No Privileges for This Assassin

The potential murderer to come knows that the current murderer has become the stuff of young girls? dreams in some settlements, and the cultural hero of right-wing factions.

In a few days, the murderer will receive permission to enter the conjugal visit room in Ayalon Prison with his beloved. The room features a double bed, a television, armchairs, a small table, pretty curtains, a toilet, and a shower. The prison services spared no expense. The murderer will be able to treat his companion to coffee, cookies, and soft drinks prepared by fine prison officials, and the couple will be granted 10 hours of uninterrupted time.

And if fate chooses to mock us even further, all of this will take place on November 2 (Heshvan 11), the official memorial day for Yitzhak Rabin. On the one hand, the murderer will enjoy the company of his wife while celebrating his victory and, on the other, the Rabin family and Israeli democracy will take another blow and suffer another insult in the face of a conspicuous lack of justice.

Some right-wing factions do not consider the murder of the prime minister a big deal. As far as they're concerned, the act perpetrated against the leader of the Oslo Accords that entailed surrender of land may even be justified. They fully understand the murderer's plan. He surreptitiously married in a "messenger service wedding," despite all prohibitions and limits. Later, he smuggled sperm to his partner, also violating rules, and now he is granted a suitable prize by the State Prosecutor's Office: permission to have conjugal visits.

When he brings a child into the world, his disciples will claim that the distinguished father must be permitted to attend his son's circumcision ceremony. Thus, the murderer will achieve another objective: furloughs. Later, there will be furloughs for birthdays and special events, and finally there will be a demand to shorten the sentence because if "no blood is superior to any other," as MK Zahava Galon says, why not free him after 20-25 years as in the case of regular murderers.

No nation in the world considers the murder of a political leader to be a regular murder. Americans do not consider Kennedy's murder a regular murder. We also understood this, once. The fact is we have fasted in commemoration of the assassination of Gedalyahu ben Ahikam (King Nebuchadnezzar's appointed governor) for more than 2,500 years.

And the murderer did not just murder Rabin. He severely harmed democracy, altered the significance of the voter's declaration, and stilled a historical process. It is fair to assume that if Rabin were alive, the Oslo process would have continued, the agreement with the Palestinians would have taken shape, Hamas would not be governing the territories, and our political and social circumstances would be immeasurably better.

The Shin Bet security services recently requested that the fence surrounding the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem be raised by 10 meters. The current fence, raised by two meters after Rabin's assassination, is no longer sufficient given the current threats. Let's say that we have a brave prime minister. But perhaps, at night when he goes to bed, he is perturbed by a sneaking suspicion that it is unwise to tangle with fundamentalist Jews, that it is worth saving the work of negotiating with the Palestinians for another time.

The potential murderer to come knows that the current murderer has become the stuff of young girls' dreams in some settlements, and the cultural hero of right-wing factions. Now it is clear that he is permitted to marry, engage in routine sexual relations, and bring children into the world. Perhaps, in the future, he will be granted furloughs and an abbreviated sentence. Then it will be clear that it is not so bad to murder a prime minister in Israel and worth polishing one's gun.

When the assassin set forth, 11 years ago, he did not imagine that the Shin Bet and police could be so impotent. He knew that orders, in such cases, demand that the assassin be shot to kill and to prevent completion of the murder. He certainly did not believe that he would return from the assassination without a scratch. But the oversight occurred, and he remained alive and this is the maximum sentence that Israeli society must give him: life. In an isolated cell until his final day, with no privileges. That is plenty when one considers the harm he did to all of us.