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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), and is the founder of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc). Visit his Website.
Saturday, April 25, 2015 Cats in a Sack
In Israel we combine the worst of all systems. All ministers are party hacks. They bring with them their stooges, who man (or woman) the chief positions in the ministries. IF YOU fill a sack with cats, you will be accused of cruelty to animals. But what is that compared to filling 18 ministries with politicians?
Friday, April 17, 2015(2 comments)
Avnery v. the State of Israel
The fight between the Supreme Court and the Likud's far-right is nearing a climax. The Likud has just won a decisive election victory. Its leaders are not hiding their intention to finally implement their sinister designs on the independence of the Court.
Friday, April 10, 2015(3 comments)
A cynic may remark here that the Labor Party was not much of an opposition anyway. It supported last year's superfluous Gaza War with all its atrocities. Its ally, Tzipi Livni, has dragged the Palestinian negotiations on and on without coming an inch nearer to peace. Labor's opposition to the rightist economic policies was feeble.
Friday, April 3, 2015(5 comments)
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb?
Persian civilization is one of the oldest in the world. It has created a great religion and influenced many others, including Judaism. Iranians are fiercely proud of that civilization. To imagine that the present leaders of Iran would even contemplate risking the very existence of Persia out of hatred of Israel is both ridiculous and megalomaniac.
Friday, March 27, 2015(2 comments)
The Israeli Salvation Front
THE 2015 election was a giant step towards the self-destruction of Israel. The decisive majority has voted for an apartheid state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, in which democracy will slowly disappear. The decision is not yet final. Israeli democracy has lost a battle. It has not yet lost the war. The country is in existential danger. Not from the outside, but from the inside.
Friday, March 20, 2015(4 comments)
The Messiah Hasn't Come
The fact that the words "peace" and "Palestine" were not mentioned at all in the campaign did not help the Left. Honesty is the first requisite for convincing people. In short, if the Left wants to win next time - which may come much sooner than expected - it must start to reform itself and overcome the reasons for its failure. It can be done. The time to begin is right now.
Saturday, March 14, 2015(1 comments)
For whom to Vote?
Binyamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. A few months ago, when he decided to dismiss the Knesset and call early elections, he certainly did not dream of such a predicament. And here we are, a few days before election day, with Likud almost desperate. Why? How? It seems that people are just fed up with Netanyahu. They seem to be saying: Enough is enough.
Friday, March 6, 2015(1 comments)
The Speech, like all speeches by Netanyahu, contained much about the suffering of the Jews throughout the ages, and the intentions of the evil Iranians, the New Nazis, to annihilate us. But this will not happen, because this time we have Binyamin Netanyahu to protect us. And the US Republicans, of course.
Friday, February 27, 2015(15 comments)
Spitting In The Face of Obama
Netyanyahu's speech to the US Congress means almost literally spitting in the face of President Obama. I don't think there was ever anything like it. The prime minister of a small vassal country, dependent on the US for practically everything, comes to the capital of the US to openly challenge its President, in effect branding him a cheat and a liar. His host is the opposition party.
Friday, February 20, 2015(5 comments)
With frequent economic slumps and a widening gap between the local poor and the multinational super-rich, the need for scapegoats is rising. But I do not believe that these marginal groups, even if some of them are not so marginal anymore, constitute a real anti-Semitic surge.
Saturday, February 14, 2015(1 comments)
The Casino Republic
It was Adelson who prepared the witches' brew that is now endangering Israel's lifeline to Washington. His stooge, Dermer, induced the Republicans in Congress--all of them dependent on Adelson's largesse or hoping to be so--to invite Netanyahu to give an anti-Obama speech before both Houses. He has threatened to invest unlimited sums of money to prevent the reelection of any politician who is absent from Netanyahu's speech.
Sunday, February 8, 2015 Over Bottled
The idea that our Prime Minister may be drunk when fateful decisions have to be taken at once--ordering a military action, for example--is not very appealing. About the Netanyahus one could say now, in a more literal sense, that they are over-bottled. Those of us who feared that Netanyahu might provoke a war on the eve of the election, might say: better bottles than battles.
