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.
Yet they were certainly right on in respect to one thing: We’re talking about terrorism here. Without even knowing who carried out this despicable act, where he came from, and what his future plans are, we can agree: He’s a terrorist. Personally, I’m in favor of razing his family home a moment after his identity becomes known. I’m also pretty certain that this time around, Peace Now won’t file a petition against this.
‘This time it’s me’Yet here we have a surprise. Thus far those very same people, ranging from Peace Now leaders to Gal-On and Oron, argued that terrorism cannot be defeated by force. They said that only fools speak about terror in terms of “thwarting,” “eliminating,” “cutting off the hand” and other such dark expressions. They said that when it comes to terror, we need to seek dialogue. We need to understand what motivates the terrorists, and besides, we should stop referring to them by this insulting nickname.
So what happened, my distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to prompt your vocabulary to suddenly change just like that? Where are the calls for dialogue? Instead, I heard you calling on authorities to “stop treating them with kid gloves,” and I couldn’t believe my ears. Is this Zahava Gal-On speaking, or some impassioned rightist politician?
The main victim, Sternhell himself, already said this act was unforgivable. I regret to say it, yet the impression created was that the important word here is “this.” This act, as opposed to other terror acts, is unforgivable. This time, it’s a big deal. Yes, seemingly the victims of other terror attacks also suffered, also got scared, and are also dealing with scars and burns. But how is this related to anything, for heaven’s sake? This time it’s me! It’s us! Sternhell and Peace Now. Peace Now and Sternhell.