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Peace Now marks 30th Anniversary of Grunzweig Assassination


Israel's Peace Now movement on Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Emil Grunzweig, one of the movement's leaders, at an anti-war rally in Jerusalem.

Grunzweig, a scholar, a teacher and a leading peace activist, was at the first row of young Israelis who marched toward the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on February 10, 1983, demanding that the findings of a state commission of inquiry regarding the government's conduct during the 1982 Lebanon War be implemented.

Yona Avrushmi, a young Jerusalemite who later confessed to being brainwashed by extreme right-wing propaganda, threw a hand grenade into the crowd, killing Grunzweig and injuring nine others.

At the commemoration Sunday, Peace Now leaders and Grunzweig's daughter, Niva - now just a little older than her father was when he was murdered - lamented the Israeli public's indifference to the murder, and the Israeli governments' failure to commemorate the event and to use it to combat extremism and political violence. Niva Grunzweig said that the government of Israel must do more to combat violence and incitement to violence, particularly violence against people who criticize its policies.

Grunzweig said that to her, not only Yona Avrushmi is responsible for her father's murder, but the State of Israel as a whole. "I accuse the State of Israel for being a state in which violence reigns supreme," Niva Grunzweig said.

To view Niva Grunzweig's speech (in Hebrew).

View photos from Sunday's event.

Read about Emil Grunzweig on Peace Now's web site.