The Assassin's Brother

I met this weekend with someone close to the case of Yigal Amir's brother, Chagai.

Yigal Amir is infamous for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on 4th November 1995. Yigal's story and occasional antics occupy many column inches, particularly as the November memorial season comes around.

His brother, Chagai, however, has been almost totally forgotten.

In parallel to Yigal's conviction and life sentence for Rabin's murder, Chagai was sentenced to 16 years for conspiring to murder and various arms related charges.

According to my source, Chagai has been kept in total solitary confinement in the Ayalon Prison for the past 16 years. He has no TV, radio, rare visitors and even the guards are not allowed to talk with him. His cell is 4 x 4 metres. He once over the past 16 years met with his brother Amir, to study together, for half an hour.
These terms of imprisonment are considerably harsher, for example, than for the Arab terrorists, a few cells down, who murdered literally tens of Israelis in bus and cafe bombings.

Chagai's sole source of stimulation is his seforim. Apparently Chagai has a self-imposed regime of davening/praying at dawn, learning the daf yomi, studying and memorizing whole tractates of Talmud, and repeatedly reviewing the mishna, Zohar, Rambam and other key Jewish sources.

His lawyer is the only person allowed regular visits to Chagai, which consist of three hour study sessions together, once a week. These visits are closely monitored, and they are not allowed to discuss or communicate anything aside from the texts they are studying.

Apparently, a US research group from California has undertaken a worldwide study of prisoners kept in solitary confinement and universally found that prisoners rapidly degenerate physically, mentally and emotionally. The study highlighted Chagai Amir as remarkable and exceptional for his soundness of mind and good spirits. The report linked this with the stimulation Chagai obtains from studying Talmud.

This 16 year sentence is almost up, and Chagai Amir is up for release.

However, apparently the Shabak (Security Services) have submitted a classified report, recommending that Chagai remains in prison beyond his full sentence.

My source indicated that Chagai has much to say about the story of the Rabin assassination itself, and will add substantially to the conspiracy industry which still surrounds the Rabin assassination, as much as the JFK assassination.  "This is why the Shabbak are making strenuous efforts against Chagai's release."

As for when the public will hear the "true account" of the much debated assassination, my source reckoned we will have to wait a further thirty years. 


  1. Great article - shocking treatment of a Jewish prisoner who - regardless of any conspiracy theories - never actually hurt anyone.

  2. If Chagai Amir is in solitary and severely limited as to visitors, how is it that you were able to gain a visit???

  3. Moshe B: "how is it that you were able to gain a visit???"

    I met with someone who is "close to the case". I myself have not visited Chagai.

  4. When is he due for release and how can we support his release? .


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