Friday, January 30, 2015(4 comments)
Religious Zionists want a state based on and dominated by the Jewish religion. National-religious Zionists believe that God has sent the Jews into "exile" because of their sins, and wanted to compel God by their deeds to send the Messiah now. Atheist Zionists declare the Jews are a nation, not a religion, and want nothing to do with the Jewish faith.
Friday, January 23, 2015 Galant's Gallant Act
The killing of the Iranian general was perhaps unintended. Seems that Israeli intelligence did not know that he, and five other Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, were in the convoy. An Israeli army officer admitted this in a roundabout way. A second officer denied the statement of the first. He did not apologize, of course. One cannot apologize when one does not officially admit to being the perpetrator.
Saturday, January 17, 2015(2 comments)
Waving in the first Row
This must look like a huge achievement. It is an invitation for individuals and tiny groups to do the same again, everywhere. Terrorism means striking fear. The three in Paris certainly succeeded in doing that. They terrorized the French population. And if three youngsters without any qualifications can do that, imagine what 30 could do, or 300!
Monday, January 12, 2015 Half of Shas
SHAS IS the party of oriental orthodox Jewish Israelis. It is debatable whether it is foremost orthodox or foremost oriental. I believe that the oriental part of its outlook is far more important. Orientals are now about half the Jewish population of Israel. The rift between them and the Jews of European origin, which was expected to disappear over time, is growing.
Saturday, January 3, 2015(5 comments)
The Rock of our Existence
The founding father, Theodor Herzl, did not think about Palestine when he invented what became known as Zionism. He hated Palestine and its climate. Especially he hated Jerusalem, which to him was a foul and dirty town. In his founding book, Der Judenstaat ("the Jewish State"), the relevant chapter is less than a page long and entitled "Palestine or Argentina." The Arab population is not mentioned at all.
Saturday, December 27, 2014(2 comments)
My Glorious Brothers
children learn nothing at all about the history of the Arabs, Islam and the Koran. Islam, for them is a primitive, murderous religion, bent on killing Jews. The great political change we need must be accompanied by a profound change of our historical outlook. The heroes of antiquity are perhaps due for another revision of their status.
Saturday, December 20, 2014(3 comments)
Barack Obama, like so many others, is fed up with Binyamin Netanyahu. Our prime minister has burned one bridge too many. He has humiliated the US president time and again. He has let loose the hounds of AIPAC against him. And he has done the worst he can do to a politician: he has openly supported his opponents in the last two election campaigns.
Friday, December 12, 2014(1 comments)
Can the Duke become King?
HERZOG WON his first success of the current campaign by forming a common list with Tzipi Livni. It is now up to him to keep up the momentum and make alliances with -- possibly -- Lapid, Kahlon and Meretz. If successful in the elections, he must stretch out his hands to the Orthodox and the Arabs.
Saturday, December 6, 2014(4 comments)
Netanyahu is quarreling with the US administration, severely damaging a relationship that is the lifeline of Israel in all matters, while Europe is slowly but surely approaching sanctions against Israel. Inequality in Israel keeps on widening; prices in Israel are higher than in Europe, housing almost unaffordable. With this government we are galloping towards a racist apartheid state, heading towards disaster.
Sunday, November 30, 2014(1 comments)
The Son of my Eyes
Benayoun's poetic masterpiece of sheer, undiluted hatred reflects the mood of a large part of Israeli Jews at this point in time. The latest events in Jerusalem have created a climate in which racist hatred can raise its ugly head without shame. THE CENTER of racism is the government itself. It is completely dominated by the most extreme Right -- indeed, there is nothing to the right of it.
Friday, November 21, 2014 The Unholy City
In its long and checkered history, Jerusalem has been occupied by dozens of conquerors. The latest occupier is Israel, which conquered and annexed Jerusalem in 1967. Walking the streets of Jerusalem, the city which is "joined together," has become a risky adventure. Many stay at home.The Unholy City is more divided than ever before.
Saturday, November 15, 2014(1 comments)
Wine, Blood and Gasoline
The entire country is now aflame. East Jerusalem is already a war zone, with daily demonstrations, riots and bloodshed. In Israel proper, since the Kafr Kanna killing, Arab citizens are also mounting daily strikes and demonstrations. In the West Bank, there were some demonstrations and a fatal stabbing, after which an Arab was shot and killed.
