MKs, rabbis begin campaign to acquit Har-Shefi

15 years after Yigal Amir shot Yitzhak Rabin, campaign launched to prove Amir's girlfriend was not aware of Amir's intentions.

October 15, 2010 13:00
2 minute read.
Otniel Schneller 58

Otniel Schneller 58. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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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.

Har-Shefi was charged with failing to report Amir's intentions to carry out the murder.

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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 entire nation."

"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.

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