Avishai Raviv (born 8 June 1967, Hebrew: אבישי רביב) was an agent of Israel's Shin Bet or Shabak, Israel's domestic intelligence service, whose mission was to monitor the activities of right-wing extremists. His code name was 'Champagne'.
Raviv was filmed at a public demonstration with a poster of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in an SS uniform prior to Rabin's murder. Raviv allegedly knew of Yigal Amir's plans to assassinate Rabin based on a controversial classification of handing over "Jewish land" as qualifying for "din rodef" ("law of the pursuer").
According to Jewish law, a rodef (literally pursuer) is one who is pursuing another person in order to murder them, and may be killed by a bystander in order to stop the murder from occurring if the pursuer does not desist after being warned. According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Yigal Amir's interpretation of din rodef is a gross distortion of Jewish law and tradition. "First of all, the law of the pursuer only applies to a spontaneous act, whereas Yigal Amir planned this assassination for two years. Secondly, the law of the pursuer is only intended to save a potential victim from imminent death. There is absolutely no proof that withdrawing from certain territories will directly lead to the death of any Jews. On the contrary, Prime Minister Rabin, over half the members of the Knesset, and over half the population of Israel believe exactly the opposite – that it will save Jewish lives. Lastly, this law does not refer to elected representatives, for if Yitzhak Rabin was really a pursuer, then so are all his followers and that would mean that Amir should have killed over half the population of Israel! In other words, even according to the law of the pursuer, this act was totally futile and senseless since the peace process will continue."
After Rabin was assassinated, the journalist Amnon Abramowitch revealed that Raviv was an agent of the Shabak.
Raviv was brought to trial in 2000 for not preventing Rabin's assassination. Raviv mounted a successful defense on the grounds that he had just been doing his job and events had spun out of control.
- Ex-Undercover Agent Charged as a Link in Rabin Killing, The New York Times, April 26, 1999
- Reinfeld, Moshe Haaretz, Jerusalem, Apr.01, 2003. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- "Rabbinic response: Jewish Law on the Killing of Yitzhak Rabin", by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center, 11/14/2005