Sunday, November 9, 2014 Is ISIS Coming?
If ISIS is now our main enemy, yesteryear's enemies become potential allies. Even the abominable Bashar al-Assad. Definitely Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas. Israel must reconsider its attitude to all of them. A great Israeli statesman would recognize the historic challenge and the historic opportunity -- and seize it. Unfortunately, there is no great Israeli statesman in sight.
Saturday, November 1, 2014(4 comments)
Netanyahu is no fool. Chickenshit or not, he is considered smart and intelligent. So what is he doing? There is method in his madness. He knows that Israel controls the US Congress. In any confrontation between Congress and the White House over Israel, the President is bound to lose. So there is nothing to be afraid of.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 Muhammad, Where Are You?
"Israeli Arabs" are an integral part of the Palestinian people. Almost every Israeli Arab citizen has relatives in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip or both, as well as in the refugee camps. When actual fighting is going on, as in the recent Gaza war, their hearts are with the other side, the "enemy." At this moment, several young Israeli Arab citizens are fighting with ISIS, after crossing into Syria through Turkey.
Friday, October 17, 2014(2 comments)
World public opinion is important. More than that, it is vital. The British Parliament's resolution may be non-binding, but it expresses public opinion, which will sooner or later decide government action on arms sales, Security Council resolutions, European Union decisions and what not. As Thomas Jefferson said: "If the people lead, then eventually the leaders will follow."
Sunday, October 12, 2014(4 comments)
Crusaders and Zionists
Unlike the Crusaders, the Jews are a nation. Unlike the Crusaders, who were barbarians compared to the civilized Muslims of their time, Zionists are technically superior. Unlike the Crusaders, the Zionists relied on their own manual labor. (That was before the Six-Day War, of course.)
Saturday, October 4, 2014(7 comments)
Why does Netanyahu repeat misrepresentations (to use a mild word) from the UN rostrum? Because he was not speaking to the diplomats. He was speaking to the most primitive voters in Israel, who are proud to have such a fluent English-speaking representative to address the world. And anyway, who cares what the Goyim think?
Friday, September 26, 2014(4 comments)
Ah, If I Were 25
TWO WEEKS ago, on my 91st birthday, I asked myself: if I were 25 and straining for action, how would I go about trying to create a new Left? We need a new appellation, one acceptable and lovable by all sectors of current Israeli society. We need, as Martin Luther King so eloquently put it, a dream. A vision. Not just an election program.
Friday, September 19, 2014(8 comments)
Scotland on the Euphrates; The Approaching Demise of the Nation State
Two countries competed this week for first place in news programs all over the world: Scotland and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
There could not be a greater difference than between these two countries.
However, there is one common denominator of both crises: they mark the approaching demise of the nation-state.
Friday, September 12, 2014(1 comments)
Hannibal ad Portas
The latest round of negotiations directed by John Kerry broke down because Netanyahu refused to free a number of prisoners he had already undertaken to release.
Somewhere on the way, the Hannibal Procedure was instituted. THIS ORDER is based on the conviction that prisoner exchanges must be prevented by all means -- quite literally.
Saturday, September 6, 2014(3 comments)
God Wills It!
ISIS wants to destroy all states, especially the Muslim states carved out by Western imperialists from Islamic land. With horrible savagery, elevated to a religious symbol, it sets out on its way to conquer the Muslim world, and then the globe. It may take only a few years to become a huge force, threatening all the states of this region.
Friday, August 29, 2014(5 comments)
The War for Nothing
The war deteriorated into an orgy of killing and destroying, with both sides "dancing on the blood," blessing every bomb and missile, completely oblivious to the suffering caused to the human beings on the other side. And still without any realizable aim.
Saturday, August 23, 2014(2 comments)
Son of Death
Netanyahu needs to end the war. He also needs a clear image of victory. But how to achieve this? The Egyptian dictator tries to help. So does Barack Obama, though he is furious with Netanyahu and hates his guts. But as of now, the man who has the final decision is the Son of Death, Mohammed Deif, if he is alive and kicking. If he is alive, the assassination of his wife and baby may not have made him gentler and more peaceable.
