Incendiary academic wounded by chair thrown at him on camera in Ashdod

Police detain 16-year-old for questioning over violence against Amir Hetsroni, known for making wildly racist, sexist and otherwise offensive comments

Academic Amir Hetsroni in a debate on 'Online TV' in 2021. (YouTube screenshot)
Academic Amir Hetsroni in a debate on 'Online TV' in 2021. (YouTube screenshot)

Academic, novelist and provocateur Amir Hetsroni was wounded on Monday when someone threw a chair at him during a live broadcast.

Hetsroni, best known for making offensive comments about practically every sector of Israeli society, was recording a segment in Ashdod for “Online TV,” which streams its content on YouTube and social media.

In video from multiple angles that circulated widely on social media, Hetsroni was hit in the face by a chair thrown at him during the conversation. He began bleeding and appeared to be dizzy and disoriented, clinging to the man seated next to him. Hetsroni later received medical treatment and filed a police complaint about the incident.

On Tuesday, police said they had detained a 16-year-old boy for questioning in connection with the incident.

Hetsroni has a long and colorful history of making wildly racist, sexist and otherwise offensive comments. He regularly rails against the presence of Mizrahi Jews — those from Middle Eastern nations — in Israel, stating that he does not believe they should have been allowed to immigrate.

“I was just attacked during filming in Ashdod by the second generation of cavemen that came [to Israel] without selection due to having a Jewish grandfather,” Hetsroni tweeted after the incident on Monday. “Think about this next time you believe ‘selection’ is a bad word.”

Hetsroni appeared to be referring to Israel’s Law of Return, which grants citizenship to anyone who has a Jewish grandparent.

The firebrand academic has also regularly railed against the existence of Israel — calling it “The North Korea of the Middle East” — and once posted a photo using the Israeli flag to mop his floor. He also blamed the Law of Return and the presence of Mizrahi Jews for leading the Likud party to an election victory in 2015 over Labor.

In 2014, Hetsroni was fired from his position at Ariel University for making insulting comments about women who were victims of sexual assault. A year later he announced he was leaving the country and heading to Europe.

More recently, he was employed by Koç University in Istanbul but was fired last year for “inappropriate behavior.”

In the past, Hetsroni has mocked dead Israeli soldiers as being “too stupid” to avoid being drafted and has suggested that feminists should all leave the country.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Hetsroni continued to rail against Moroccan Jews, assuming that an individual from that background was responsible for attacking him.

“There is not only violence among Moroccans,” he wrote. “Bedouins are likely more violent, and settlers don’t lack [violence] — but Moroccans are forgiven.” He suggested that if a Bedouin person or a settler “had thrown a chair at me, they would already have been evicted from their tent or their outpost, but Moroccans are forgiven because we dared to take them out of their cave” and bring them to Israel.

Meretz MK Ali Salalha tweeted Tuesday that one “can say and think a lot of things about Prof. Amir Hetsroni, but as I taught my students in high school — violence is not the answer!”

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