reached his lone gunman conclusion despite the testimonies of numerous Arabs who said he wasn't alone in the prayer hall and despite the testimonies of three soldiers who saw a man carrying a Galil rifle follow Goldstein into the Cave. In Effect, Shamgar ruled that most of the Arab witnesses had perjured themselves, while the soldiers must have been mistaken. He rejected all testimony which he didn't like; that which contradicted his pre-formed verdict that Goldstein was a lone murderer.
And he made no attempt to tie up embarassing loose ends. There is no explanation offered for the six cartridges found in the prayer hall, the missing second phone call from Miriam Goldstein to Shlomo Edelstein, or all the missing soldiers at the Cave.
The Shamgar Commission was not seeking the truth about the Hebron massacre. Though one fellow judge publicly expressed his feeling that Goldstein was not alone, Meir Shamgar defied all issues of legal logic and thoroughness to make certain that history recorded Baruch Goldstein as the lone perpetrator of the Hebron massacre.***

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