J EWISH NEWS
In a meeting with members
of the American delegation to
Mr. Rabin's funeral, Mr. Peres
declared unequivocally that
"the elections will be held in
November '96." The pundits
say that he wants to use the
coming year not just to move
as far as possible in the peace
process, but to build his own
image and record as prime
minister. But a year is a long
time, and rather than take a
chance with the unknown, his
colleagues may prevail upon
Mr. Peres to go to the polls
while identification with Mr.
Rabin (and generalized anger
toward the political right) can
still be exploited. If that argu-
ment fails, he might move
quickly toward elections for his
own sake. There are younger
and arguably more nationally
popular aspirants to the prime
ministership in his party — In-
terior Minister Ehud Barak
and Histadrut Secretary
• If the new government lasts for a year, Mr. Peres
must decide whether to ensure its stability by expanding
its electoral base by co-opting one or more of the ultra-
Orthodox parties now in opposition.
The Shas Party has already declared that it will not
join the new government unless at least one other party
does so. The Torah Judaism Party has let it be known
that its "price" for backing (though not necessarily join-
ing) a Peres-led government is the replacement of Reli-
gious Affairs Minister Shimon Sheetrit and Education
Minister Amnon Rubinstein (to which Meretz, the key
coalition partner, will certainly vigorously object).
• Changes in the roster of ministers (though not nec-
essarily these two) are expected anyway. One of Mr. Peres'
critical decisions will be what to do with the defense port-
folio (which was held by Mr. Rabin). Should he keep it for
the sake of exercising direct control over the redeploy-
ment, or give it to another minister? Another concern is
how to relate to Labor's two "princes" (and his own po-
tential rivals): Mr. Barak and Mr. Ramon.
One scenario offered by political analyst Hanan Crys-
tal sees the new prime minister embracing the "princes,"
awarding them key ministries, thus winning their loyal-
ty while boosting his own chances of winning next year.
If Mr. Peres keeps the defense portfolio, he may offer
the Foreign Miniptry to Mr. Ramon. An even more in-
triguing suggestibn is to offer it to ex-Likud leader and
ex-Foreign Minister David Levy. If Mr. Peres yields the
defense ministry, the obvious candidate to inherit it is
Mr. Barak, a former IDF Chief of Staff.
Unknown today is whether Mr. Barak and Mr. Ramon,
who would have backed Mr. Rabin for another term, will
display the same deference to Mr. Peres. Experience dic-
tates that a struggle for succession close to election time,
especially if perceived as political bloodletting, will be
damaging to Labor.
But if, as the spring primary rolls around, it appears
that Mr. Peres is flagging, these serious, experienced can-
didates from Israel's younger generation, both eager and
able to joust with the Likud's 47-year-old Mr. Netanyahu,
may be the formula that Labor requires. El
Profile Of An Assassin
amat Gan —Yigal Amir was one of some
20,000 students at Bar-Ilan University,
a religious Zionist institution in this city
just outside of Tel Aviv. The students, fac-
ulty and administration are on the de-
fensive these days, insisting that Mr.
1:411 Amir was a lone aberration who acted in
total opposition to Bar-Ilan's teachings of tolerance and
democracy. They are right — Mr. Amir was an aberra-
tion at Bar-Ilan. But he wasn't the only one.
Mr. Amir knew another student at Bar-Ilan, named LARRY DERFNER ISRAEL CORRESPONDENT
Avishai Raviv, on campus and from right-wing demon-
strations. Mr. Raviv, of Kiryat Arba, is in hiding now, and
is probably the police's and Shin Bet's most wanted man. Patriarchs, to the Golan Heights. He asked me to come,
He is the head of Eyal, a tiny but violent Kach-like or- but I wouldn't."
After the assassination, the student said he went into
ganization that claimed Mr. Amir as a member.
Recently, about a half-dozen of them appeared on Is- the computer files and checked Mr. Amir's grades. "He
rael Television wearing masks and vowing to murder was doing very poorly in his law classes — his marks were
both Palestinians and "Jews who are not Jews." It is not in the 60s. But he was brilliant in computers and math
— his scores were near 100." He added that Amir "always
known if Mr. Amir was one of the masked men.
Besides Mr. Raviv, "there is a tiny, unofficial Kach dressed sloppily. It looked like he never washed his clothes
chapter on campus" of probably fewer than 10 people, or combed his hair."
Mr. Amir also studied at Bar-Ilan's kollel, or adult yeshi-
said university spokesman David Weinberg. All on-cam-
pus political activity at Bar-Ilan is banned, but there have va. "He studied in my own class," said institute Rabbi
been many small demonstrations on the bridge just off Moshe Raziel. "He was talented. He was a little, quiet
campus. "Amir was one of the organizers of these demon- student who spent most of his time in the library." Rab-
strations. They would go on the bridge and yell, 'Rabin is bi Raziel said Mr. Amir did not discuss politics — an off-
a traitor," said a Bar-Ilan student who was in a comput- limits subject in institute classes. In their private views,
however, a few of the institute's students supported the
er-science course with Mr. Amir.
But Mr. Amir wasn't one of the more outspoken right- Labor Party and even the left-wing, staunchly secular
wing activists on campus. "If I had to name the 10 most Meretz, Rabbi Raziel noted.
At a campus assembly the day after the assassination,
extreme right-wing activists from Bar-Ilan, I wouldn't
many hundreds of students and faculty turned out to con-
have named Yigal Amir," Mr. Weinberg added.
Mr. Amir hung around with a group of two or three demn the murder and to disassociate it from Bar-Ilan.
like-minded colleagues, said the computer-science stu- "Our hands did not carry out this deed," read one sign.
University Rector Professor Moshe Kaveh noted that
dent. "He used to organize these Shabbat activities — vis-
its to the Hebron settlements, to the Cave of the Bar-Ilan awarded Mr. Rabin an honorary doctorate two
tries to distance itself,
but Mr. Amir was not
L: "The minute a Jew gives his people and land over to the enemy, one must kill him ... The goal was to shock
public opinion, that they should stop being indifferent to(Rabin's) neglect of tens of thousands of people."
—Mr Rabins assassin, Yigal Amir-, on why he killed the prime minister