Israeli Rightists Wound Ze’ev Sternhell in Bomb Attack
Haaretz reports that distinguished Hebrew University political scientist Zeev Sternhell was lightly injured by a pipebomb blast at his home. Police found flyers nearby which offered a $300,000 reward for anyone who killed a member of Peace Now:
Police sources told Israel Radio on Thursday that signs increasingly point to extreme right-wing elements who may have been responsible for planting the explosive that wounded Sternhell.
Gee, d’ya think??
The Meretz party chair had the most cogent and telling response:
“They better not talk to us about a few bad weeds,” Meretz chairman Haim Oron said. “These phenomena spring up on the right-wing [of the political spectrum].”
“This thuggish and dangerous act is the result of the continuing see-no-evil approach toward the vicious violence against soldiers and police officers and anyone else who doesn’t agree with the brutish section of the extreme right wing,” Oron said.
Sternhell, who was awarded the 2008 Israel Prize (in Hebrew), the Israeli equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize, for his political commentary, is an outspoken critic of the Occupation and Israeli settlements. Wikipedia notes that he is one of the world’s leading experts on fascism. This, no doubt and unfortunately, will provide the good professor with further material to ponder in his research and writing.
I have written frequently in this blog about verbal incitement by the pro-Israel extreme right against Jews deemed insufficiently loyal to the State of Israel. A number of Orthodox Jews, including a dean at Yeshiva University, have called for prime ministers who give away Jerusalem to be hung. Avigdor Lieberman has advocated hanging Arab members of Knesset and called an Israeli Jewish human rights lawyer a “kapo.” Israeli-American rightists like Rachel Neuwirth call for Israeli peace activists to be tried in “Nuremberg-like tribunals” for crimes against the Jewish people. Some of my right wing readers dismiss or minimize the significance of such threats. They cannot be minimized. Israel has already lost a prime minister to such hatred. While those I mentioned above might not pull a trigger or hurl a bomb, they create a political climate in which such activities are made kosher.
As sad as it is for me to say this, there are evil Jews out there. Jews who not only wish other Jews harm, but are prepared to act on their wishes. They must be hunted down and treated like the dogs they are. I am sorry to speak so harshly, but can we do any less when confronted by such unmitigated evil? To do any less, invites the far-right to target its most articulate opponents for murder.
29 thoughts on “Israeli Rightists Wound Ze’ev Sternhell in Bomb Attack – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Richard – they should be brought to justice for their crimes. I don’t think we need to speculate on what you’d say if someone wrote “they must be hunted down and treated like the dogs they are” about a wanted Hamas terrorist.
Just out of curiosity, what would you say if someone wrote “they must be hunted down and treated like the dogs they are” about wanted Hamas terrorists?
I’d say that the Hamas terrorists should be captured and brought to justice.
Interesting. Are those the precise words you used when two Israeli reservists were murdered on the West Bank by a Palestinian mob a few years ago for the crime of making a wrong turn & ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time? I’d venture to say those weren’t the precise words you used then (nor were they the words I used to describe this heinous act–which is why I felt able to use similar language regarding the Sternhell attack).
If a Palestinian assassinated Sari Nusseibeh you can be damn sure I’d say precisely the same thing. And if I were Palestinian my feelings would be even stronger.
Why the h… should palestinians and Mr. Nussiibeh be brought in to this mess? Any body who take this crime out of the Jewish-Israeli context is changing the subject and in fact is producing a spin. If palestinians will or will not do this or that one will talk about them this is not the case here for G-d sake.
Do you truly believe that an attempt to kill an Israeli opponent of settlements and the Occupation has nothing to do with Palestinians? There may be a langugage barrier that’s making it hard for me to understand yr pt of view. But fr. what I understand of it what you’re saying sounds preposterous.
Alex introduced the Palestinian analogy not me.
A human being who commits a despicable crime is nevertheless still a human being. If that’s what Alex was trying to say, I agree. If we label the criminal a “pig” we not only deny our own humanity, we will also run into practical troubles when we eventually want to try him by a “jury of his peers”.
The Palestinians, Hamas, etc., are all red herrings in this context.
Richard – I have no recollection of what I said in response to what happened in Ramallah seven years ago; your arrogance in presuming to know what I said is astounding. But if you think you know what I said back then, perhaps you can share with us what you said at the time?
Jews in Palestine also need two states
Arabs got their Palestinian Kingdom of Jordan, free Gaza and the Arab-Jewish State of Israel. Thay also got the autonomy in the West Bank.
Jewish autonomy in Galilee _Ahziv) is not viable
@fiddler: I am sorry but a Jew who kills another Jew for political-ideological reasons is the lowest of the low. I am not saying that a Jew who kills a Palestinian or vice versa is not heinous as well. But brother killing brother takes us back to Cain & Abel–an awful place to be.
These extremists are a cancer and danger to Israel. I can’t treat them as I would anyone else. I”m sorry.
@Alex Stein: Gimme a break. I didn’t claim to know what you said. Go back & read what I wrote. You’re just getting on yr high horse for some ridiculous reason. But if you said anything less than what I did about this terrible incident I’d be shocked.
