|Hagai Amir is released from prison 370 .(Photo by: Screenshot Channel Ten)|
Rabbi Metzger: Amir's reaction a 'disgrace, chutzpah'
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Residents of settlement where Amir to spend weekend hang signs reading "thou shall not kill,"; Yacimovich reacts to Hagai Amir's release with "nausea, disgust."
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger on Friday condemned Hagai Amir for his
reaction upon his release from prison, particularly Amir’s lack of remorse for
his involvement in the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak
Metzger said, “To be proud of participation in the murder [of
Rabin] is an embarrassment, a disgrace and chutzpah. It seems that 16 and a half
years was not enough time for him to learn his lesson.”
residents of the Shavei Shomron settlement were disturbed and surprised that
Amir had chosen to spend Shabbat in their community, following his release from
prison that morning.
After serving his sentence for helping his brother
Yigal Amir plot the murder of Rabin, Amir walked out of Ayalon Prison in Ramle a
free man. Amir chose to spend the weekend with a relative living in Shavei
Shomron, rather than going to his family home in Herzliya.
signs around the town against Amir’s visit, reading, “thou shall not kill,” and
“murder is not our way.” A resident of the community expressed disapproval of
Amir’s intention to visit the settlement, saying “we dissociate ourselves
entirely from this visit and of course we completely dissociate ourselves from
anything linked to Rabin’s murder,” Channel 10 reported.
“This is a
completely private visit that people do not view favorably. We have no way to
prevent it, but we are not pleased about it,” he added.
Channel 10 quoted
another resident as saying, “we would willingly pass on this visitor. This man
is not welcome in this town, and would do well not to be here.”
Shavei Shomron residents were among many others bristling at Amir’s release on
Meretz activists and other demonstrators waited outside the
prison gate in protest of his release. They held signs saying “price tag
4.11.95” and called to Amir and his family, “we won’t forget and we won’t
forgive those who incited and murdered.”
Now 43 years old, the Herzliya
native has never expressed remorse for his role in the assassination, which he
reiterated as he left the prison, saying he was proud of what he did and has no
regrets. He held up a “V” sign with his fingers, before leaving for his parents’
“This is a black day for Israel,” Meretz secretary-general Dror
Morag said. “Hagai Amir may have paid his legal debt, but his debt to the public
will never be settled.
“Behind the Amir brothers stands an entire public
of leaders and supporters who continue to incite against the Left and
Meretz will not forget, not forgive the murder, and will
continue to work to achieve the late Rabin’s vision of peace,” he
Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich and fellow Labor MKs held an
impromptu ceremony at the site of Rabin’s murder in Tel Aviv, hours after Hagai
Amir was released on Friday.
Standing before the memorial next to Rabin
Square, Yacimovich said “the fact that the accomplice to the murder Hagai Amir
feels no remorse causes disgust and nausea and shows us that the violent
extremism that challenges Israeli democracy still remains.”
defense minister Amir Peretz said he thinks “our society should mark this as a
dark day,” adding that “there can be no forgiveness for those who were
accomplices to the murder of Rabin.”
The ceremony had a political tone to
it, with a few dozen Labor party activists wearing T-shirts and holding signs,
and former welfare minister Isaac Herzog saying that early elections planned for
September 4 present an opportunity for Israelis to use their vote for the sake
of “preserving Israeli democracy,” presumably by way of a vote for the Labor
The ceremony was cut short when a handful of “social justice”
activists began shouting at the Labor MKs, calling them hypocrites for, in their
words, not showing support for last summer’s cost-of-living
Shouting matches ensued, but there was no violence and no
arrests were made.