Writer assaulted at home days after calling PM a racist

Yehonatan Geffen beaten, branded a traitor when answering door in Netanya; attack leaves him traumatized

Yonotan Geffen in a 2012 interview with Israeli media. (screen capture: YouTube)
Yonotan Geffen in a 2012 interview with Israeli media. (screen capture: YouTube)

Famed writer and artist Yehonatan Geffen was attacked in his home in central Israel by an unknown individual, two days after he had called the prime minister a racist and commented bitterly on the election result.

Yehonatan Geffen, father of renowned rock musician Aviv Geffen and actress/filmmaker Shira Geffen, answered the door to his Netanya residence on Friday afternoon to an unknown person who immediately began punching the 68-year-old, throwing eggs at him and calling him a “traitor,” Geffen told police.

“I very much hope that this was a one-off event and signifies nothing for the future. We do not know yet why Yehonatan was attacked. We hope the police catch the attacker,” Geffen’s manager, Boaz Ben-Zion, told Ynet.

Geffen was not badly hurt in the attack but was reported to have been deeply traumatized by it.

Following Netanyahu’s reelection on Tuesday, Geffen, a noted left-wing activist, addressed a crowd in Tel Aviv to express his concern over the country’s future. “Congratulations to the Emperor for being reelected again,” Geffen said.

“He hasn’t crushed us enough. Another four years of divisiveness, divisiveness, divisiveness. I don’t mind telling you that I am very sad and could not sleep all night. March 17 will prove to be a ‘Nakba’ for the peace camp,” Geffen said, using the Arabic word for catastrophe that is commonly used in the Arab world to describe the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

Geffen later criticized Netanyahu for stating that Arab-Israelis were “voting in droves” on election day in a video used to drive Likud supporters to the polls.

“The people again chose a government that is based on intimidating people. They selected a racist that, on election day, told the media the Arabs are flocking to the polls like mice. What would you say if in Germany people said the Jews are flocking to the polls like mice?” Geffen charged.

“To the people that voted for Bibi, do me a favor: Don’t cry when your children die in the next stupid war… you elected a leader that has promised us death,” Geffen said.

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