Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University - The leftwing McCarthyism of Carlo Strenger
(Dept of Psychology) who thinks all non-leftists are guilty of
The Sternhell Attack gave the Left an excuse to
judge and sentence the Right without trial upon the front pages of
the newspapers. Then Strenger – imitating Emile Zola – “accuses”
Isracampus.org.il, among others, in order to cover up that the
conviction of the Right – imitating Alfred Dreyfus – was based on
false accusations and misrepresentation of justice.
'I accuse those Jews, inside Israel and
outside, who run websites that track "dangerous left-wing
intellectuals" in Israel. They call people like Zeev Sternhell
"anti-Semitic," "self-hating Jews" and "enemies of Israel....For too
long the Israeli Right has taken a forgiving attitude toward its
'wild weeds.' For too long it has used extremists to present its own
views as acceptable mainstream."
Unlike the police, Strenger claims to know who
attacked Sternhell's home and who was behind it.
By Carlo Strenger
On the night between September 24 and 25, it
happened again. Prof. Zeev Sternhell, an internationally acclaimed
political scientist and historian, recipient of this year's Israel
Prize for political science, was wounded by explosives put at his
doorstep. As yet, we do not know who the perpetrators were, but
whoever they will turn out to be, there are those who should wonder
what is their part of the responsibility for this despicable act.
I accuse those Jews, inside Israel and outside,
who run websites that track "dangerous left-wing intellectuals" in
Israel. They call people like Zeev Sternhell "anti-Semitic,"
"self-hating Jews" and "enemies of Israel."
I accuse those in the Israeli right who turn a
blind eye and a deaf ear to those among them who say that the law
does not apply to them; to the settlers who break Israeli and
international law and moral values on a daily basis, who harass
Palestinians, beat them and sometimes murder them. The right-wing
establishment is forgiving toward them. "Aren't they idealists?
Don't they do what they do because of lofty ideals, because of the
holiness of the Land of Israel?"
I accuse not only those who performed religious
rituals condemning Yitzhak Rabin to death; not only those who
carried posters of Rabin clad in SS uniform at demonstrations. I
also accuse those who created the atmosphere that allowed for it,
continued to speak at the demonstrations, and after Rabin was killed
said they hadn't seen the posters.
I accuse those who claim that they - and they
alone - represent Israel, its true interests and the Jewish-Israeli
soul; who claim that anybody who has a different view of what is
good for Israel are enemies who endanger Israel. To them applies the
verse from Deuteronomy 33:9: "Who said of his father, and of his
mother: 'I have not seen him;' neither did he acknowledge his
brethren, nor knew he his own children; for they have observed Thy
word, and keep Thy covenant."
This verse attacks the fanaticism of the tribe
of Levi, that like its mythical forefather, thought it could kill in
the name of ideals that it had given absolute validity.
I accuse those who implicitly condone the acts
of extremists by not saying that they are out of the question. They
create the atmosphere that leads people like Yona Avrushmi and Yigal
Amir to their murderous acts, and the perpetrators of last week's
terror act to attack Zeev Sternhell.
Israel is a young democracy torn apart by
conflicting values, by conflicting views about religion, a country
that has yet to find its identity. Trenchant disputes, searching
discussion and hard criticism of those on the opposing side are part
and parcel of a liberal democracy.
Hate-speech that legitimizes blood-feud and
rituals that condemn to death those who think differently are
neither part of legitimate democratic discourse, nor part of a
civilization that we want to belong to (never mind whether the prime
minister or an academic who voices his views).
Let us not forget that Israel, rightly, demands
of the Palestinians to stop its schools from inculcating hatred for
Israel. The West, rightly, demands that Islamic authorities condemn
the hate speeches of Imams who call for the extinction of Israel and
conquest of the infidel world. We demand this, because we know that
words create reality; injunctions to violence in the end find their
ways into the hearts of fanatics who will put these words into
So why should we apply a different standard to
Jews who do the same thing? Why should we accept that Jews who call
for violence, Jews who in the name of their ideals allow for the
blood of their ideological opponents to be shed?
For too long the Israeli Right has taken a
forgiving attitude toward its 'wild weeds.' For too long it has used
extremists to present its own views as acceptable mainstream.
Who is Zeev Sternhell? He is a holocaust
survivor who called himself a 'super-Zionist' in a recent interview;
an IDF officer who fought in three of Israel's wars. Yes, he thinks
that the occupation is a cancer that eats the soul of Israel; yes,
he said that Palestinians should only attack Israelis who live in
the West Bank and not inside the Green Line. He has said, time and
again, that he is afraid Israel will not survive because of the
occupation, and that he is worried for his children and
grandchildren, because he wants them to be able to live in Israel.
And he expressed empathy for the Palestinian struggle. That's why he
It has happened again; I wish Professor
Sternhell quick recovery and a happy New Year. But I may not be able
to express such wishes to the next victim.
Prof. Carlo Strenger, a philosopher and
psychoanalyst, teaches at the psychology department of Tel Aviv
University and is a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on
Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists.
Articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and
do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il