We have once again entered the period of the commemoration of P.M. Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination. The memory of that unforgettable night of the 4th November 1995 returns to us as articles of that tragic night in the Israeli Press is retold. As one who was present at that Kikar Malchei Yisrael and witnessed the last few moments of Rabin’s life, it fills me with pain when eleven years later; the realization of the cruel truth that many Israelis have not learned the lesson of what occurred that night. Human memory seems to be short and there is a growing number of right wing religious Jews who are supporting a pardon for Yigal Amir, the assassin.
The murderer is gaining legitimacy as the various excuses for his conjugal activities to procreate his kind make headlines. The irony of it all is that it precedes the 11th Anniversary of Rabin’s assassination by a few days. The arguments over the years for conjugal rights for this despicable assassin not only make a mockery of his life sentence, but also for the rule of law concerning premeditated, political murders. The fact that he is no longer a “security risk” gives him the right to marry and consummate his marriage. Assuming a child is born from this despicable union, Yigal Amir will receive parole to visit his son. His wife, Larissa Trimbobler, will have her visiting rights extended and, who knows, in the future another child will be born. This will mean further relaxation on Amir’s prison sentence until it will become a farce and he will be pardoned.
One cannot help asking the question if this pathetic excuse of “not being a security risk” is applicable to Rehavim Ze’evi’s murderers. While they sit in prison they are also not “security risks”. They do happen to be Arab murderers and this is the difference. Let us not pull the wool over our eyes in this matter. Will Ze’evi’s murderers be given conjugal rights should that matter arise for debate? After all there is no difference between Yigal Amir and Ze’evi’s murderers. Both are condemned to life imprisonment for despicable crimes of murder. There is the odour of double standards regarding Jewish murderers and Arab murderers. The big difference is that Yigal Amir is becoming a “folk hero” amongst some extremist right wing religious Israelis (these right wingers are believers of a form of messianic Judaism not to be confused with Jews for Jesus). They are adherents of Jewish Fundamentalism, which is a cancer eating into democracy and human rights in Israel. According to the polls of 27th October 2006, 30% of Israelis are in favor of pardoning Yigal Amir. This was not the case 5 years ago. This percentage will grow larger every year.
Many people will say that Jewish Fundamentalism has lunatic fringe support. That may be the case today, but will it be so in the future? If polls show increasing support for the pardoning of Amir then this despicable mutation of Judaism is definitely on the rise. Its parallels are Islam Fundamentalism and Christian Fundamentalism. Amir is a practicing Orthodox Jew that abides by the philosophy and teachings of this dangerous brand of Judaism.
“Its origins come from the extreme right wing philosophy of the National Religious Party, ruled by supporters of the messianic tendency of Jewish fundamentalism, have continuously opposed any and all withdrawals from territories conquered and occupied by Israel since 1967. These fundamentalists opposed Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai in 1978, just as twenty years later they continued to oppose any withdrawal from the West Bank. These same Jews printed and distributed atlases allegedly showing that the land of Israel, belonging only to the Jews and requiring liberation, included the Sinai, Jordan, Lebanon, most of Syria and Kuwait. Jewish fundamentalists have advocated the most discriminative proposals against Palestinians. Not surprisingly, Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir, the most sensational Jewish assassins of the 1990s, and most of their admirers have been Jewish fundamentalists of the messianic tendency.”
Yigal Amir took this philosophy a couple of steps further.
The majority of Israelis still see the assassination of Rabin as a terrible tragedy for Israel. Unfortunately the thought of pardoning Yigal Amir seems to be a rolling stone that gathers moss. Let us hope that the support for Amir’s pardon does not increase despite the disturbing trend of increased support that he is getting from the lunatic right wing religious fringe.
Suggested reading: Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel