MK decries media coverage of 'Sternhell Festival'

Lawmakers feud over who should be blamed for bomb attack on left-wing professor.

By SHELLY PAZ
October 2, 2008 23:16
2 minute read.
MK decries media coverage of 'Sternhell Festival'

zeev sternhell 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A tempest broke out in the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday morning after MK David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu) described the media coverage of the pipe bomb attack on Israel Prize laureate Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell last week as "Sternhell's Festival." "I want to condemn the 'Sternhell's Festival' that has been celebrated over the past 10 days - and you are heading it," Rotem told committee chairman Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor). Paz-Pines called on Rotem to retract his statement, but Rotem reiterated that automatically attributing the attack to the Right slandered an entire sector of the population. Sternhell, a political scientist from the Hebrew University known for his vocal criticisms of the settler movement and IDF actions in the West Bank, was lightly wounded when the bomb exploded outside his Jerusalem home on September 25. Fliers offering a NIS 1.1 million reward for killing anyone associated with Peace Now were found near his home after the attack. "Describing this attempt to assassinate Prof. Sternhell as a 'festival' is just like saying that [prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin was not murdered - he killed himself," MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) told Rotem. "Let's stop pretending. The decision to harm Prof. Sternhell came out of political motivations. It is safe to assume that no young member of Hashomer Hatza'ir [a Zionist-socialist youth movement] in Karmiel committed this murder attempt," Beilin said. "I am not afraid of using the word 'festival,' because you are trying to put the blame on the right wing and the settlers, and by that you are throwing stones at a public that serves the country. I am a settler, but I don't want anyone to raise a hand against Prof. Sternhell," said Rotem, who lives in Efrat, in Gush Etzion. "Surely you thought it over before you said that, and you probably thought this kind of remark would create a scandal," Beilin said. Most of the lawmakers present had something to say: "MK Rotem demonstrates a double standard when he condemns the attempt to murder Prof. Sternhell and at the same time uses the word 'festival,'" Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said. Some suggested that introspection was in order with Yom Kippur just around the corner. "The entire political system needs to examine its actions, but you need to do it first," MK Dov Henin (Hadash) told Rotem. "As long as the case is unsolved it is wrong to point a finger at an entire group," said MK Effi Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party). "We need to find a way to discuss such issues within Israeli society, and the self-examination should be performed both by the left wing and the right wing. There is no escape from talking."

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN