Israel’s peace camp this week lost one of its icons. Zeev Sternhell, one of the world’s leading scholars on fascism and one of Israel’s clearest anti-occupation and anti-settlements voices, died in Jerusalem at the age of 85.
Professor Sternhell was closely associated with Israel’s Peace Now movement and one of its first members.
In 2008, four months after winning the lucrative Israel Prize, he was the target of a violent hate crime. A pipe bomb planted at the doorstep of his Jerusalem home injured him. Next to the bomb and around Sternhell’s home, fliers were found promising a million shekels prize to anyone who would kill a Peace Now activist.
Years later, American-born Jewish terrorist Yaakov Teitel, now serving a life imprisonment sentence, admitted to planting the bomb.
In 2016, in a Haaretz op-ed, Sternhell publicly came to the defense of Americans for Peace Now and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem when he defended their appearance before the UN Security Council to talk about West Bank settlement construction and violations of Palestinian human rights.