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Extremists fete assassin’s birthday

JERUSALEM, May 22 (JTA) — Nine right-wing extremists celebrated the birthday of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin by gathering outside his Beersheba jail bearing flowers, champagne and a cake. One of the activists, Avigdor Eskin, said it was reprehensible that Yigal Amir should be behind bars on his birthday. “This week we marked the birthday of Ron Arad,” he said, referring to the captured Israeli air navigator. “Unfortunately, here in Israel, one of our own, Yigal Amir, must remain behind bars, alone, on his birthday.” Amir is serving a life sentence for shooting Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November, 1995, as Rabin was leaving a peace rally in Tel Aviv. A right-wing activist who opposed Rabin’s policies of peace-making with the Palestinians, Amir has never expressed regret for his actions. The nine demonstrators were not allowed to enter the jail. They dispersed when Eskin assaulted a cab driver after he spontaneously denounced the gathering.