Academic journal article Military Review

Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzak Rabin

Academic journal article Military Review

Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzak Rabin

Article excerpt


GOD- The Plot to Kill Yitzak Rabin by

Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman. 352 pages. Henry Holt and Co., New York 1998. $24.95.

Michael Karpin, one of Israel's leading journalists, also anchors a news show in his native country. Ina Friedman is a Dutch journalist who immigrated to Israel in 1968. Together they have written a compelling account of the events and atmosphere of hatred created by Israeli religious extremists that culminated in the tragic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin.

The story begins with a reconstruction of the influences ultraorthodox zealots had on Yigal Amir, Rabin's assassin. It highlights how, over a two-year period, Amir made the mental transformation from Yeshiva student to murderer. The authors also bring to life a who's who of right-wing Israeli extremists and the Likud administration's role in using such zealots to undermine Rabin, his Labor administration and the peace process.

Israel's mood after the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords was electric. Rabin saw that Israel's long-term survival depended on peace with the Palestinians, a view that earned him the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. However, ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers assaulted members of Rabin's cabinet, chanting racial slurs outside his home. Members of their parties personally attacked him in the Kenesset, Israel's parliament.

Like islamic fundamentalists who issue religious edicts calling for the death of certain people, senior rabbis evoked ancient laws authorizing Rabin's death. …

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