Saturday, August 16, 2014(1 comments)
Eyeless in Gaza
The Strip is roughly 40 km long and 10 km wide. In the north and the east it borders Israel, in the west it borders the sea, which is controlled by the Israeli navy. In the south it borders Egypt, which is now ruled by a brutal anti-Islamic dictatorship, allied with Israel. As the slogan goes, it is "the word's largest open-air prison."
Friday, August 8, 2014(3 comments)
Israel's current paranoia concerns Hamas. The assumption is that Hamas is an evil jihadist terrorist organization, bent on the annihilation of Israel. As one journalist put it this week: "a gang of psychopaths." The entire policy of Israel is based on this assumption. So was the war. This demonic picture has no connection with the real world.
Saturday, August 2, 2014 Meeting in a Tunnel
Hamas is a patriotic group, fighting with incredible courage against immense odds. They are not a foreign force oblivious to the suffering of the population, they are the sons of this very population, members of the families that are now being killed en masse, who grew up in the houses that are now being destroyed.
Saturday, July 26, 2014(3 comments)
Once And For All!
Why don't the two sides come together without foreign interference and agree on tit for tat? They can't because they don't speak to each other. They can kill each other, but they cannot speak with each other. God forbid. THIS IS NOT a war on terror. The war itself is an act of terror. Neither side has a strategy other than terrorizing the civilian population of the other side.
Friday, July 18, 2014(1 comments)
Who is Winning?
WHAT WILL be the end of it? There will be no end, just round after round, unless a political solution is adopted. This would mean: stop the rockets and the bombs, end the Israeli blockade, allow the people of Gaza to live a normal life, further Palestinian unity under a real unity government, conduct serious peace negotiations, MAKE PEACE.
Friday, July 11, 2014(13 comments)
THE ATROCIOUS way Muhammad was murdered was not mentioned at first. Most Israeli newspapers mentioned the fact in a few words on an inner page. Most TV newscasts did not mention the fact at all.errible as the deed itself is, to my mind the public reaction is even worse. Because there isn't any.
Saturday, July 5, 2014 The Watch on the Jordan
The Kurds, a real nation, were cut up into four parts, each of which was allotted to a different country. In Palestine, a Zionist "national home" was planned in the middle of a hostile Arab population. The country beyond the Jordan was cut off to provide a principality for another Emir from Mecca. This is the world in which we grew up, and which is crumbling now.
Friday, June 27, 2014 An Armed Ghetto
The best way to prevent hostage-taking is to release prisoners voluntarily. Even the Security Service cannot seriously maintain that all the many thousands of political prisoners now in our prisons constitute a mortal danger to our existence. An even better way forward is to end the occupation by making peace.
Sunday, June 22, 2014(1 comments)
IF THERE is a God, he surely has a sense of humor. The career of Shimon Peres, who is about to finish his term as President of Israel, is clear evidence. Here is a life-long politician, who has never won an election. Here is the world-renowned Man of Peace, who has started several wars and never done anything for peace.
Friday, June 13, 2014(2 comments)
A Coup? Nonsense!
The Israeli education system is a factory for Zionist indoctrination, from kindergarten on. These 15 years, crowned by the three army years, produce a vast majority of narrow-minded, nationalist, ethnic-centered men and women. From there the professional military officer starts his career, however far it may go, taking his ideological baggage with him.
Saturday, June 7, 2014 Good for the Jews?
I believe that Rabin really wanted peace. But he never quite accepted the idea which is the essential basis for peace: a Palestinian state next to Israel. If he had been able to continue along his path, he probably would have arrived there, but he was felled before he could.
Sunday, June 1, 2014(3 comments)
Instead of entering the land through Israel, like everybody else, he borrowed a helicopter from King Abdallah II and flew directly from Amman to Bethlehem. This was a kind of recognition of Palestinian statehood. On his way back from Bethlehem to the helicopter, the Pope suddenly asked to stop, went up to the occupation Wall and laid his hands on its ugly concrete.
