J’accuse redux

Posted by in Broadsides

Zeev SternhellI just received this from PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity) this morning:

Israel must rid itself of Zionist terrorists.

On the night of September 24, Israeli professor Zeev Sternhell was wounded by a bomb put at his doorstep.

Who is Zeev Sternhell? He is an Israeli historian who has expressed empathy for the Palestinian struggle. That’s why he was attacked.

Who is Zeev Sternhell? He is a holocaust survivor who fought in three of Israel’s wars. He thinks that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is a cancer that eats the soul of Israel. That is why he was attacked.

I accuse those who instigated this attack.

I accuse those who attack so-called “dangerous left-wing intellectuals” in Israel; who call people like Zeev Sternhell “anti-Semitic,” “self-hating Jews” and “enemies of Israel”.

I accuse those in the Israeli right who forgive and turn a blind eye to fanatical settlers who break Israeli law and international law on a daily basis, who harass Palestinians, beat them and sometimes murder them.

I accuse those who performed religious rituals condemning Yitzhak Rabin to death.

I accuse right-wing extremists who say that only they represent Israel; that anybody who has a different view of what is good for Israel is an enemy who endangers Israel. They are fanatics who kill in the name of ‘ideals’.

I accuse those who condone the acts of extremists. They encourage the murderers and terrorists, such as those who attacked Zeev Sternhell.

Hate-speech is not part of legitimate democratic discourse. We know that words create reality. Calls to violence find their ways into the hearts of fanatics who put these words into practice.

For too long the Israeli Right has forgiven and promoted its extremists.

Israel needs more Zeev Sternhells, and Israel needs to rid itself of Zionist terrorists.

Adapted from “I accuse!”, written by Israeli philosopher Carlo Strenger, of Tel Aviv University and published by Israel’s leading newspaper “Ha’aretz” on Sept. 29, 2008.

For full text, see: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1024899.html

(Photo of Zeev Sternhells: Hebrew University)