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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.
Eyeless in Gaza (1 comments)
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
Metro Gaza (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
Once And For All! (3 comments)
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
Who is Winning? (1 comments)
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
The Atrocity (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
Sisyphus Redeemed (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
A Coup? Nonsense! (2 comments)
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
Patagonian Dreams (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
In Their Own Juice (3 comments)
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
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
A Shameful Chapter (1 comments)
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
Words, Words, Words (3 comments)
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
An Oslo Criminal (1 comments)
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
In One Word: Poof! (2 comments)
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
The Monster on the Hill (4 comments)
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
Changing the Flag (2 comments)
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
A Hundred Years Later (2 comments)
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
A Counter-Coalition (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
God Bless Putin (12 comments)
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.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Their Mothers, Their Fathers
People who carelessly play with ultra-nationalist, fascist, racist, or other anti-democratic ideas don't realize that they are playing with fire. They cannot even imagine what it means to live in a country that tramples on human rights, that despises democracy, that oppresses another people, that demonizes minorities. The film shows what it is like: hell.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Captain Boycott Rides Again (1 comments)
Will the court dare to strike out a law of the Knesset? That would demand real courage. I would not be surprised if the majority decide to leave the law as it is, but strike out the words concerning the settlements. Otherwise, it will be another step towards turning Israel into a state of the settlers, by the settlers and for the settlers.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Three Women (2 comments)
Courageous actions committed by dedicated individuals are never useless. They stand as an example. They encourage others. They testify for the human conscience. They plant a seed. Just as the sea consists of many drops, historic changes are built up from many, many individual acts.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Another Pipe Dream (1 comments)
The settlers are religious and nationalist fanatics. The very purpose of their leaving comfortable homes in Israel and going to the desolate stony hills of "Judea and Samaria" was idealistic. It was to claim this area for Israel, fulfill their interpretation of God's commandment and make a Palestinian state forever impossible.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Return, Return oh Shulamit (3 comments)
Two days before Pete passed away, we buried Shulamit Aloni. Shula, as we called her, was one of the few leaders of the Israeli Left who made a lasting imprint on Israeli society. She was a teacher and lawyer, famous for defending citizen's rights in the press and on radio. Even the Right acknowledges her contribution to Israel.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Nothing New Under the Sun (8 comments)
ISRAEL IS re-Judaizing itself at a rapid pace. The Jewish religion is making a huge comeback. Very soon, religious children of various communities will be the majority in Israeli Jewish schools. As the French say: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Saturday, January 18, 2014
The Imperator (3 comments)
Ariel Sharon believed that destiny had chosen him to lead Israel. He did not think so -- he knew. For him, his personal career and the fate of Israel were one and the same. Therefore, anyone who tried to block him was a traitor to Israel. He despised everyone around him -- from Begin down to the last politician and general.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Bibi & Libie (2 comments)
Kerry and his Zionist advisors already identify with the Israeli demand for recognition as a Jewish State or, worse, the State of the Jewish People (who were not even consulted). The Palestinian side is unable to accept this. If the negotiations come to naught on this point, Netanyahu will have achieved his real aim: to abort the negotiations in a way that will enable him to blame the Palestinians.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Neutral -- in whose favor? (1 comments)
TO BE more than a mere fragile armistice, peace needs reconciliation.
Reconciliation is impossible if either side is totally oblivious to the narrative of the other, their history, beliefs, perceptions, myths. John Kerry does not need 160 or 1,600 experts, neutral or otherwise. He needs one good psychologist. Or maybe two.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Mandela: The Movie (1 comments)
The movie shows how Nelson Mandela, completely alone, threw himself against the rising wave. At the decisive moment, when everything hung in the balance, when history held its breath, he addressed the masses on TV, telling them bluntly: "If I am your leader, you will follow my course! Otherwise, look for another leader!" Incredibly, the people followed him.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Angel Face (3 comments)
Ayelet Shaked may be the beauty queen of the present Knesset. But she is the instigator of some of the most outrageous right-wing initiatives in this Knesset. She is also the chairwoman of Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home faction, the nationalist-religious party of the settlers, the most radical rightist party of the current government coalition.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Self-Boycott (1 comments)
In Israel, only one voice was openly raised against Mandela. Shlomo Avineri, a respected professor and former Director General of the Foreign Office, criticized him for having a "blind spot" -- for taking the Palestinian side against Israel. He also mentioned that another moral authority, Mahatma Gandhi, had the same "blind spot."
