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February 10: Emil Grunzweig

February 10, 2011

Emil Grunzweig, an Israeli teacher and peace activist, was killed in Jerusalem on this date in 1983 by a grenade thrown by a rightwing militant seeking to disrupt a Peace Now rally against the war in Lebanon. Grunzweig was the son of a Romanian Holocaust survivor, a paratrooper in the Six-Day War, and a reserve officer in three subsequent wars. Nine other peace demonstrators were wounded in the attack. Grunzweig’s murderer, Yona Avrushmi, was released from prison in January of this year. The Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award is bestowed annually by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

These days “the phone callers do not hang up quickly as soon as they have made their threat. They explain calmly that if we continue doing what we are doing, our end will be like that of Emil Grunzweig.” —Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer