Israel: Death Threats aimed at Peace Now Activists

2 Dec

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-israel-concerns-about-stifling-of-dissent/2011/11/24/gIQATuFGzN_story.html

JERUSALEM — The writing was on the walls.

Death threats, spray-painted in red letters, covered the stairwell leading to the apartment of Hagit Ofran, an activist who monitors Israeli building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for the anti-settlement group Peace Now.

 “Hagit Ofran, R.I.P.,” said one message. “Ofran, Rabin is waiting for you,” said another, referring to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing extremist opposed to his peace efforts with the Palestinians. The graffiti were discovered on Nov. 8, a day before Israel commemorated the Jewish calendar anniversary of Rabin’s death.

Ofran, 36, who prefers to work quietly in Peace Now’s unmarked office, was thrust uneasily into the limelight. The graffiti threats, following a similar incident at her home in September, generated intense media attention and were seen as emblematic of the extremist challenge to Israeli democracy and the unlearned lessons of the Rabin assassination.

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