Friday, November 03, 2006

Yigal Amir in the News

Carl in Jerusalem has put together an interesting look at Yigal Amir and why he's back in the news. For those who don't recognize the name, Amir was convicted of assassinating Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He is serving life in prison.

Carl notes that there are some discrepancies in how Rabin's injuries were reported - whether he was shot in the back or the chest - identification of the wounds, etc.

I'm not sure whether this amounts to much. As we have repeatedly seen, initial reports of incidents often prove to be incorrect or misleading. Additional reporting may be corrective in nature. Watching early reports about 9/11 come in and you'll find that some thought it was simply a small plane, not a large passenger airliner. More recently, there were mixed reports about the plane carrying Cory Lidle - early reports indicated that it was a helicopter, not a fixed wing aircraft that crashed into a building on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Thus, I would tend to discount the eyewitness testimony as unreliable unless backed by other witnesses. A single witness may believe entirely what he or she believes to have seen, but unless there is corroboration of the evidence, it would stand as an outlier.

Questions about the nature of Rabin's wounds are a serious point of contention, but again can be explained by the confusion of the situation. Forensic evidence should be available to make that clear.

Now, Carl may be ultimately speculating about a conspiracy resulting in the assassination of Rabin, but from the evidence I've seen, I do not think it supports that conclusion. Granted, I don't have the Hebrew background to interpret the various reports - so I'm going on the English version.

I will simply point out that Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest explanation is most likely correct.

All said, however, Amir's status will continue to come up regularly, and the issues surrounding his arrest and trial/conviction will swirl around endlessly similar to the way that issues still surround the assassination of JFK, despite government blue ribbon panels and other investigations.

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