a different side of Israel

Tag: Yigal Amir

Just Say No to the Ebb and Flow

Last December, the High Court of Justice rejected appeals made by Yigal Amir to alter the terms of his imprisonment. The high court ruled that Amir is to be held in solitary confinement for six more months. Amir, who, if you were unaware, is in year 15 of serving a life sentence for assassinating Yitzhak Rabin, rejected last Sunday, an offer from the State Prosecution, permitting him to hold a one hour, bi-weekly Torah study session with one fellow prisoner – in conjunction with permission to join a prayer Minyan with other prisoners. Amir, protesting his rejected appeal, told the court, “no thank you.”

Amir’s attorney, Ariel Atari wrote to the Petach Tikvah District Court:

“The offer disrespects the High Court’s decision…There is no doubt that this position reflects the attitude of the Shin Bet in general and of the Prison Service especially, that the court is at their service – otherwise it is impossible to understand their contempt towards the High Court conveyed by this proposal…There is no doubt that the prosecution wishes to drag out the High Court’s decision, and attempts to draw the court into some kind of negotiations, starting at the opening point, as though the High Court did not speak out…Of course, there is nothing to stop a prison service official from joining the quorum as a 10th man, enjoying Amir’s poetry and hearing all his thoughts and conversations with the rest of the worshipers and with his God…If he finds any faults, he can report them to the court immediately.”

And meanwhile, in Washington, Jewish-American diplomat, Aaron David Miller, wrote a great op-ed in the Washington Post citing the mainstream Arab insanity and anti-Semitism:

“…There’s no doubt that a new Egyptian government and president, more responsive to public opinion – indeed, legitimized by the public in free elections – will be, by necessity or inclination, far more critical of Israeli actions and policies and far less likely to give Israel the benefit of any doubts. Will the new Egyptian leadership monitor smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border as carefully? Will it be more supportive of Hamas and less understanding of Israeli concerns about Hamas’s acquisition of rockets and missiles? And how will a newly elected Egyptian president interact with an Israeli prime minister? (Mubarak met regularly with Netanyahu; it’s hard to imagine a new Egyptian leader doing so without demanding concessions for Palestinians or progress in the peace negotiations.)”

Miller asked:

“…Would a new Egyptian government be taken over by radical Islamists? Would it break the peace treaty between the two nations? Would it seek to go to war again? All Israeli prime ministers since the treaty was signed in 1979 have carried such fears in the back of their minds, yet they gambled that in giving up the Sinai Peninsula, the country had exchanged territory for time, perhaps in the hope that a different relationship with Egypt and their other Arab neighbors would emerge.”

Circumcism or Cataclysm

It appears that convicted assassin Yigal Amir has got the best of it after all. Despite not less than 3 petitions to the High Court of Justice, and a crowd of angry protestors outside of Ayalon Prison where Amir is incarcerated, he and a select group of family members were allowed to consecrate his son into the covenant of Israel. Though the ceremony was supposed to be “minimal” with Amir showing up for it in handcuffs and wearing prison garb, the fact that Attorney General Meny Mazuz refused to interfere only validates Amir being granted this privilege which comes on the heels of being allowed to perform his “marriage right” with his wife, Larissa Trembobler, which resulted in her becoming pregnant with his child.

When interviewed early Sunday morning by an Israel Radio news reporter, an unnamed prison official said as follows: “Yes, damn him; we will open a small section of the prison hospital for this event. But it will be as brief and as minimal as possible!”

Saturday evening, on the eve of the date that has now gone down as one of the most tragic in modern Jewish history, at least 150,000 people gathered in Rabin Square to mourn together the 12th anniversary of that fateful night, November 4, 1995. What makes the entire affair so tragically meaningful to many in the State of Israel is that not only a great leader was slain on that night; but Israel’s claim to be a moral ‘light unto to nations’ was severely challenged as well. Democracy and religious tolerance has been challenged by religious fanaticism in a manner not unlike that of countries in medieval Europe, or here in the Middle East. Reports circulating around the country say that at least half of world religious Jewry. In fact, more than 120,000 copies of an inflammatory CD have been circulated throughout both Israel and the religious Jewish world calling for Amir’s release from prison.

What this amounts to, along with groups fanatically opposing any kind of peace deal with the Palestinians, is a division among the people themselves – a line drawn in the sand as the old saying goes. Either one steps over it and joins that element dedicated to instituting their way, or choose to take another path which might lead to peace. This was the path that Yitzhak Rabin so reluctantly chose to stride on. And that “path” resulted in his paying the ultimate price at the hands of a religious Jew who had formerly worked for a government sponsored religious studies program and was studying to become a lawyer. Anyone who has studied or practices law knows that a lawyer must agree to uphold the laws of the state of country in which he or she practices. Obviously, Amir chose to walk a different path altogether.