Friday, December 6, 2013
(Un)holy River (1 comments)
HERE comes John Kerry again, for the umpteenth time (but who is counting?) to make peace between us and the Palestinians. It is a highly laudable effort. Unfortunately, it is based on a false premise. To wit: that the Israeli government wants peace based on the two-state solution.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
The Debacle (3 comments)
THE GREATEST danger to Israel is not the putative Iranian nuclear bomb. The greatest danger is the stupidity of our leaders. A great many of the world's leaders are plain stupid, and always have been. But lately, Binyamin Netanyahu and almost the entire Israeli political establishment have achieved a new record in foolishness. Sitting on a very high branch, they are diligently sawing through it.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
The Battle of the Titans (2 comments)
As a sideshow, Kerry is going on with an effort to impose on Netanyahu a peace he does not want. Kerry has allotted nine months to the endeavor, but the chances of a baby emerging at the end of it are practically nil. During the first three months, the sides have not progressed a single step. So who will win? Obama or Netanyahu? Chomsky or Walt/Mearsheimer? As commentators say, Time Will Tell. In the meantime, place your bets.
Friday, November 15, 2013
The Assassination (10 comments)
For Israelis, Arafat was the embodiment of the Palestinian people, an object of abysmal hatred. He was hated more than any other human being after Adolf Hitler and Adolf Eichmann. The generations-old conflict with the Palestinian people was personified by this man.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The Judaization of Israel (2 comments)
The Israeli government now demands, as a condition for making peace, that the Palestinians officially recognize this formula -- "Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People." If they refuse, it means that they are resolved to annihilate us, like Hitler, and therefore we won't make peace with them.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
90 Years from Now (3 comments)
THIS is my optimistic vision: Israel, the nation-state of the Israeli people, closely aligned with the nation-state of the Palestinian people, will be a member of a regional Union that will include the Arab states and hopefully Turkey and Iran, as a proud member of the United States of the World. A democratic, liberal and secular state where your descendants will be proud to proclaim: "I am an Israeli!"
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Taking Apartheid Apart (3 comments)
In our case, a large majority on each side wants to live in a state of their own. The idea of a unified country, in which Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis and Arabic-speaking Palestinians will live side-by-side as equals, serving in the same army and paying the same taxes does not appeal to them at all.
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Descenders (1 comments)
Jewish Israelis are already a minority in the country ruled by Israel, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. The majority of subjects deprived of all rights is growing by the year. Oppression will necessarily grow. The image of Israel throughout the world will get worse. Pride in Israel will fade. Young Jewish Americans are no longer proud of Israel. Some of them are ashamed.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Rabbi Ovadia was a towering figure in Israeli politics. Almost half of all Jewish Israeli citizens are of oriental origin. Until his appearance, this was an underprivileged class, remote from the centers of power, often humiliated, quite disunited. All attempts to turn them into a political force failed miserably. And then the rabbi came. He founded a powerful party that often served as the arbiter of Israeli politics.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Killjoy Was Here (2 comments)
Does Netanyahu see himself as the reincarnation of Winston Churchill, standing proud and undaunted against a continent engulfed by the Nazis? And where does that leave Barack Obama? WE KNOW where Netanyahu and his followers constantly remind us.
Obama is the modern Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain the Appeaser. The man who flourished a piece of paper in the fall of 1938 and proclaimed "Peace in Our Time."
Sunday, September 29, 2013
The Real Bomb (2 comments)
Rouhani is the very opposite of his predecessor. An Iranian who recognizes and condemns the Holocaust! An Iranian man who offers sweetness and light! An Iranian who wishes peace and friendship on all nations -- even hinting that Israel could be included, if only we give up the occupied Palestinian territories!
