Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Navon Joins with Academicians in Eulogizing Hebrew U. Prof

June 26, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Education Minister Yitzhak Navon delivered a eulogy Sunday for Menahem Stern, an internationally famous professor who was stabbed to death by unknown assailants on the way to the Hebrew University campus Thursday morning.

Other academicians joined the minister in paying tribute to their colleague, a winner in 1977 of the coveted Israel Prize for his work in Jewish history.

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral.

One of Stern’s colleagues, Professor Ephraim Urbach, said his murder recalled the massacre of Hebrew University doctors and scientists when their convoy was attacked on the road to the university’s Mount Scopus campus during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

The police have no information about the motive and nature of the crime. They now seem to think it was a terrorist act, but have not ruled out the possibility that the 64-year-old professor was attacked by a demented person.

No terrorist group has claimed credit for the killing.

Stern was stabbed five times but not robbed. His body was found by school children in bushes just off a path adjacent to the Israel Museum at about 9:30 a.m. local time Thursday.

Police said he had left his Rehavia home about a half hour earlier and walked, as was his habit, to the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus.

Police said Thursday that the murder did not seem to have political motives and noted that Arabs rarely visit the neighborhood where the crime was committed.

Recommended from JTA