Saturday, May 24, 2014(3 comments)
In Their Own Juice
When one says that "both" did not behave as expected, that "both" did not make the "necessary hard decisions" that "both" should stew in their own juice, one consciously or unconsciously assumes that they are equal. Nothing is further from the truth. Israel is immeasurably stronger than Palestine in every material respect. One resembles a sleek American skyscraper, the other a dilapidated wooden shack.
Saturday, May 17, 2014 Dear Salman
Uri Avnery: When I was wounded in the 1948 war, I decided that it would be my life's mission to work for peace between our two peoples. Peace is made between consenting parties. There is absolutely no chance that the vast majority of Israelis would freely agree to the return of all the refugees and their descendents, who amount to six or seven million people -- the same number as Israel's Jewish citizens.
Saturday, May 10, 2014 A National Hero
For the first time in the history of Israel, and perhaps of the world, the internet is providing the basis for a rebellion of the soldiers against the army. This Israeli army is no worse than any other. It is a mirror of its society, composed of the humane and the sadists, the sane and the mentally disturbed, rightists and leftists, Ashkenazi and Oriental.
Saturday, May 3, 2014(1 comments)
A Shameful Chapter
The American peace initiative has ground to a halt. It was doomed to failure before it even started. There was not the slightest chance of its bearing fruit. It ended, not by Abbas joining international bodies, not by Palestinian reconciliation, but by the refusal of Netanyahu to fulfill a solemn and unequivocal undertaking: to release certain Palestinian prisoners on a certain date.
Friday, April 25, 2014(3 comments)
Words, Words, Words
Words convey ideas. Words implant concepts in the minds of their hearers and speakers. Once they are firmly established, everything else follows. In Israeli politics, the word "peace" has become poison. "Political settlement" is the vogue term. It is meant to say the same. But of course, it doesn't.
Saturday, April 19, 2014(1 comments)
An Oslo Criminal
For more than 20 years now the Israel right-wing has relentlessly repeated the lie that the Oslo agreement was not only an act of treason, but also a total failure. Oslo is dead, we are told. It actually died at birth. And by extension, this will be the lot of every peace agreement in the future. A large part of the Israeli public has come to believe this.
Saturday, April 12, 2014(2 comments)
In One Word: Poof!
There is no equality between occupier and occupied, oppressor and oppressed. A jailer and a prisoner cannot negotiate on equal terms. When one side has total command of the other, controls his every move, settles on his land, controls his money flow, arrests people at will, blocks his access to the UN and the International courts, equality is out of the question.
Saturday, April 5, 2014(4 comments)
The Monster on the Hill
If Adelson succeeds in installing his favorite in the White House, the US will become totally subservient to the extreme right-wing in Israel. He might as well put Netanyahu in the Oval Office. THERE IS no way to roll back the corruption of the political process in the US -- or here -- without completely changing the electoral system. As long as huge sums are needed to get elected, corruption will reign supreme.
Sunday, March 30, 2014(2 comments)
Changing the Flag
From the first day of the state, I have advocated the adoption of a new, inclusive flag. Like today's New Zealanders I felt that with all due respect to our origin, history and cultural background, we Israelis live in a different reality. A large number of our co-citizens are not Jewish, and the symbols of our state should reflect this.
Saturday, March 22, 2014(2 comments)
A Hundred Years Later
he main point is that the people of the Crimea were not consulted. There was no referendum. The majority of the population is Russian, and undoubtedly wishes now to return to Russia. It expressed this wish in a referendum that, on the whole, seems to be quite authentic. So the annexation may be justified.
Saturday, March 15, 2014(2 comments)
In self-defense, the opposition parties have done something that is also unprecedented in Israel: they have declared a boycott of the Knesset plenum. Not a single opposition member attended the plenum during the debate on these bills and the vote on them. They set up an "alternative plenum," where they held a lively debate.
Friday, March 7, 2014(12 comments)
God Bless Putin
A cold-blooded, calculating operator, of a kind now rare in the world, Putin uses the strong cards he has, but is very careful not to take too many risks. He is managing the crisis astutely, using Russia's obvious advantages. Europe needs his oil and gas, he needs Europe's capital and trade. Russia has a leading role in Syria and Iran. The US suddenly looks like a bystander.