When Amir’s son reaches an age when he can confront the issue of what his father did, what will be feelings about it, and how will his fellow Israelis feel about it? If already hundreds of thousands of Israelis feel that Amir should be pardoned for his crime, how many will feel this way in 13 years when the boy will be Bar Mitzvah age? What is justice, or someone’s interpretation of justice? Is Civil Jurisprudence to be usurped by religious fanaticism as it has been in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Western countries like America or even Gt. Britain would now have allowed Yigal Amir the concessions he has received. Why has this country’s officials chosen to do so?

Gross Insanity?

The decision on Thursday by Israel Attorney General Menny Mezuz to allow convicted killer Yigal Amir to attend the Brit Milah of his son, makes me wonder where this entire episode will lead up to. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on November 4 at Ayalon Prison, where Amir has been incarcerated for the past twelve years since the slaying of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Amir, the convicted assassin, was allowed a 10 hour co nuptial visit with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, earlier this year. That visit resulted in her becoming pregnant his Amir’s child, which turned out (miracle of miracles?) to be a son.

Upon watching this revelation on TV, I suddenly felt like I was having a vision of things which might come to pass and by letting my imagination run wild, I conjured up the following scenario of what might be the result of this entire matter, The “vision” goes like this:

No only is Amir allowed to attend the ceremony of brining his beloved son into the Covenant of Israel, his wife and son are afterwards allowed to move in him in a special apartment made for them on the prison grounds. Larissa is naturally free to come and go as she pleases; and since her four children from a previous marriage are not allowed to be with them at Ayalon, she maintains two residences; one with Yigal and their son, and the other in her residence outside the prison walls. This supposition is like a balloon which is growing bigger by the moment by hot air being blown into it.

The move sets off a protest among other security prisoners, are soon others are allowed to establish similar residences inside the prison in special apartments built to accommodate spouses and children. This creates virtual communities of prison ‘families’ who live together in relative peace and harmony. Larissa is given a job working with prisons to help rehabilitate them, and she and Yigal create religious study classes which become wildly popular with the inmates. Yigal’s status within the prison grows to immense heights and he is soon ordained as a rabbi and given the title of Rav Yigal. Two other children are eventually born to Yigal and Larissa, and when their first born, son reaches Bar Mitzvah age, a great celebration is held with even high ranking government officials attending.

The “balloon” grows bigger, now reaching the size of a small car.

Yigal’s standing as a religious leader has grown so much during this time that a second convening of the Sanhedrin religious council is convened at Ayalon with Amir officiating at its head. The result of this meeting is that sweeping changes are made in Jewish religious thought with women now being allowed full equal status with men regarding Torah study and religious ritual. Larissa is thus elevated to rabbinical ranking herself and is given the title Ravi Larissa. Later, when their children are married, great celebrations are held, especially for their first born, Eliahu (the Prophet).

The ” balloon” has now reached the size of the Goodyear Blimp.

After serving 25 years of a life sentence, Yigal Amir is given a full pardon and finally released from prison. He has become so much of a folk hero by this time that he is elected to be Head Government in a manner similar to the way Nelson Mandella was in South Africa. This is not the end of the story, however, as Yigal’s fame and popularity as a religious leader has grown so much worldwide that he is nominated to achieve Mankind’s highest award – the Nobel Peace Prize. His acceptance speech, in Hebrew, in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, sets off a precedence, especially due the entire city having to be “koshered” for the event.

Pop! Have I gone mad? This scenario has gone from the absurd to the ridiculous, and in no possible way will these “visions” ever come to pass.

Or will they? Think about it.

Why, Larissa?

Continuous media attention of both Yitzhak Rabin’s murderer, Yigal Amir and his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, has made some people to wonder just who is this woman who became so interested in this man who has become Israel’s number one local villain, even twelve years after this terrible act took place. Along with this, why has she jeopardized not only her own personal life, as well as that of her children, but her career as well for a man with such a taint on his personal character.

Many may not be aware that Larissa’s acquaintance with Yigal Amir goes back much further than the aftermath of that fateful night on November 4, 1995. Larissa first met Amir when he was (would you believe) working as a teacher in Russia for the Israeli government. Following Rabin’s Assassination, she began to correspond with Amir as she shared many ideological views with him as they are both ultra orthodox in their religious practice. Larissa was married at the time to a man named Benjamin (last name not published by the media for the sake her children) and had four children from him, the eldest being age 15. Following her immigration to Israel, she continued to correspond with Yigal Amir and also began contact by telephone. Amir is normally allowed only one visit by a family member per week, plus one daily fifteen minute phone call. When their relationship became more intense, Larissa managed to convince prison authorities to allow her more contact with Yigal on the grounds that she was making a study of his behavior. She has a PHD in Medieval Jewish and Islamic History and a MA in Biology, but not a formal background in either psychology or sociology.

