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My chat with Rabin killer's accomplice on why 'he was eliminated'

Remember a few weeks ago when I sent a friendship request to Hagai Amir, the brother of Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir, on Facebook? Here’s what I wrote about it back then.

Well, a few days later he accepted and we’ve been pals ever since. OK, not really. We haven’t spoken. Was never inclined to.

But last night something happened. I posted a small photo album of pictures I took the night before. They were from the anti-war-with-Iran demonstration under Ehud Barak’s luxury apartment in central Tel Aviv.

Not long after I posted the album, Hagai Amir left a comment on it. A discussion ensued.

Hagai Amir: They don’t look like people who are about to die.

Ami Kaufman: Did Yitzhak Rabin look like a man who was about to die? Just asking. Maybe there are early warning signs.

Hagai Amir: Of course, he surrounded himself with battalions of security guards, which of course didn’t help him much.

Ami Kaufman: So, according to that theory Bibi is going to die as well, no? Are you planning something?

Hagai Amir: He is indeed afraid but not from the Left, they’re just a pack of losers, he doesn’t have to be afraid of me I’m not involved any more, it’s not my war.

Ami Kaufman: What is Bibi scared of? And what do you mean you’re not involved? What, that’s it? You won’t fight anymore for your homeland?

Dahlia Scheindlin: Hagai, what is your war? Just so we know.

Hagai Amir: There is no chance that I will fight for the people who at this moment are torturing my brother.

Ami Kaufman: So let me understand, if any leader – in the present or future – will give away parts of Eretz Israel, you will do nothing because at the moment they are torturing your brother? Meaning, according to this logic, your brother’s life is worth more than land?

Hagai Amir: The reason Rabin was eliminated was not because of transferring land but because of the risk to Jewish life as a result of that, there is no Jewish meaning to the Zionist regime which is why it can give this or that land and this will have no Jewish meaning – just as other conquerors did throughout history – as long as this doesn’t endanger Jewish lives.

Ami Kaufman: I think you answered my question partially. I want to understand: If giving land endangered Jewish life (then, during Rabin’s rule, as you said), can there not be a situation where giving land in the future (during Bibi or someone else’s rule) will also endanger Jewish life? And if you will be convinced, hypothetically, that there is a danger – what will you do?

Hagai Amir: I myself can no longer act in this area because I am known and discretion is needed, anyway today the fraud element that characterized the Rabin regime no longer exists, today the people are aware of the dangers and if a majority of the people choose this route then good for them and I won’t mourn when they pay the price for it, if a majority of the people supported the Oslo Accords, Rabin would still be alive.

Ami Kaufman: Ah, so this is a matter of a majority against a minority? So basically, Yigal was the watchdog of democracy?

Hagai Amir: Of the Jewish people, and stop flattering yourself there is no democracy here but a mutation of the Bolshevik regime, a bad mutation.

Ami Kaufman: Indeed, there is no democracy here. Yalla, I’ve had enough for today. I’m going back to my pack of losers.

I have to say, I felt uncomfortable during the whole thing. Made me feel queasy at certain parts. But for some reason I felt the urge to engage. To try to understand this guy. Which is why I decided to follow him in the first place. A journalistic urge of sorts. Yet, I think I could have asked much better questions. I was pretty tired as it was.

During the discussion, a friend who was observing said I might be goading him into saying something. Which is true, in a way. But I think it’s a legitimate question to ask, to try to know if a criminal who is free would commit the crime again.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the murder, about remorse not shown, about the solitary confinement of Yigal, as if Rabin’s blood was bluer than other murder victims. Even about Facebook, and the strange “opportunities” it allows.

I don’t know.

I don’t think I’ll be chatting with Hagai again.

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    1. Kibbutznik

      ” , if a majority of the people supported the Oslo Accords, Rabin would still be alive. ”
      Talk about twisted thinking .
      They killed Rabin to stop Oslo , does he seriously think he and his twisted crew of religious facist fanatics are the majority ?
      ” anyway today the fraud element that characterized the Rabin regime no longer exists, ”
      Oh but it does Hagai moteck .
      ” as if Rabin’s blood was bluer than other murder victims ”
      It was bluer Ami and dont weep for the solitary confinement of Yigal Amir at least he is still breathing .

      Reply to Comment
    2. M

      I don’t think Haggai or Yigal Amir are mre criminal than Yizhak Rabin who had a long long history of murder, torture and ethnic cleansing under his direct command.

      Reply to Comment
    3. A

      “The reason Rabin was eliminated was not because of transferring land but because of the risk to Jewish life as a result of that”

      How is making peace risking Jewish life?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      @Ami – I understand your curiosity in “chatting up” this scum sucker, but all you really accomplished is inflating his ego. He is obviously seeking human contact (one can only imagine the conversations the Amir kids have had with their parents over the years) and probably enjoyed talking with a “smolan”. My conversation with this shithead would have transpired thus:
      Him: They don’t look like people who are about to die.
      Me: Go fuck yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    5. XYZ

      Did Rabin bring us peace?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Kolumn9

      I personally think that Yigal Amir should have been impaled or crucified for the damage he did to Israeli democracy, but the position that Oslo led to the deaths of well over a thousand Jews is not entirely unreasonable. Yet, Amir’s action was potentially even more damaging in undermining Israeli democracy and decision making process.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jeff

      I think the folks at 972 and Amir share a lot of common ground.
      You both believe there is no democracy in Israel. You both believe the majority is with you. You both believe Israel is torturing prisoners who don’t deserve to be there. He won’t be swayed from his beliefs, and neither will you.

      Extreme left , extreme right. two sides of the same coin.

      Reply to Comment
      • Actually, Jeff, we at +972 know we are in the minority and we are on record as having said so on many occasions. Look up the articles about us in the Nation and Tablet.

        We see Israel’s democracy as deeply flawed. We want Israel to be more democratic. Hagai Amir does not believe in democracy. He wants Israel to be a theocratic / ultra-nationalist state without equal rights for Palestinian citizens.

        As for torturing prisoners, well, Yigal and Hagai Amir were jailed in a civilian prison after they were tried and convicted in a civilian court. Palestinian prisoners are tried in military jails, by army officers who convict in 99% of cases, often after the prisoners were tortured – and the judges admit they know the prisoners are tortured – and given harsh sentences in military prisons.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Tammy/Tamar

      Something about this accomplice’s perfect English makes me wonder… with whom were you and Dahlia messaging? Just saying. And I do admire your guts and sometimes wild journalistic adventures. We need such.

      Reply to Comment
    9. @Tammy – His perfect English is actually my translation of the discussion in Hebrew (see photo above) – so, I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    10. Tammy/Tamar

      Hahaha. The joke’s on me. I was too lazy to read the teeny print of the FB thread! Yes, the accidental compliment is for you.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Khaled

      Ami and Dahlia
      I think any good journalist is supposed to draw out the interviewee so they reveal what is going on in their head. I wasn’t expecting a Richard Nixon style confession before David Frost’s pointed questions. But I was expecting some consistency from this character. It was Double Talk and a mish mash of self righteous blood fantasies…Kind of like Al Qaeda.
      You’re both brave for doing this – These kind of characters are Psychotic killers.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Daniel

      I think what’s most disturbing about his opinions, are his anti-zionism and anti-democracy sentiment, which is the new realm of the religious right in Israel. The Israeli institutions mean nothing to him, and just like his brother in 1995, he is not just a “wayward weed” (עשב שוטה( he deeply represents the tides inside the religious right in Israel. that’s what makes me nauseous .

      Reply to Comment