Prof. Ehud Sprinzak (1940 - 2002)
Professor Ehud Sprinzak died on November 8, 2002 at Tel Hashomer Hospital near Tel-Aviv, following months of illness.
He was 62. Sprinzak, grandson of Yosef Sprinzak, the first Speaker of Israel’s Knesset, leaves a wife, four children, two grandchildren and a mother.
Sprinzak was a world-renowned expert on terror and for his research on Israel’s extreme right. He was the Founding Dean of the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel’s first private university.
Sprinzak was also Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he taught for thirty years. As Dean at the IDC, Sprinzak worked actively to encourage and train a new young leadership for Israeli society through innovative programming. He was also among the initiators of the annual “Herzliya Conference on the Balance of National Strength and Security.”
As an expert on Israel’s right wing and political violence, Sprinzak advised Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on these issues. At this year’s commemoration of the anniversary of Rabin’s death, Eitan Haber, Rabin’s Chief of Staff, recalled Sprinzak’s central role in Rabin’s decision-making process.
Sprinzak earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his Ph.D. (with distinction) from Yale University. He taught and wrote extensively on public affairs, religious fundamentalism, violence and terrorism in Israel, the Middle East and in the United States, and was considered one of Israel's top authorities on these subjects. He served as a Visiting Professor at Princeton University, Georgetown University, American University, and also a Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars, and the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC.
Sprinzak's book, The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right (Oxford University Press, 1991) won Israel's 1992 Michael Landau Prize for the best Political Science book on Israel and the Middle East. His most recent book, Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination, (Free Press, 1999) was a finalist in the 1998 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Israel.
Sprinzak was the Academic Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship Program of the Hebrew University, and since 1989 served as a member of the Editorial Board of Terrorism and Political Violence. At the time of his death, he served as a member of the Israeli-Palestinian Anti-Incitement Committee, and also as a Consultant to Israel’s Minister of Internal Security.
In addition to his academic activities, Sprinzak was a popular commentator on radio and television in Israel, the US, and Europe, and was quoted widely in the international press. His articles appeared in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Die Welt, The Jerusalem Post, and many other newspapers, and he also published in Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy.