40,000 People Commemorate First Anniversary of Grenade Murder of Peace Now Activist Grunzweig
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40,000 People Commemorate First Anniversary of Grenade Murder of Peace Now Activist Grunzweig

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An estimated 40,000 people marched and massed in the heart of Jerusalem last night to commemorate the first anniversary of the grenade murder of Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig. There were no incidents.

The demonstration, organized by the Peace Now movement, was the largest ever held in the city. In addition to demands that the killers of Grunzweig be brought to justice, the demonstrators called for the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon and urged the Likud government to step down.

Grunzweig, a 33-year-old teacher, was killed when a hand grenade of Israel army issue was thrown into a crowd of Peace Now demonstrators on the night of February 10, 1983, outside the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Cabinet was meeting in special session inside and the demonstrators were demanding that it implement in full the Kahan Commission’s recommendations that senior political and military leaders found indirectly responsible for the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps massacres the previous September resign or be retired. Most prominent among them was then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon.

Last night the marchers bearing torches formed a human chain along Ben Yehuda Street, one of Jerusalem’s main thoroughfares and ascended the hill to the government offices. It was the same route followed by the Peace Now group, Grunzweig among them, almost a year ago. Last night was the first anniversary of his death according the Hebrew calendar.


The memorial rally began with a minute of silence for Grunzweig. Speakers who addressed the throng included Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. He said the grenade which killed Grunzweig was a warning that terrorism had infiltrated the Jewish community and was being used by Jews against Jews. The warning was not heeded and terror continued and was even strengthened, the Mayor said.

He was referring, apparently, to the recent grenade and bomb incidents at Christian and Moslem religious shrines — most recently on the Temple Mount — attributed to Jewish extremists. “Either we control terror or terror will control us,” Kollek warned.

Tzaly Reshef, a Peace Now leader, declared that the memory of Grunzweig can be honored by continuing in his path and demanding that those in responsible positions be held accountable for their actions. He cited mounting demands for a withdrawal from Lebanon. “More and more people support Peace Now, fewer and fewer are willing to support a failing policy such as that of the government,” he said.

Shaul Fried lander, a professor at the Hebrew University, aimed his remarks at the Likud government. “You have been here too long for the too little good you have done. In the name of God, go,” he demanded. Yitzhak Ben Aharon, a veteran Laborite, accused the Likud government of upsetting the norms which had prevailed in Israeli society for 40 years. It is high time for a change, he said.

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