Following her divorce from Benjamin in 2003, Larissa Trembobler’s relationship with Amir became even more intense, and in 2004, announced that she and Amir planned to get married by proxy (they were not allowed a formal wedding ceremony). They were married by proxy later that year, with a friend of Yigal standing in for him.

The rest of the story has become more well known to the public due to the intense coverage it has received by the media, both in and outside of Israel. Following legal efforts to have herself inseminated artificially by Amir’s sperm, which they even tried to smuggle out of Ayalon Prison where he is incarcerated, they were finally allowed a 10 hour co-nuptial visit in January, 2007. Larissa has continually campaigned to have more visits with her husband, and her pregnancy with Amir’s child has been followed intensely by the press, including international news agencies like CNN. Since announcing her engagement and subsequent marriage to Yigal Amir, she lost her employment position at Open University, and has had to support herself and her children by undertaking editing and translation work. She also published a book in Russian with her ex-husband entitled: A Mirror for a Prince. She has a web-blog in Russian which is said to be gaining in readership.

At the time of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir was a third year law student at Bar Ilan University. He had a girl friend, Maraglit Har-Sheffi who had similar right winged views as he did. Following Rabin’s murder, Har-Sheffi was tried and convicted of conspiracy, due to her alleged knowledge of Amir’s intentions to murder the prime minister. Although she proclaimed her innocence of this crime, she was convicted and served several months in prison. She still claims that she is innocent, and many believed she was framed.

As for Amir himself, a growing movement of right-winged and religious supporters have been waging a campaign to free him from prison. While some of these supporters are saying that he has “suffered enough for his crime” others are saying that he is innocent and did not actually kill Rabin. Larissa would naturally like to see her husband gain his freedom, especially since she is about to give birth to his child – and a son at that. Prison authorities are not planning to grant him any special consideration to attend the ritual circumcision of his son; and both judicial and government authorities alike agree that Yigal Amir will never gain his freedom.

So, why did Larissa do what she did, especially in light of her own children, whose lives will be greatly affected forever by her actions? What’s more, what about the child about to be born? What will his future be, and how will this affect him? Only time will answer these questions, and many will agree that time is often a cruel mistress.

No!….He’s Dead?…..Lovely!

12 years after Yizhak Rabin’s assassination, the Israel police have finally released the first investigative interview conducted on his killer, Yigal Amir. The taped interview, together with comments by police investigator Moti Naphtali (real name withheld), the tape noted the chilling events of that fateful occurrence on November 4, 1995, moments after the end of a gigantic peace rally held at what is know known as Rabin Square.

Amir, who only an hour before had been subdued in the alleyway between Tel Aviv City Hall and the Gan Hair shopping mall, described in detail how he planned to shoot the Prime Minister the moment Rabin and Vice P.M. Shimon Peres descended the steps leading from the area where Rabin and other dignitaries had stood during the rally. Though he expected to shoot Rabin, Amir said he really didn’t think he would kill him. When told by his interviewer that Rabin was dead, Amir replied: “No!, Really, he’s dead? Lovely!”

At the end of the interview, when asked if he expressed any remorse for what he had done, Amir answered: “God forbid!”

Twelve years have come and gone since that fateful evening in November. Yigal Amir was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. This judgment is the most severe that can be given in Israel as there is no Capital Punishment. And since the formation of the state in 1948, only Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichman has been formally executed here. That the police have decided now to release the interview may possibly have something to do with Amir’s recent request to be present at the circumcisum of his son, who is expected to be born sometime next month. Many are still angry that Yigal Amir was allowed a few hours of co-nuptial lust with his “wife” Larissa Trimbobler, which resulted in her being impregnated with his child. Had this interview been released prior to Amir’s liaison with Ms. Trimbobler in a special room provided by the prison where he is being kept, it’s most likely he would have been denied this special privilege, as public outcry would have been too great.

The showing of this tape has reopened a very deep national wound that has yet to heal. Yitzhak Rabin’s family, including his son, Yuval, and daughter Dalia (a former Knessset member) haven’t yet responded formally as of this writing But respond they most certainly will.

