Psak 5769 Tevet 22
The Beit Din continued to investigate the Amir affair in light of the complete findings that were submitted by the civilian commission of enquiry into the Rabin murder, and decided to publish a more incisive version of the verdict that was determined prior to a week ago, on the Tevet 17, 5769 (January 13, 2009). Translation from Hebrew of the Tevet 22, 5769 (26 January 2009) statement:
The Petition of Rananah (Larissa) Amir – the wife of prisoner Yigal Amir - in the matter of the seriously worsening condition of the imprisonment of Yigal Amir and the deliberate risk to his mental and physical well-being
The Beit Din for matters of the People and the Nation heard the complaint of the petitioner who requested the help of the Beit Din to alleviate both her and her husband’s distress. The petitioner presented to the Beit Din a gloomy picture of deliberate abuse of her husband who has been a prisoner for thirteen years.
The following is the description given to the Beit Din:
“Lastly, a researcher from Channel 10 was sent to interview Yigal Amir. She interviewed him regarding the possibility of a reporter from Channel 10 coming to the prison and interviewing him, with the permission of the prison administration. At a particular point, the reporter, whose name is Tapiro, informed me that the background interviews which had already been conducted with him were the actual interview and that they would be aired on television. I informed my husband of this that he should contact both the researcher and Channel 10 via his lawyer and request that the broadcast be cancelled since the interviews were conducted deceptively. However, he was told that the matter was out of the researchers hands.
As a result of the previous interviews and the cancelled broadcast, the prison administration took significant action against my husband.”
The petitioner described the unprecedented actions that were taken, actions that were not taken even with a heinous terrorist like Samir Kuntar, and the following are the significant facts of her description:
A) Yigal Amir was transferred to an isolated prison in the Mitzpeh Ramon area; the prison is intended solely for terrorists.
B) First he was placed in solitary confinement for a week, after which he was transferred to a separate cell on the condition of one month in solitary. Later he was informed he would be in a separate cell for more than half a year.
C) Yigal was denied the possibility of a living as a Jew in his own country; they took his religious books from him and prevented him from learning Torah, a basic Torah commandment that he fulfilled faithfully for 13 years.
D) As a result of a lack of appropriate hygienic conditions, he developed festering sores.
E) He was forced to sleep and remain in his bed most of the day as a result of the cold, without a change of clothing.
F) The prison administration is aware of the fact that Yigal’s wife Rananah is reaching the age when she cannot bare children, and still refused his conjugal rights, in order to prevent her the basic merit of bringing another child into the world.
G) Yigal’s father recently had a stroke, yet despite this the prison administration prevented him from visiting his son.
H) The prison administration prevented Yigal’s youngest son from visiting his father, this after he started recognizing his father.
I) The prevention of any connection with his wife and family is abuse; its purpose is to cause them additional sorrow and grief beyond that which was determined by his sentence.
J) The possibility of using the telephone was denied Yigal, with his wife, his youngest son, his parents and. what is more important as will be explained below, with anyone outside of the prison.
In similar instances, in which famous prisoners were interviewed by the media, like Barghouti, they were reprimanded and no further punishment was given beyond the reprimand or a limited depravation of privileges. On the other hand, the vindictiveness with respect to this famous prisoner testifies of the panic that gripped both the government and judicial sources of the country, lest the statements that Yigal Amir had given till now, in interviews with Nathan Gefen and others that had already come to light, would indicate that there is a different version of the shooting on the night of the murder that contradicts the government’s official version of circumstances of Rabin’s murder. Yigal’s version is supported by evidence that continues to be gathered that casts a shadow on the events that took place on the night of the murder. Therefore, it appears that the present actions against Yigal are done in order to silence him and prevent the leaking of additional information that would raise additional questions regarding the official account.
The Beit Din of the People and the Nation calls on the security forces and the prison administration to abandon this path of vengeance, and abuse for its own sake, which is an immoral trait of those who hate Israel. The prison administration in the Jewish state is commanded to give to each Jew in his own country the basic privileges of a Jewish life and respect given to any individual whether he erred inadvertently, or even if he deliberately committed a serious crime. The prison administration has the duty to obey the laws of the country which protect the rights of the prisoner even if he is convicted of the most serious of crimes. We understand that, according to the petitioner, the prisoner is currently considered a security prisoner. Accordingly, the statements of the minister of internal security, Dichter, given after the birth of the son of the petitioner and her husband Yigal Amir, which were cited by the petitioner, stating that Yigal Amir will be treated according to a sentence of death and no additional resources given, apparently express the current situation.
Therefore, it is required that:
- the prisoner be returned to the Rimonim prison which held him previously
- his privileges be reinstated as before
The Commission for the investigation of the murder of Rabin under the auspices of Professor Aryeh Zaritzky appeared before the weekly Beit Din of the Sanhedrin a few months ago, and presented its surprising results, which also appear on its own website - http://www.divshare.com/download/3509753-537
. The decision of the Beit Din, before it was published, raised many difficult questions that impose on the government the duty to conclude the investigation of this affair and to prevent the slander that continues in the public which is impossible to remove. It is necessary to establish an official investigative commission to look into the Rabin murder, which has not happened yet, except for checking into the security of individuals. Additionally, there needs to be a retrial, in which all of the claims and accounts of the events will be investigated, in order to arrive at a truthful investigation as much as is possible.
Israel Ariel, Av Beit Din