Poll: 30 percent of Israelis support pardon for Yigal Amir
On eve of 11th anniversary of Rabin's murder – about third of Israeli public believes that his killer should be pardoned. Figures jump to over 50 percent among right-wingers and religious public. Yuval Rabin: 'Only if there's another political assassination people will start wondering what mistakes were made regarding my father's murderer'
According to the poll data – five percent of the Israeli public supports pardoning the killer already at this point in time, while 25 percent believes that he should be pardoned in 25 years from now. Some 69 percent of respondents replied that they oppose a future pardoning. This marks a significant change compared to a similar poll conducted last year by the newspaper. Figures in 2005 showed that 76 percent of Israelis opposed any pardoning, while 18 percent believed the killer should be set free.
Among respondents defining themselves as right-wing, 54 percent support a pardoning, with 47 percent setting the pardon in 25 years. Among respondents defining themselves as religious the numbers jump again – 64 percent support a pardoning: 50 percent in 25 years and 14 percent today.
On the left only one percent of those polled believes that a pardon should be granted today. 12 percent support a pardoning in 25 years.
Participants were also polled about vacations for the Prime Minister's killer. Twenty percent of the public believes that Amir should be granted vacations from prison, while 78 percent opposed. Questions were also put in the field regarding the hotly debated issue of conjugal visits – 38 percent of respondents agreed that Amir should be allowed conjugal visits with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, 56 percent oppose such visits.
'This vile man's road to freedom has been paved'
Rabin's son Yuval granted an interview to the newspaper in the week leading up to the 11th anniversary of his father's assassination.
"On the inside I'm furious," he said when asked about the conjugal visit granted to Amir.
Then why did you remain silent when your father's murder was allowed by the state to bring Larissa into his cell?
"Why am I silent? I'll tell you why. I have no intention to address the killer or the conduct of the authorities. It is a national issue, not me and my family against the killer. It would be a mistake to face off one family against the other, it's a matter for the authorities. I'm not young anymore, it took me many years to get to where I am, but these days I try not to get angry over things that I am powerless over. I don't see a situation where if I say or do something it will change the outcome of things."
"If someone were to tell me 10 years ago that this is that would happen," Rabin says, "I wouldn't have been able to believe it. I worry that only if there is another political assassination people will start wondering what mistakes were made regarding my father's murderer."
Rabin sees Amir's pardoning as almost unavoidable. "It's not that I don't know where the killers' story is expected to go from here. It's been spoken of in the media. It started with a conjugal visit, from there it will move on to the Briss for the child and his Bar Mitzvah and his wedding, and more children… and this is how this vile man's road to freedom will be paved. On the other hand, if I had spoken up there would be offensive comments asking: 'Is their family's blood redder?', this cannot be an argument between us and them, the state should deal with it, and here, it has. I don't see how an announcement made by myself or Dalia (Rabin's daughter) would have changed the atmosphere, certainly it wouldn't have changed the reality of the situation."