Thirty Eight years ago, on February 10th 1983, Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig was murdered by an extreme right Jewish terrorist at a Peace Now demonstration in Jerusalem.
Not far from the Prime Minister’s Office, the terrorist, Yona Avrushmi, lobbed a hand grenade at the front row of the Peace Now marchers. It killed Emil and injured nine of his friends.
It was the first in a series of terrorist attacks by extremist right-wing Israelis against the Israeli peace camp. This campaign to crush peace efforts culminated with the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin twelve years later.
Avrushmi said later in court that he was influenced by the right’s incitement against Peace Now, just as Yigal Amir, Rabin’s assassin, was influenced by the extreme right’s inciting statements and religious edicts.
The incitement continues and so do attacks on Israeli peace activists. Still, Peace Now's dedicated activists -- two generations later -- are as determined as their parents were to end the occupation and advocate for peace, as they did jointly with Palestinians in East Jerusalem last Saturday.
Today, commemorating Grunzweig’s assassination, his family members and friends, as well as younger Israeli peace activists gathered in Jerusalem, at the place where he was killed, to commemorate Emil and vow to continue the struggle for which he gave his life.