Writer Yehonatan Geffen was attacked at his home near Netanya on Friday afternoon, when an intruder burst into his house, tried to hit him, branded him a leftist traitor and then fled.
Geffen has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection last week.
Israel Police combed the area around Moshav Beit Yitzhak but could not find the assailant. The police said they assumed the incident was premeditated.
The author and journalist’s manager, Boaz Ben Zion, said he hoped the incident was a one-off, adding, “We don’t know yet why Yehonatan was attacked, and we hope the police catch the assailant.”
Following last week’s Knesset election, Geffen posted an update on his Facebook page saying that March 17 – Election Day – should be declared “the Nakba Day of the peace camp.” (Nakba – “catastrophe” in Arabic – is the term used by Palestinians in reference to what happened to them when Israel was founded in 1948.)
Following Netanyahu’s victory last Tuesday, Geffen also wrote, “The people have again elected a person whose rule is based on scaring the people.” He called Netanyahu “a racist.”
Geffen’s son, the singer Aviv Geffen, posted his own Facebook message, expressing thanks to well-wishers and adding that his father was feeling fine.
“It’s easy to hurt a person,” the singer wrote, “but hard to harm an idea.”
Yehonatan Geffen had appeared in Tel Aviv with singer David Broza following the election. In response to the prime minister’s Election Day plea for his supporters to turn out and vote in the face of Arab voters who were voting “in droves,” Geffen had said, “The people have again elected someone whose rule is based on sowing fear in the people To all those who cast ballots for Bibi [Netanyahu], do me a favor. Don’t cry when your children die in the next stupid military operation. You have elected a leader who is promising us death, not life; fear, not hope,” stated Geffen.
Following the incident at his home, in which the intruder also threw an egg at him, Geffen attributed the attack to his Facebook comments.