Rabin Ritual Yawner - Pardoned

A soldier who yawned during a Rabin memorial speech will be pardoned after 10 days in jail, the same punishment as that of an AWOL soldier.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

Soldier jailed for yawning at Rabin service
Soldier jailed for yawning at Rabin service
Israel News Photo: (Flash 90)

An Air Force sergeant has been granted an early release from prison after serving 10 days of a 21-day sentence for yawning during a Yitzchak Rabin memorial speech two week ago. Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) director Dr. Aaron Lerner noted that the reduction was granted after it appeared that the soldier, Sgt. Almog Amran, is not from a family of nationalists and after intervention by the media and the IAF commander.

His punishment of 21 days was the same as that meted out to a soldier who leaves a base for two months without leave and is three times that for drinking alcohol on base. The punishment for beating another soldier is 14 days.

The IDF did not explain why he was sentenced for yawning during the annual ritual.

"The commanders realized that my son didn't have any malicious intent, and the base commander played a decisive role in his release, and I appreciate that," the yawner's mother told the commanding officer who caught him in the act, according to the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz.

The offending soldier, a technician in the Air Force, said he did not intend his yawn to be a political statement. His mother was quoted as saying that his comrades laughed about the punishment although she said he thought the punishment was excessive.

Numerous ceremonies in memory of the slain former Prime Minister are held for several days to include both the secular and the Hebrew date of his death. The events have been increasingly held in a tense atmosphere amid continuing accusations against supporters of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria for the assassination, which was committed by Herzliya resident Yigal Amir.

During this year's memorials, several accusations were made that a small group of nationalists has been planning another political assassination, but no arrests have been made and no names have been mentioned.