We are publishing today in full, for the first time, the Riftin Report, which was classified for 73 years. The report includes the findings of an investigation executed by Yaakov Riftin, appointed by Ben Gurion, in February-March 1948, into a series of 15 serious incidents in which members of the Haganah were suspected – including extrajudicial killing, looting, and torture during interrogation. The report also lists a number of recommendations to prevent such incidents in the future.
The existence of the Riftin report was a known fact along the years, and parts of is have been quoted from time to time in literature about the era. Nevertheless, the report itself, included in a file that was deposited in the IDF and Defense Establishment Archive, remained classified all those years – despite a number of requests from researchers and journalist to declassify it. Few years ago, Akevot Institute researchers had located another copy of the Riftin report (without the annexes) at the Yad Tabenkin Archive. Since then, we at the Akevot Institute have been working to get the Israeli Military Censorship to review it in order to publish the report. Now, after a long struggle, we are happy to finally publish the full report on our website – translated to English as well, for the first time since it was handed to PM Ben Gurion on March 1, 1948.
In parallel to publishing the report itself, we continue our struggle to declassify the full file, including the report’s annexes, which is kept in the IDF and Defense Establishment archive. Today we sent out a letter [LINK] the director of the archive, demanding to declassify the file in full. We will continue to update on the matter as soon as our letter is answered.
Read the full story about the years-long concealment of the Riftin Report.
Read the Haaretz article by Ofer Aderet from 2018 about the report.