Well I don’t remember what I said. But I do know that I object to the bestialisation of criminals/terrorists, however heinous their act, whether Israeli or Palestinian. Would you consider it appropriate to describe a Hamas terrorist as a dog that needs to be hunted down? Or those who participated in the Ramallah lynching as dogs that need to be hunted down? Strangely, you seem to be avoiding the question.
@Alex Stein: There is a phenomena in which members of an ethnic group feel such a strong level of kinship that both the virtues and vices of members of the group are more intensely felt than those of outsiders. African-Americans can say things about each other none of us would or could say. Similarly, both the good and bad qualities of my fellow Jews affect me more deeply than those of others. The intensity of my feelings against the Meir Kahanes of the Jewish world are simply stronger than those involving other villains.
It is not that I’m not affected at all by bad behavior by others. I am. But I feel much more strongly about the acts of someone like Yigal Amir or the attempted assassins of Sternhell than I do about the Abu Nidal terrorists who assassinated Isam Sartawi, for example. If I were Palestinian I think I’d naturally feel the reverse.
OK, fair enough. But not everyone is like that. So – would you object if a Jew called a Hamas terrorist a dog that needed to be hunted?
You keep wanting to pin me down, which is fair enough I suppose. But I don’t think the comparison in quite as apt as you might think.
You are posing a hypothetical in which a Hamas terrorist attacks an Israeli. In the Sternhell case, a Jew attempts to kill another Jew. So they’re not quite the same. Much as I would denounce a Hamas terror attack against Israeli civilians, I feel even more strongly about Jews killing Jews which is why I used the “dog” terminology.
I really have no strength for this; it’s very depressing that you can’t answer simple questions posed to you. Put it down to me trying to ‘pin you down’ all you want; the fact is that people visiting the site will see it for what it is. Whether you want to recognise that fact is your choice.
@Alex Stein: Depressed? So sorry. I really aim to please, but I guess you just can’t please everybody.
I’m amused that you’ve taken on the self-assigned role of being my rhetorical taskmaster and pointing out the supposed hypocrisy (or whatever you choose to call it) of my views. My readers actually don’t see it that way. So you’ve really taken on this job for yr own edification and amusement & no one else’s. But knock yrself out. Go to it.
Whether you realize it or accept it or not, I’ve answered yr question in the way I feel comfortable. Should that not satisfy you, well, I’m not here to satisfy you. I’m here to satisfy myself that I’ve expressed my views as well and clearly as I can. I think there’s too much nuance for you. You’d prefer hard, pat answers & I’m simply not gonna give ’em to ya unless I feel the question merits such an answer. So sorry.
Richard, where do you get this idea of me seeing myself as your “rhetorical taskmaster”. All I do is try and raise issues that are of interest – if that’s not the point of the talkback then I don’t know what is.
Just to recap:
1. You described the bombers of Sternhell as “dogs”, an astonishing use of language which I suggested you wouldn’t use for Hamas terrorists (question one).
2. Instead of answering, you tell me what I said about an incident that took place seven years ago (with the aggrieved language – “you can be damn sure”.)
3. I called this presumption arrogant. I then asked how you might describe the people who perpetrate the Ramallah lynching (question two)
4. You then made the reasonable point that you feel more strongly about crimes committed by your own people. I accepted this, but suggested that it would be equally legitimate to feel equally angered by all heinous crimes, no matter who perpetrated them. I ask if a Hamas terrorist could be called a dog (question three)
5. “You keep trying to pin me down” “gimme a break” “getting on your high-horse for some ridiculous reason.” You also say “if you said anything less than I said” about the Ramallah lynching without telling us what it is you said. Astonishingly, though, in the same sentence, you say “I didn’t claim to know what you said”
6. You then repeat your reasonable point about feeling more strongly about crimes committed by Jews.
7. I repeat my question: for the fourth time. Is it legitimate for someone to describe a Hamas terrorist as a dog that needs to be hunted?
You can go on about nuance and pat answers but it’s very clear that you’ve ignored a very simple question four times. It’s all the more galling when I’ve openly acknowledged your point about feeling more strongly about crimes committed by Jews.
So I may as well ask it one more time: Would it be legitimate for a Jew to call a Hamas terrorist a dog that needs to be hunted, or do all Jews need to use stronger language to describe Jewish perpetrators of political violence?
this is shocking news, but it is also necessary in a way. perhaps it will help erode the “see no evil, hear no evil” approach of the mainstream moderate Israeli populace towards the evil moral baggage that occupation entails.
Incidentally, the usual jafi crowd (yourish, lgf, jihad watch, etc) have no mention of this story. It would be interesting to see if they can be bothered to comment in the next few days. I hope you succeed in getting this tsory to huff post, the nation, or whatever other mainstream outlets you can find to help push it to the fore.
I am tempted to post it to dailykos. i am aware of your experience there and agree that the frontpagers there are AWOL, but teh diaries are open.
