Otniel Schneller 58.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Fifteen years after former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot by Yigal Amir a number of Knesset members and prominent religious leaders have begun a campaign to retroactively aquit Margalit Har-Shefi, Amir's girlfriend.
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Har-Shefi was charged with failing to report Amir's intentions to carry out the murder.
Among those leading the campaign are MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Uri Ariel (National Union) as well as Rabbis Yuval Sherlo and Yaakov Meidan.
In a letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the campaigners quoted former Shin Bet officials Carmi Gillon and Ami Ayalon who expressed their belief that Har-Shefi, was not, in fact, aware of Amir's intention to kill Rabin.
Weinstein made the decision to pardon himself from being responsible for the issue due to the fact that he was in touch with Har-Shefi's family in the past, when he was requested to represent her as a lawyer in the private sector.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni talked with Rabin's daughter, Dalia Rabin, and said that "Rabin's assassination is not just his family's interest,
nor is it just his political party's issue but it is interest but of the
"Even if years have passed since Rabin's assasination we can't return to
tagging it as a matter of right and left. We have paid a heavy price in
the past and as a society and we were able to learn the lesson from the
murder," Livni continued.
Livni said "It's far beyond matters of the individual, but instead of
society as a whole as, and as a former justice minister I oppose
involvement of MKs in civil proceedings. I regret the involvment of
politicians in this application because it may change the discourse
surrounding the political field which should not be there."
MK Zeev Elkin, (Likud) however, showed his support for the campaign. "I
believe Har-Shefi's conviction was the product of a witch hunt that took
place at the time, the public desire for a victim because of the prime
minister's death, and the will of the Shin Bet, which failed miserably,
to find a scapegoat," he said.
"Now, 15 years later, it's clear that if we had known then what we know today Har-Shefi would not be convicted."
Har-Shefi, just 19 at the time, was arrested after Yitzhak Rabin's
assassination in 1995 because she was Yigal Amir's classmate and friend.
The prosecution alleged she knew of Amir's intentions yet failed to
make that fateful call to the police.