April 5, 2007
Wife of Rabin’s Assassin Discusses Relationship, Life
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"Rabin invited them into your house to discuss whether or not they will agree to live only in a certain room or rooms," he continues. "How can you throw them out if, once in your house, they disagree with the rooms you assign them? The Oslo accord was a betrayal of the Jewish people. Giving to the Palestinians up to 50 percent of the West Bank is insane. It is to murder, very soon after, your own people."
I ask him to tell me about his days behind bars. His voice sounds upbeat.
"What can I say," he replies. "It is not easy to have cameras staring at you all the time and to be locked in one small room with the lights constantly on. I know it is a punishment that is meant to break me by making life not worthy of this high price of suffering. But I am far from seeing life this way.
"My beliefs and my daily reading and my relationship with Larissa and [the] children are much too important for me to give up," Amir emphasizes. "However difficult my physical life may be, my will to live and be a better person is as strong as ever. I have done something that I fully believe in, and I never attempted to ask for any special circumstance as responsible for my choice."
I ask about his relationship with his wife. With his tone of voice even softer than before, he answers immediately:
"She's everything a woman needs to be. So wise and so peaceful and so devoted to what she believes in. I told her many times that maybe being involved with me is the wrong relationship for her, but she kept insisting that this is what she wants and it makes her happy. When she convinced me that she considers our relationship necessary for her happiness and completeness, I asked her to marry me."
I thank him for talking to me and hand the phone to Trimbobler-Amir. For Yigal Amir to talk to someone on the phone, he has to get the approval of the prison system. This, in turn, usually entails a court appearance, in which the parties involved have to convince the services that they are not in any way agents of right-wing propaganda.
It takes Trimbobler-Amir 10 minutes to get off the phone, and then she answers a question about how the marriage took place.
"After we agreed to marry, and the prison system rejected our request to conduct the ceremony in the visiting room, we asked the rabbi if there was a way around it," she explains. "We were given the whole procedural format for the ceremony to be conducted in the name of Yigal, for Yigal, by his father. If done correctly, the rabbi said, it is as binding as any wedding ceremony.
"But the court had us go around and around, saying the same thing and arguing the same point, just to make it drop the suspicion that we have done it all for some ulterior motive of hidden, yet gravely dangerous, propaganda."
When we meet again, two months later, the court had denied conjugal visits. Articles were written in every paper ridiculing the idea of Yigal Amir being allowed to produce an offspring. The court denied the request based on the Israel Security Agency's contention that it was against the safety and security of the country.
Trimbobler-Amir's new job is writing textbooks for elementary schools taught in Russian.
"I am driving to see Yigal every Tuesday, and so many times the guards are trying to shame me," she says. "They almost stand on my feet to make sure that no dangerous note can be handed to me."
Another year passes until our next meeting. Once the security agency withdrew its contention that Yigal Amir was not a threat to the security of the country, conjugal visits were granted. Trimbobler-Amir hesitates to say whether intimacy changed anything in their relationship.
"Well, it is too personal," she explains. "Much too personal. It is hard enough feeling that our moments together are a matter of public knowledge, to now talk about it ... not for me."
I ask her if she is afraid for the future of their child in a country so resentful.
"No, I am not afraid," Trimbobler-Amir stresses. "Around my children and I were always caring people who supported my struggle and who have no resentment whatsoever toward Yigal. Other than the media, I never encountered any hatred in the streets."
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