Friday, September 20, 2013
Stolen Wars (8 comments)
The US was to attack the regime of Bashar al-Assad. A medical operation: short, clean, surgical. When Congress hesitated, the hounds of hell were let loose. AIPAC sent its parliamentary rottweilers to Capitol Hill to tear to pieces any senator or congressman who objected. In Israel it was said that Binyamin Netanyahu unleashed them on the express request of Barack Obama.
Friday, September 13, 2013
A Good War (1 comments)
You prepare a war meticulously. You have a perfect plan. Future generals will study it in their academies. But once you make the first move, everything goes awry. Because the other side has a mind of its own and does not behave the way you expect. This is why the only good war is a war avoided.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Oslo Revisited (1 comments)
Reality since Oslo has not changed. The considerations which led Arafat by the end of 1973 to conclude that he must negotiate with Israel, and which led Rabin in 1993 to talk with the Palestinians, have not changed. There are two nations in this country, and they must choose: to live together or to die together. I hope they choose life.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Poor Obama (11 comments)
Love and politics create strange bedfellows. At the moment, a very strange assortment of powers are interested in the survival of the Assad regime: the US, Russia, Iran, Hizbullah and Israel. Yet Obama is being pushed to attack him.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Cry, Beloved Country (1 comments)
The generals sacrificed Mubarak, who was one of them, in order to protect themselves. They became the darling of the people, especially the young, secular, liberal people. "The army and the people are one!" -- How nice. How naïve. How utterly inane. All military juntas like to pose, in the beginning, as the saviors of democracy.
Friday, August 16, 2013
A new Guinness Record
THE DAY the new settlement projects were announced, Netanyahu fired off to John Kerry a furious protest against the ongoing Palestinian "incitement" against Israel. This missive could interest the adjudicators of the Guinness record for Chutzpah.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
A Federation -- Why Not? (1 comments)
The occupation is a bleeding wound, and it has to be healed in the framework of peace before everything else. There can be no meaningful talk about federation between oppressor and oppressed. Federation presumes partners of equal status, if not of equal strength. egotiations between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine concerning a federation must be free of pressure, conducted in good faith between equals.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Two-State Solution -- Civil War? (2 comments)
Any government interested in making peace will have to grapple with the settlers. The hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews now living in the new neighborhoods there do not think of themselves as settlers at all, they have forgotten all about the Green Line. Indeed, they are quite surprised when reminded of it. They could not dream of ever acquiring anything similar in Israel proper.
Friday, July 26, 2013
The Turkey Under the Table
It seems that Kerry has the gift of inspiring such trust. Let's hope he does not squander it. So, with or without a turkey to keep the wolf from devouring the lamb, and in spite of all the past disappointments, let's hope that this time real negotiations get going and lead towards peace. The alternative is too dismal to contemplate.
Monday, July 22, 2013
A Gift from Europe (1 comments)
The European decision says that no Israeli institution or corporation which has any direct or indirect connection with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights will receive any contract, grant, prize or suchlike from the EU or any member state. To assure compliance, every contract between Israelis and the EU will contain a paragraph stating that the settlements are not part of Israel.
Friday, July 12, 2013
The Grand Dilemma (2 comments)
It's no longer a clear choice between black and white, but between different shades of grey, or, if that is possible, different shades of black.
A civil war is raging. The misery of the population is indescribable. The number of dead terrifying. What will happen, if the government forces lose the battle and the rebels win?
Friday, July 5, 2013
A Human Spring
Jewish fundamentalism is setting up settlements in the Occupied West Bank and threatening Israeli democracy. All over the Arab world and many other Muslim countries, Islamic fundamentalism raises its head, causing havoc. In the US, evangelical fundamentalism has created the Tea Party and is dragging the Republican Party to the extreme right, much against its own interest.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Kerry and Chutzpah (2 comments)
At the moment, poor Kerry is trying to put something together that would satisfy the wolf while keeping the lamb alive. Give Abbas American assurances without Israeli assurances, for example. IN ALL this bickering, one basic fact is ignored.
It's that elephant again. The elephant in the room, whose existence Netanyahu denies and which Kerry is trying to ignore. The occupation.