Thursday, July 7, 2016

39 - Instrument of Authority Establishing the Olshan-Dori Commission of Inquiry, January 1955

To: Justice Y. Olshan - Jerusalem
Major General Y. Dori - Haifa

Dear Sir,

1. I hereby thank you for acceding to my request to serve on a secret Commission of Inquiry to determine the degree of responsibility borne by our authorities for the arrest of a group of Jews in Egypt, whose trial is now under way in the military court at Cairo.

2.  You are hereby requested:
I. To inquire
A) Whether the actions that led to the arrests were carried out under orders received from Israel;
B) Whether other such actions were carried out in Egypt and whether they too were carried out under orders from Israel;
C) Who gave these orders, under whose authorization and for what purpose;

II. To submit to me the conclusions you shall reach as a result of your inquiry;

III. To draw my attention to any serious defects you may encounter in the course of the investigation regarding the apparatus of the  IDF command in the area concerned and in the arrangements for political control over it.

3. I would much appreciate it if you could make yourself available for this undertaking without delay and without compromising the completeness of the inquiry carry it out with all possible speed.

4. It is my intention – and I know it is yours also – that the entire inquiry be kept a guarded secret. The conclusions will be submitted to myself only. The very fact of this inquiry being carried out is a secret, and the obligation of confidentiality falls upon everyone called to testify before you. You would do well to warn every witness about it when appearing before you.

5. The Defense Minister will open the Inquiry by reporting the facts known to him. You are of course entitled to pose questions to him and he shall remain at your service during the entire course of the investigation.

6. From the Defense Minister’s report, you will realize that you must hear testimony from the Chief-of-Staff and the Head of Intelligence Branch. The course of the investigation may make it necessary to summon other IDF officers and Security Service personnel to testify as well.

7. I myself will be ready to assist you during the course of the investigation to the best of my ability.

8. You are entitled to demand any written material you deem necessary from the Defense Minister and the officers of the General Staff.

9. My personal secretary, Mr. S. Cahana, will serve as secretary to the Commission of Inquiry. For the duration of the investigation and drafting of conclusions, he will be released from all other duties.

10. The investigation will be conducted in the Foreign Minister’s Office at the Kirya in Tel Aviv.

11. All your expenses will be met by the Prime Minister’s Office through the agency of Mr. Cahana.

12. This instrument of authority is being drawn up in three hand-written copies. Two are being sent to you and one will remain secure with me.

Respectfully yours,
Prime Minister