In light of this new “development” in this sad tragedy, many are wondering where this will end. Amir has expressed no remorse for his actions, and even believes he did a great service to the country by taking Rabin’s life. What’s more, a grass roots movement among “certain elements” is going on to have Amir released from prison on grounds that he has “suffered enough” for his crime.

And in a few weeks, the son of Yigal will be brought screaming into the world. I wonder what his mother, dear Larissa, will tell him concerning his father. She will most likely try to bring the babe to Ayalon Prison so Amir can see him. And will the prison authorities allow the “brit” to be held there? We’ll all know the answer to these questions in the coming days.

There in Spite of it all

Yithak Rabin Memorial
Despite his increasing legal and political controversies, and requests by other government officials, including State Attorney Menachem Mazuz, Isreali President Moshe Katsav made good his desire to appear today at a special memorial ceremony on the 11th anniversary of the assassination on Prime Minister Yizthak Rabin. Katsav, who’s sexual misconduct scandals have brought increasing embarrassment to the People of Israel, as well as to the office he holds, seems determined to stay in office at least another six months, or nearly to the end of his official term in office. Articles via the Internet had even said that the President was either gravely ill or had committed suicide, and Katsav has received numerous death threats as a result of the allegations that have not only included acts of sexual indecency, but even rape. Katsav had been admitted to hospital for tests, but this was considered as routine, his doctors said.

In an interview with the radio program Gali Tzahal, the President’s brother, Lior Katsav, assured everyone that the President felt good and doesn’t have any life threatening health conditions. “He has not collapsed, and was not hospitalized, and every person who has wished this on him (the President) should not be thinking such bad thoughts” the younger Katsav said. Reports that the President had become ill was disputed as Katsav has now shown that he is indeed well. “I sat opposite the President and suddenly a reported called and asked if it was true that he had committed suicide!” Lior continued.

The President himself is showing everyone that he is bound and determined to stay in office, and has no intentions of resigning, despite this ‘suggestion’ by State Attorney Mazuz. Lior Katsav went on to say that actions on behalf of the police and the courts against his brother are “an attack against the image of the State”, especially in light of certain comments made by foreign leaders regarding the allegations against the President. “Perhaps there should be a legal consultation against the country’s political leaders instead, especially in light of occurrences during the past four months”, Lior continued.

The ceremony was due to commence this evening with family members of the slain prime minister in attendance including his son Yuval, and daughter Dalia, a former government minister. For the past four years, Rabin family members have not attended the ceremony at the Presidential House in Jerusalem due to the President’s pardon of Margalit Har-Shefi, former girlfriend of Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir. Lior believes that the legal proceedings against his brother will only damage Rabin’s memory and that it is better that his brother be allowed to officiate at such important functions. “People who didn’t attend events like this one previously, wouldn’t attend now as well” Lior Katsav added.

“We had ‘normal’ sex!”

Larissa Trembovler (Picture by Ofer Amram for Ynet
Interviewed on media programs such as Channel 10, Larissa Trembovler, wife of convicted murderer, Yigal Amir, described her 10 hour connubial visit with her husband. “We had sex together like any normal married couple. I hope we will have more opportunities to be together in the near future.” While not going into graphic detail, Larissa seemed happy concerning her first intimate contact with Yigal, after so long a delay. The short liaison, carried out in a special room set aside by Ayalon Prison authorities for such allowed visits by spouses of convicted prisoners, provided the couple with a full sized bed, shower facility, and even snacks provided by the prison administration; plus soft drinks which Amir brought with him to their ‘honeymoon suite’ as many are dubbing it.

Whether or not this visit results in Larissa conceiving a child is too early to predict, especially due to her age, 39, and from their short time together. The former psychology professor already has four children from a previous marriage; and raising another child under the circumstances that he or she would the child of the man who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, is psychologically problematic in its own. The fact that this event happened at all is a wonder as just a couple of months ago, even allowing Amir and Trembovler to have a child via ‘invitro-fertilization seemed unlikely to happen. Now, this request was surpassed by allowing them to have intimate physical contact, enabling Amir to “know” his wife and possibly “open her womb”.

Many individuals and organizations, including Peace Now, are vigorously protesting the allowance of this event to occur, even though it is now a ‘done deal’. The couple is slated to be allowed another such visit in six months time, perhaps sooner.

Many other convicted prisoners serving live imprisonment have not been allowed such a gesture, are one wonders why the governmental authorities relented in this extreme case. The Rabin family, for one, is very upset over this lenient gesture towards Amir being granted. And with the possible including of Avigdor Lieberman’s ultra-right wing political party into Ehud Olmert’s governmental coalition, many wonder what will happen next. Will a possible future right winged government decide that Amir was misguided into committing this heinous act, and should be set free? Or, perhaps, his wife will be hired as a prison psychologist and will be allowed to move to the prison and housed with Amir in special accommodations on the prison grounds? This entire tragicomedy may someday be made into a full length movie or docu-movie; and might even be directed by some internationally famous person like Michael Moore. To quote a song composed by the rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1974: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”

And yup, I suppose we haven’t.

