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Ehud Sprinzak, 62; Expert on Israel's Right-Wingers

November 11, 2002|From Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Ehud Sprinzak, an Israeli counterterrorism specialist and expert in far-right Jewish groups, died Friday of cancer at a hospital near Tel Aviv. He was 62.

Sprinzak, a political science professor, was one of the few experts on Israel's ultra-right who had told then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that he might face an assassination attempt.

"He was one of the leading people who had warned ... Rabin there could be a lone wolf assassin," said Galia Golan, a colleague. Rabin was gunned down after a peace rally in November 1995 by an extremist Israeli who opposed his policy of compromise with the Palestinians.

Sprinzak was a senior lecturer of political science at Jerusalem's Hebrew University until he founded the Lauder School for Government Studies at Israel's International Policy Institute of Counterterrorism about a year ago.

"He combined two things ... a bright lecturer who was greatly loved by his students and an excellent researcher," said Boaz Ganor, the institute's director.

Although Sprinzak researched their activities, he was respected and liked among Israeli right-wingers, who considered him a professional who did not allow his political opinions to influence his research, Ganor said.

The author of five books, Sprinzak was often interviewed by media from outside Israel, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press.

Sprinzak received a doctorate in political science from Yale University, and had been a visiting professor at several U.S. universities.

Sprinzak is survived by his wife, Ricki; four children; and two grandchildren.

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