ANALYSIS / Yigal Amir was made a superstar with greatest of ease
The major TV channels decided to throw the Rabin killing a Bar Mitzvah party, and invited the assassin.
"Sharon, Raful, Gandhi. All these people who understand the army" - not a halakhic justification, nor a rabbinic exhortation: These are the people that Yigal Amir said inspired him to murder former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, speaking in an interview broadcast by Channel 10 on Thursday.
The comments actually brought good tidings: Amir did not mention the Shin Bet security service, nor did he mention the famous conspiracy theory, and took responsibility for his act. It is possible that this will quiet some feverish minds that refused to accept the simple historical truth - that the murder of a prime minister in Israel was carried out with the greatest of ease.
"I stood two meters from him, and I was with a handgun," Amir said of another opportunity he had when he was close to Rabin. "I regretted that I didn't do it." As stated above, with the greatest of ease.
Next week will be the Bar Mitzvah of Rabin's assassination. And it appears that the two commercial channels decided to throw it a party. It was natural that if Yitzhak Rabin was unable to participate in the festivities - due to circumstances beyond the control of Channels 10 and 2 - the event will be graced with the presence of the one guest of honor who was available: The murderer.
Only one other disquieting matter remains, with the comment, "All these people who understand the army." And this is disquieting, because over the 13 years that have passed since the Rabin assassination there has been insufficient treatment of what was at the time the heart of the matter - the responsibility of politicians for the murder.
The same evasive matter of "the atmosphere that led to the assassination;" the same grey area that turns words into "incitement" and sets twisted minds into motion. Amir, against his will, served on Channel 10 as a determined prosecutor of everyone who washed his hands of blame since then, who played dumb, turning their eyes to the sky and saying they were not responsible for the act of a "lone madman with a gun," and that there was no causative connection between words and actions. It is an issue much more simple than this, they claimed then, which is still around today: A man wanders around with a handgun and shoots the prime minister - this is all it is; and that is that. With the greatest of ease.
Channel 10 commentator Raviv Drucker said of the broadcast that, "this isn't an obvious thing," and hurried to bring on the matter for which everyone had assembled: The interview. After all, it is not pleasant to leave so many guests in anxious expectation. Those that had sat down specially in front of their screens in order to watch the promised sensation, and under the auspices of a firmly-adhered to national unity, they would receive what they had requested, even if no one had asked their opinion.
You don't want to watch Channel 10? Then change the channel. Switch over to other news editions. That of Channel 2, for example. The freedom to view or to abstain from viewing is in your hands. Oops - the use of the remote control did not yield the desired results this time. On this day, of this year, Yigal Amir is a superstar. After all, he is a Bar Mitzvah boy, no?
But "this isn't an obvious thing." Certainly not; not the decision that was reached with the greatest of ease. No. This is a decision that forced those who made it to twist and turn with all the necessary deliberations. Raviv Drucker's face appeared very serious and knowing, but after the deliberations, the dilemma, the difficulties, he reached a decision. And it stood. It does not matter what Channel Two News Director Avi Weiss and Channel 10 News CEO Reudor Benziman will make of it when they see Yigal Amir's face on the TV and hear his voice - it is both seen and heard with the greatest of ease. The greatest of ease in the world.
Here the last obstacle was overcome, on the two main TV channels' news editions on Thursday. Yigal Amir was given an open mic. The oath was rescinded. The vow that we had vowed to ourselves, journalists and citizens of Israel, was tossed into the garbage. There is no need to be bound up in tension: The morning after the broadcast will appear exactly like the one before it, and the one before that. The memory of Rabin's assassination has not been violated. It has become something that can be discussed on TV. With the greatest of ease.