Spawn of the devil is on his way

Yigal Amir had a 10 hour conjugal visit today with his wife Larisa Trembovler. The couple got what they wanted and are trying to have a child. As sickening as the idea is (and I honestly try not to think about these two vermin mating) the legal system in Israel had to allow this sick union.

Yigal AmirWhat is even worse is that this couple got to do what the government is not allowing other couples to do for various reasons. There are same sex couples, mixed nationality couples and others that the have no such rights according to the state of Israel and yet this pathetic couple get a chance to bring children to the world.

Assassin’s Child: Yigal Amir Gets Permission from the Court

Yigal AmirYigal Amir’ recent petition to be allowed to have children, via artificial insemination, with his ‘wife’, Professor Larissa Trimbobler, has finally been accepted. After being denied the right of connubial relations in previous court hearings, Amir, sentenced to a life sentence in solitary confinement, believed that his basic human rights have been violated, despite the gravity of his crime. A group of appeal judges overturned earlier rulings, now allowing Amir and Trimbobler to conceive a child together by invirtro insemination. Yigal Amir, as we all recall, was Yitzhak Rabin‘s cold blooded killer and the man who single handedly killed one of the truly unique qualities that Israel held as a nation. – the feeling that we were all one people, that despite our differences we always behaved like human beings.

Since 1948, a number of notable capital crimes have been committed in the Jewish State, including those by parents to their own children, crimes by terrorists, and numerous others. The fact that this act of murder was perpetrated against a head of state, and was coldly and meticulously planned and carried out, makes the crime unique. Amir may very well be a “truly gentle person”, as his attorney, Ari Shamay, refers to his client. But this does not excuse the deed that was committed, no matter what the intended reasons were.

Yigal Amir is alive today simply because the Israeli judicial system does not advocate Capital Punishment, i.e. the death penalty, for Capital crimes. Although an exception was made in regards to the execution of convicted Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann, no other perpetrator of murders or similar crimes has been formally executed after being convicted by an Israeli court of justice. This includes a number of terrorists, both Arab and non-Arab, who committed very heinous crimes against Israelis during the past fifty seven years of Israel’s existence.

Let’s compare this record with that of other countries which still practice Capital Punishment for murders, heinous sex offenses, and other similar crimes. I’m referring to Western, democratic countries, and not countries where the value of human life is such that Capital Punishment is not only condoned, but actually commonplace. For comparison, therefore, let’s note what is occurring in the United States of America, where Capital Punishment is statutory and carried out in most of the country’s 50 states and territories. Although the method of execution for such crimes, by lethal injection, is now more or less universal in America, the fact that it is regularly carried out in many states, and without any appreciable decrease in the crimes resulting in this form of punishment, makes one wonder about the system of justice in a country priding itself on its system of jurisprudence.

Amir, for all his misguided “good intentions” and despite his wanting to “save the State of Israel from the evils of the Oslo Accords” still did what he did, and is paying the price for his actions. One wonders what would have happened to him had he been a U.S. citizen, living somewhere in the U.S.A, and committing the same deed against a sitting U.S. President. Americans did not have the chance to witness what might have happened to accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, following the slaying of President John F. Kennedy in November, 1963. Oswald himself was killed only three days later by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner who managed to enter the parking area of the Dallas police headquarters due to his being familiar with the Dallas Police Department.

Amir has alleged that his “basic human rights” have been violated, but not being able to create a child. He should actually be thankful that Israeli justice has allowed him to survive, study, and contemplate life’s mysteries; despite the gravity of his crime. What better ‘basic human right’ than that?

Yitzhak Rabin – A Biography

Yitzhak Rabin (Pronounced: Rabeen) was born in Jerusalem on March 1st 1922 to Nehemia and Rosa Cohen. His parents were active members of Achdut Haavoda, a Labour movement, his father an employee of the Israel Electric Company and his mother a member of the Hagana Organization and a City Council Member in Tel-Aviv.

Most of Yitzhak Rabin’s childhood years were spent in Tel-Aviv, first in a southern part of town bordering Jaffa and later in the town center. His primary school years were spent together with the children of the Labour party activists, he later enrolled at Givat Hashlosha High School when a short time later his mother became very ill, and the young student was transferred to Kaduri boarding school in northern Israel.

Yitzhak Rabin 1937
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