Barry Chamish (OBM) & Me
There is a saying that a man holding a hammer is looking for a nail.
I was saddened to hear that Barry Chamish died this week, at 64.
I had a brief encounter with Barry probably around 1999, shortly after the publication of Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin? (1998).
I admired Barry's courage in publicising his detailed theories about the Rabin murder, at a time when the left wing purge and harassment of the right wing was in its hey-day.
I invited Barry to my home in the still-young Ramat Beit Shemesh, and held a parlour meeting for the public to hear his presentation.
We (literally) had a packed house with (I guess) nearly 100 people crammed into my salon.
Barry arrived extremely late.
This was in the days before cellphone were ubiquitous, and so we only heard the reason for his mysterious delay after Barry arrived, flustered and upset, at our house.
Barry had arrived by taxi, which he ordered after dumping his car at a gas station somewhere on the Route 38.
The reason he had dumped his (rather old) car, was that his axle had split in two. This was potentially extremely dangerous and Barry considered himself lucky to have escaped from the incident alive.
Barry joined the dots of this massive mechanical failure of his car, and told us his axle had clearly been tampered with that 'someone' had attempted to kill him.
After this dramatic introduction, and a stiff drink to calm him, Barry proceeded with his fascinating presentation of Who Murdered Rabin, with video of the assassination and his own frame-by-frame commentary.
I have no idea if there had been an assassination attempt on Barry Chamish's life that night, or if his car had simply suffered an unfortunate mechanical failure.
However, it says a lot about the man, and about his work, that there was credible ambiguity.
Barry sought out such ambiguities, and read them as conspiracies and devious plots. Not just about
Rabin, but about UFO's and broader Israeli and Middle East politics.
He was a man holding a hammer, looking for nails.
In the case of Rabin, I think Barry was close to the mark, if not spot on.
I am not the only one who suspects that the official narrative of that tragic night of Rabin's murder, is false.
Over 40% of Israeli apparently believe likewise.
And this includes Rabin's family, such as Dalia who I heard in an Army Radio interview this past November (the time of the Rabin memorial) state how she has unanswered fundamental questions about the official version of events, which she knows to be untrue.
Note; Dalia Rabin was Deputy Defense Minister under Arik Sharon - and had access to information way beyond a regular person's security clearance. She also was a personal witness, together with her mother, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination...
After Barry left our home, we remained in contact for a few years, and I even gave him some assistance with aspects of his Rabin investigation - I introduced Barry to the alleged 'real assassin' of Yitzhak Rabin, who was then residing in Netanya.
In the years which followed, Barry became emotionally broken, feeling his work was unappreciated, and he left Israel to return to the USA. He remarried there, I believe to a non-Jewish woman.
Although it would be natural to speculate "Who Murdered Barry Chamish?" - I frankly do not think he presented a serious enough risk to the establishment he despised so much, that "they" would launch a mission to kill him.
But, who knows?