'This attack takes us, Israeli and Jewish society, back many years, to the days of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination,' Dichter said at a police ceremony held in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv.Defense Minister Ehud Barak (whom Sternhell had harshly criticized earlier this year):
'We should view the explosive planted last night as one that aimed to kill,' he said. 'The law enforcement establishment and police will not rest until those terrorists will be placed where they deserve to be – in prison.' Referring to the perpetrators of the attack, he said 'those are despicable people who endorse the killing of those who do not share their views.'
We are returning to the dark spectacle of pipe bombs that are aimed at people, in this case against a very gifted person who never shies away from expressing his opinion.Haim Oron, Chair of the left-wing Meretz party, a possible coalition partner in the new government:
We won't let any elements, from any dark corner of Israeli society, to harass people who let their clear, lucid, unique voices like that of Ze'ev Sternhell be heard.
They better not talk to us about a few bad weeds. These phenomena spring up on the right-wing [of the political spectrum].
This thuggish and dangerous act is the result of the continuing see-no-evil approach toward the vicious violence against soldiers and police officers and anyone else who doesn't agree with the brutish section of the extreme right wing.
a politically motivated attack could undermine Israeli democracy and reopen wounds that have still not healed, and may never heal. This phenomenon must be uprooted.
MK Effie Eitam (National Union – NRP) addressed the attack on Professor Ze'ev Sternhell, calling the act 'a disgraceful act in the eyes of the law, morality and Judaism.'
'Those behind this heinous act do not represent the values of Judaism and the love of Israel. My objections to Sternhell's outrageous opinions aside, I wholly object to any attempt to silence opinions through violent means,' said Eitam.
'The War of Independence fired my imagination,' he says. 'The decision to immigrate was a personal one, which stemmed from both a Zionist family history and my own desire to take part in building the state of the Jews.'Israeli academics are planning a solidarity protest: "The incident was an attack not only against the man himself, but it also threatened the freedom of expression and thought in Israel," one of the organizers said.
Academics elsewhere can demonstrate their solidarity by signing the following petition, from Scholars for Peace in the Middle East:
We, the undersigned, professors with widely varying political orientations and from many disciplines, from around the world, strongly condemn the targeted bombing and injury of Ze'ev Sternhell, Professor of Political Science at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ha'aretz columnist.
As Professor Sternhell's fellow academics, we also denounce the attack on him because it appears to have been intended as retribution for his expression of his political views. Thereby, it endangers us and the entire academic enterprise, which depends on freedom of expression.
As human beings, as well as academics, we condemn all acts of criminal violence and hope that the perpetrator(s) of this treacherous assault and attempted assassination are brought to swift and maximal justice.