Where there is no contrition, there should be no forgiveness

by Maskil on October 31, 2007

Along with calls for him to be allowed a furlough from prison for the Bris of his offspring, it has even been suggested that Yitzhak Rabin’s murderer be paroled from prison altogether. Rather than attempt to answer this immoral suggestion, I’ll go through the milestones in reverse chronological order, to work backwards from what shouldn’t be done now, to what should perhaps have been done in the past.

To begin with, the assassin should not be released now, or at any stage in the future. Firstly, he was given a life sentence by one of the finest judiciaries in the world. A life sentence should mean exactly that; he should spend the remainder of his life in prison. Full stop. Secondly, his release would constitute an act of forgiveness. Where there is no contrition, there should be no forgiveness, and as far as I’m aware there’s been no contrition on his part. (It should not have been necessary to pass a special law to prevent his release, but so be it.)

He should not be permitted to attend any of the life-cycle events (Bris or any other) of his spawn. We can only be grateful that the Israeli Prison Service and the High Court have prevented the slide down this particular slippery slope.

He should not have been permitted conjugal visits with his proxy wife, and this should certainly never be allowed again. Maybe my thinking is all muddy, but I’ve always understood that the idea of prison is to punish the offender by denying him/her all the things we take for granted, like freedom, conjugal rights and attending life-cycle events. Privileges such as this should be reserved for petty thieves, not those guilty of regicide. If there’s a law, change the law!

Presumably little could have been done to prevent a proxy marriage between a convicted murderer and one of his groupies. Certainly nothing should have been done to facilitate it.

After having been found guilty, he should have been sentenced to death. At the very least, there should have been a widespread call for his execution. Yes, I realise he would have had the dubious honour of being the only person ever to have shared Adolf Eichmann’s fate in Israel, but that’s exactly the point. The murder of Yitzhak Rabin was probably the lowest point in our history since the Shoah.

Lest we forget, the man he murdered was no ordinary man. Yitzhak Rabin was one of the finest of Israel’s own Greatest Generation, the generation that fought for Israel’s birth, and who shepherded her all the way through to the start of the 21st century. He was irreplaceable, and he was worth a thousand, nay, a million Amirs.

The jury is still out as to whether Israel’s very soul will recover from the blow, or whether it was mortally wounded in the attack. Only time will answer that.

Yitzhak Rabin gave his entire life to the service of Israel. What does Amir and those who think like him, act like him, or fail to condemn him, offer us? Just this: The prospect of another useless Bar-Kochba revolt (but this time against our own elected authorities), the destruction of the 3rd Jewish Commonwealth, the extinction of Jewish life in the Middle East and another eternity in exile.

Let there be no more talk of his release.

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