Rabin’s assassin permitted fatherhood



JERUSALEM — Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin is inching toward a normalcy that many Israelis would like to deny him.


Yigal Amir, who is serving a life sentence in solitary confinement, won the Justice Ministry’s permission Tuesday to artificially inseminate the woman he married in absentia two years ago.

Amir and Larissa Trimbobler have long lobbied for conjugal visits.

“He sounded pretty pleased, but there was no shouting for joy,” Amir’s lawyer, Ari Shamai, told Israel Radio.

But the development smarted for those Israelis who see Amir’s marriage, and the prospect of him having children, as throwing salt on the still-open wound he inflicted by gunning down Rabin, then Israel’s prime minister, at a 1995 peace rally.

“It is incumbent on the state to prevent this despicable and vile murderer from enjoying the privileges granted to other prison inmates, as the murder was committed against Israel and Israeli democracy,” said the director of the Rabin Center, Yossi Lahmani.

A former law student who opposed the prime minister’s signing of the Oslo accords, Amir is under 24-hour surveillance in an isolation block, and the Prisons Service forbid him to see visitors in private on the grounds that he might pass propaganda messages to the outside world.

That enforced lack of privacy was among reasons given for the refusal to let Amir and Trimbobler consummate their union. “It is ridiculous. Yigal doesn’t have anything to be secretive about,” Amir’s mother, Geula, told Army Radio. “They offered to have relations in full view of the cameras, but the authorities wouldn’t even agree to that.”

Geula Cohen said she expected her son and Trimbobler to add to her brood of grandchildren, whose number currently stands at nine.

“It’s all in God’s hands now,” she said.

According to Justice Ministry sources, Amir’s request was approved because he filed a High Court petition on the matter and was expected to win.

Amir enjoys the support of many civil liberties experts. Other convicted murderers in Israel, including Arab terrorists, are allowed conjugal visits.