In conversation on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS on Dec 31, Ha’aretz columnist Akiva Eldar notes the rising popularity of Yigal Amir, the assassin in 1995 of former Israel prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Television viewers and spectators at the Maccabi Haifa–Beitar Jerusalem match on 4 Nov 07 heard the evidence loud and clear.
Eldar, in the Dec 31 interview, speaks to Rose across the famous table. Eldar’s comments about Amir come at the 15:15 mark. (18:14)
Beitar supporters, during a pre-game moment of silence to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Rabin’s death, booed Rabin’s name and began to sing songs in praise of Amir. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a Beitar fan, denounced the fans’ actions, as did Beitar management (Matan Krakow, “PM: I’m Beitar Fan, but I Detest Violent Brutes Who Booed Rabin,” Ha’aretz, 5 Nov 07).
Eldar says that the supporters’ reactions reflect “part of the alienation in Israeli society. I think that we are a very divided—we used to be a very interesting mosaic of people who came from all over the world. But Israel has got many, many problems.”