@Aziz: Alas, most of my HuffPo blog posts get buried somewhere on the back pgs. & apparently not read by many since they don’t reach the front pg most of the time if ever. Comment is Free America, where I publish, prefers I write about U.S.-related issues so they’ve passed. The Nation has some constraints that prevent the editor fr. accepting the story. Beliefnet, where you publish, doesn’t even answer my queries. I think this would be a great subject for them.
Alas, I’m stumped.
BTW, the extreme right has responded to this (or at least some have). Their approach is what I call “moral relativism” i.e. where was the left’s moral outrage when Palestinians terrorists committeed atrocity x, y or z? The 2 evils are somehow supposed to cancel ea. other out in terms of the right accepting any responsibility for this particular crime.
@Alex Stein: I don’t know you personally. Perhaps the way you come across here is the way you deal with everyone in life. All I can tell you is that you, and a number of other shall we say more conservative commenters here see your role as pointing out the inadequacies, as you see them, of my reasoning.
That’s cool. I think it keeps those of us who blog in mental shape to have consistent opponents. But just because you perceive an inadequacy and trumpet it to my viewers as if you’ve found rhetorical paydirt, doesn’t mean that I or most of my other readers share your view.
I’ve said what I’m gonna say about yr analogy. Any interest in being more explicit is gone with the wind in terms of yr long-winded narrative of who said what to whom above. Why don’t we just move on. Find something new in something I’ve written to object to & we can take it fr. there (if you wish).
I think some people on the right in Israel are also suspicious as to the actual perpetrators of the attack. You’re aware of the conspiracy theory that Rabin was killed by Shabak and this is similar. I am not a conspiracy theorist but I also wouldn’t vouch for Shabak to be above such methods (and, for example, the Magnes Zionist speculates here that Barukh Marzel, Itamar Ben Gvir, and Noam Federman are Shabak informants.) It would be interesting to figure out the motive in that case.
By the way, the pamphlet offering reward for killing (of all the lefty organizations in Israel!) “Peace Now” activists is kind of stupid and shady; and how is one supposed to claim the money, for chrissake?
I still don’t know why you can’t answer a simple question. Anyway, I’ll leave it there – what’s perhaps interesting to compare is your ill-chosen dog comment to the sober remarks made by the victim of the attack himself.
If you look at this from the settler’s vantage pt. it makes perfect sense to target Peace Now because their annual settlement rpt is one of the single most damaging documents to the settler cause. Recently, PN proved that something like one-third (it may’ve been an even higher percentage) of all settlement land was actually stolen from Palestinians who had legitimate title to it.
As for the “logic” behind the flier, I too thought of the idiocy of offering a reward you couldn’t possibly afford to pay. But I think this is giving aberrant wingnuts too much credit. Of course they didn’t think that through. Their sole goal was to announce their intent to intimidate the left & the rest of Israeli society. Not to engage in logical or reasonable thinking.
“Incidentally, the usual jafi crowd (yourish, lgf, jihad watch, etc) have no mention of this story.”
Since the so called “calm” has taken effect, close to fifty rockets have been fired from the Gaza strip to Sderot and other Israeli communities nearby, with little if any responce. I don’t think this blog has made any mention of them. I’d like to see the IDF and the IAF hunt down the scum that are firing the kassam rockets on innocent Israeli civilians with an intention to kill.
(I like dogs)
IN CASE ANYONE MISSED THIS:
Last update – 22:38 09/08/2008
By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10
Haaretz.com/Channel 10 daily feature for August 7, 2008.
A group of men who police suspect were hired by an ultra-Orthodox gang recently broke into a Jerusalem woman’s home and beat her because they deemed her immodest.
The so-called “Modesty Guard” is suspected of being behind the incident. The gang has been known to unleash extortion, mercenaries, violence and surveillance on less religious Jews they deem sacrilegious. They claim to do it all in the name of God.
The incident may be one of a string of signs of rising ultra-Orthodox violence. Last year, five Haredi Jews assaulted a woman and an Israel Defense Forces soldier because they sat next to one another on a Jerusalem bus.
A very nice photograph: Mr. Sternhell’s wisdom shows in his face.
WHILE I’M AT IT, THIS ARTICLE BY MR. STERNHELL LAST MONTH:
Zionism’s dying between Hebron and Yitzhar
By Zeev Sternhell
“The Zionist Enterprise,” said Berl Katznelson in 1929, when he summed up the first 10 years of the Ahdut Ha’Avoda movement, is a “conquest enterprise.” And in the same breath he added: “It is not by chance that I am using military terms to describe the settlement of the country.” And in fact, Zionism was a movement of conquest, and all means were permitted to carry out the task.
However, what was essential and therefore justified in the pre-state days is now assuming an ugly and violent form of colonial occupation: the authoritarian regime in the territories, the creation of two legal systems, the placing of the army and police at the service of the settlement movement, the robbing of Palestinian lands….
ENTIRE ARTICLE- http://www.haaretz.com:80/hasen/spages/1009632.html
The flyer is fishy. See my first analysis: http://myrightword.blogspot.com/2008/09/philological-semantic-analysis-of.html