Rabin Killer Says He Acted on Behalf of Whole Nation : Assassination: Amir will serve as his own attorney. Right wing accuses secret service of trying to smear it.


Yigal Amir, the unrepentant killer of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, appeared in court Monday for a second time, asserting that he pulled the fatal trigger on behalf of the entire nation of Israel.

Arriving under heavy guard, Amir waved to his parents, who had not seen him since the Nov. 4 murder at a Tel Aviv peace rally, and gestured to his crying mother as if to ask why she was in tears.

Looking smug and at times disdainful, the 25-year-old law student told the court that he will serve as his own attorney because no one can represent him better than he can represent himself.

At the same time, the country watched in amazement for a second day as the political right wing went on the offensive against the security Establishment that apparently infiltrated the extremists’ ranks before the assassination but failed to prevent it. Opposition leaders accused the Labor government of having used its secret service in a campaign to smear the right.


The charges effectively turned public debate away from the crime itself and toward the integrity of the security Establishment.

In court, Amir was asked by reporters how he felt during his re-enactment of the crime last week when he passed by a mass of memorial candles left by mourners beneath Rabin’s picture.

“It reminded me of all those attacks [by Arab terrorists]. . . . These were the victims of peace. The country is full of such memorials, and I said to myself, ‘Finally, justice has been done,’ ” Amir said.

He repeated his earlier claim that he acted alone in the assassination but added a new twist: “Perhaps physically I acted alone, but it was not only my finger that pulled the trigger but the entire nation which for 2,000 years dreamed about this country and spilled its blood for it.”

Amir said previously that he killed Rabin because the prime minister was going to turn over Jewish land to the Palestinians under a 1993 peace accord between Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

“Who could have dreamed a Jewish leader--in truth he is not a legitimate leader . . . " Amir continued before Judge Dan Arbel cut him off for attempting a political speech in court.

The judge ordered Amir held for 11 more days while authorities prepare his indictment. Police say he will be charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and possession of weapons.

Police insist that Rabin was the victim of a conspiracy led by Amir and his 27-year-old brother Hagai. On Monday, police arrested Avshalom Weinberg, 24, another student at Bar Ilan University, where Amir studied. He is suspected of having known of the plan to kill Rabin. Five other friends and classmates of the Amirs are being held.

After the assassination, Rabin’s widow, Leah, and leaders of Rabin’s Labor Party accused the right-wing opposition of having fomented a dangerous climate of hatred by calling Rabin a “murderer” and “traitor.”

But in a sudden turnabout, the Likud Party and other opposition groups regained the political offensive Monday in the wake of reports that Avishai Raviv, the head of the anti-Arab group Eyal, to which Amir reportedly belonged, had been serving as an informant for the General Security Services. This is Israel’s equivalent of the FBI and is also known as Shin Bet.

Organizations of West Bank Jewish settlers on Monday accused the government of having used Shin Bet in a dirty tricks campaign to smear the legal opposition.

In a news conference, the groups called for the independent commission looking into Shin Bet’s failure to protect Rabin to also examine the role the agency played in right-wing demonstrations.

The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported an ironic twist: that Amir was trained by Shin Bet as a security guard in 1992 before being sent on a government mission to Latvia. Initial reports said Amir was dispatched to teach Hebrew in the capital, Riga, but the newspaper, citing unofficial sources, said his real job was to protect the Jewish community in Latvia.