On November 4, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was gunned down by Yigal Amir. Earlier this month, Amir's brother and fellow conspirator was released from gaol.
The release of Hagai Amir earlier this month was of course a big news story in Israel but received surprisingly little coverage elsewhere. It's an old story of course, but it is true nevertheless that you can't please all the people all the time.
In 1994, Rabin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat. For one moment it looked as though one of the world's longest and most intransigent conflicts might be coming to some sort of reasonable settlement, and then it was not the proverbial Palestinian terrorist but a Zionist extremist who assassinated Rabin and halted any progress in its tracks.
The assassin, Yigal Amir, was sentenced to life imprisonment with 14 years; his brother Hagai to life imprisonment, and a fellow conspirator to a substantial term.
When Hagai was released from Ayalon Prison he was unrepentant. It remains to be seen if his brother will ever be released, but he has married in prison. There is always some daffy woman who is attracted to a murderer for all the wrong reasons - are there ever any right ones? Larisa Trembovler, a PhD in philosophy of all things, made aliyah with her husband and four children, divorced him, and is now...still philosophising.
Rabin's daughter, Dalia, was obviously not pleased that one of her father's killers was released, but that's justice, or is it?
As David Mamet pointed out in his classic Homicide, the Jews - or Israelis if you prefer in this case - are their own worst enemy, as of course are blacks, whites, women, and most of the time the man in the mirror.
And as one murderer walks free smiling into the arms of his supporters, on the other side of the Atlantic, a man who committed not one but three murders without even the pitiful excuse of ideology is facing a mandatory life sentence.
William Balfour, the former brother-in-law of Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson, shot her mother, brother and 7 year old nephew out of what appears to be nothing more than anger and hurt pride.The actress was present at the verdict, and was understandably overcome with emotion.
Such is this world in which we live. The lucky ones.
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