Left-wing Israeli activist suffers knife attack due to pro-Palestine views

A photo of Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak
Support us and go ad-free

A left-wing Israeli activist has been injured in a knife attack. Jonathan Pollak, a longtime pro-Palestine and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activist, was attacked by two people who called him a “leftist asshole”. A right-wing Israeli group had previously targeted him for his support of Palestinian rights.

The attack

In an interview, Pollak said he left work on 7 July and noticed he was being followed. At first, he believed it was the police who were following him because they wanted to issue him with a warrant. As he revealed:

I tried to run but they caught up to me, pushed me to the ground and began punching and kicking me

At one stage, he tried to defend himself. But one of the attackers “pulled out a knife and slit my face”. And as they left, they called him a “leftist asshole”.

Pollack has previously criticised what he calls Israel’s “military dictatorship” for restricting “all basic democratic rights” for people in occupied Palestinian territories and treating Palestinians as “second-class citizens” in Israel.


Pollak divulged that he suffered cuts to his face and arms. His assailants also punched him in his face and ribs.

Many people have since expressed their horror at the attack. A Nation journalist argued that the attack was the price a person pays for having “principles in Israel today”:

Several people, meanwhile, described it as a “politically motivated attack”:

Who’s to blame?

One Twitter user pointed out that a right-wing Israeli group had recently doxxed Pollak:

The group, ‘Ad Kan’, has previously tried to infiltrate human rights movements. It has also attempted to prosecute Pollak and other Israelis “for participating in protests against the West Bank separation barrier”. It had apparently earlier posted details of where Pollak works as well as his home address:

Ad Kan denied responsibility for the attack, saying it “denounces all violent actions”. And Pollak himself said he doesn’t know who attacked him.

The Israeli far right

As horrific as the attack may be, it isn’t surprising. Left-wing activists in Israel have historically had a difficult time in the state. Politicians, including current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have previously accused leftists of having “forgotten what it means to be Jewish”.

In the recent general elections, meanwhile, the hard right came out victorious. The Israeli population gave the most extreme elements of the far right a mandate. And this puts left-wing activists in an even more dangerous position than before.

Any far-right success in Israel will come at the expense of the Palestinian people; and it’ll also come at the expense of their left-wing supporters in Israel.

Featured image via Twitter

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us