Israel cannot normalize Rabin's murderer
Opinion: The state's gentle touch when it comes to Yigal Amir has let him have kids, make contact with other far-right extremists and even plot his involvement in politics; Israel must isolate him and put an end to this situation, which is one of the greatest threats to the country's wellbeing
Israelis face many perils, including extremists and terror organizations, and there are issues regarded as a national disgrace – such as patients regularly lying in hospital hallways.
But there are a few selected issues that overlap in the most terrible of ways, and hearing about a man who assassinated a prime minister holding negotiations to form his own political party is a national disgrace and a grave danger to the country.
The original sin was Yigal Amir not being tried on two felonies: murder and treason, or at least, on insurgency with intent to harm state security.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination was not a typical murder, but a terror act, a political assassination. This murder was committed against a person who lawfully held the executive power given to him by the people - the prime minister. The ground sentiment here is of treason; this is the man who shot the person at the helm in the back.
Yigal Amir is as much a of traitor as he is a murderer.
However, the attorney general at the time didn't want to become embroiled in creating a new legal structure. Amir was convicted of murder and sent to prison.
Now he and his followers slowly gnaw away at the intransigence towards him, alleviate his imprisonment conditions, get him the right to have children from prison through deception.
Palestinian prisoners, aside from very exceptional cases, are not permitted any conjugal visits – but if the prisoner is Jewish and even if his crime is as dangerous and despicable as Amir's, the threat to state security is taken lightly.
For example, the state had given up and put another prisoner in Amir's cell; the Israel Prison Service opposed this at first, but then capitulated.
The main objective, of course, is Amir's release from prison; then they will be able to stockpile bullets and pick out their next targets.
It should be emphasized that while Amir is in prison, his supporters keep on justifying the murder and present him as a righteous man who had saved the people of Israel.
Earlier this week, an Israeli late-night show revealed that Amir is making extensive phone calls to extreme-right activists in which he tries to solicit them into forming or joining a political party on his behalf.
Amir gives them advice and explains how the party he'll establish from prison will change Israel and of course, the media.
Rapper and right-wing activist Yoav Eliasi, aka The Shadow, responded with contempt, but the way things are going, Amir will only get more sophisticated and manage to find powerful political allies.
So, isn't your blood boiling? It should be.
I don’t know a single country in the world - not the U.S., not Britain, not France and not India - that allows a man who killed their prime minister to have a life in prison like any other prisoner and let him get involved in its politics.
Any country that respects itself and its citizens and embraces democracy takes people like this and isolates them for two main reasons: to deter those who wish to kill democracy and its representatives with bullets and as payback for the perpetrators' actions.
From a moral perspective, every person is equal after committing murder, but normatively, we differentiate between circumstances.
Ordinary crime, terror and political assassination are different issues. A country that loves life deters people from committing political assassinations by the most ruthless of means.
John Hinckley tried and failed to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan. It wasn't for political reasons; Reagan didn't die, and Hinckley was found to be insane.
None of this mattered to the Americans and Hinckley was sentenced to 43 years in a closed ward and was declined any visits for years by court order. And he was mentally ill.
In Israel, however, Yitzhak Rabin's murderer; a sane person by all accounts, commits a political assassination and then tries to form political parties from prison, raises children and spreads propaganda.
This is simply no a way for a country to conduct itself.
At first, Amir was defined as a security prisoner, but then what happened? Did he improve his behavior? Did he show any remorse? No. And the state simply gave up.
After the rucus settled down and every bit of common sense was forsaken - the state capitulated over and over.
What needs to be done by the state, starting from the prime minister and minister of public security, is to check every legal option to worsen his imprisonment conditions, separate him, and while we're at it change the law so that political assassins are always isolated.
They are more dangerous to the country than any foreign spy.