Something about the automatic responses to the attack on Professor Ze’ev Sternhell was too loud, too generalizing, and too theatrical in the negative sense of the word. In short, there was something about the reactions of leftists such as Zahava Gal-On, Haim Oron, and Peace Now members that insisted on turning them into a caricature.
Were any of them happy that the severe incident took place? I would not go that far, yet still, it was nice to see the color back in their face.
From the very beginning, it was clear that none of the abovementioned figures would make do with less than a comprehensive, collective guilty verdict. Police investigators did not have any leads yet, yet Oron and Gal-On are not regular people like you and I. The hand of God rested on them – the God of all those people who know everything in advance – and prompted them to engage in prophecies. Yet as amateur prophets tend to do, they were using too many hand gestures, their voices were too loud, and the substance they uttered was, how shall we put it, not the best we ever heard.
Assaf Wohl condemns attack on leftist professor, but thinks he too is part of Israel’s fanatical camp in Alliance of the Zealots:
Zealotry is not the exclusive territory of the religiously devout. Anyone who ever visited a university knows that, as opposed to the yeshiva world for example, the proper academic approach will always aim to address the words being uttered, rather than focus on the person who uttered them. Therefore, it doesn’t matter at all whether a person who called on tanks to roll onto the settlement of Ofra is an anarchist or an Israel Prize-winning professor whose words are backed by impressive bibliographies and footnotes.
Not only did you fail to apologize for your grave words, you actually pride yourself on your intention to continue uttering them. And for what purpose exactly? Beyond the benefit of media attention, what does your approach contribute? What exactly were you thinking when you said: “…There is no doubt in respect to the legitimacy of armed resistance in the territories themselves. Had the Palestinians possessed a little wisdom, they would focus their struggle on the settlements…” (Haaretz, May 15, 2001.) How can these words of yours be interpreted in any other way except a call on Palestinian murderers (“armed resistance in the territories,” as you referred to it) to harm your political rivals across the Green Line?
Or how about your message regarding the need to dispatch tanks to a community that is home to men, women, and children? “Only those willing to move on Ofra with tanks would be able to curb the fascistic current that threatens to drown Israeli democracy.” (Davar, April 5, 1988.) Isn’t this zealotry?