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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.
How did it Start?
Every serious debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict raises the question: "When did it start?" Each side has its own date, proving that the other side started it.
Sunday, February 12, 2017(5 comments)
That's How It Happened
Though the territory allotted to the Jewish state was small, the Jewish population realized the immense importance of statehood. It was just three years after the end of the Holocaust. The entire Arab world opposed the resolution. As they saw it, why should the Arab population of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust committed by Europeans?
Friday, February 3, 2017(1 comments)
Respect the Green Line!
Binyamin Netanyahu -- some now call him Trumpyahu -- is all for enlarging the settlements. This week, under pressure from our Supreme Court, he staged the removal of one tiny little settlement, Amona, with a lot of heartbreak and tears, but immediately promised to put up many thousands of new "housing units" in the occupied territories.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
THIS is the harvest of the first week in office: more packs of lies, or "alternative facts," by the day. What about the substantive issues? Abortion rights. Protection of the environment. Medical insurance. Taxes on the super-rich. All going down the Potomac. The main theme--almost the only theme--of President Donald Trump is I -- I -- I... with a lot of chest thumping.
Look out for the movie -- King Kong II.
Friday, January 20, 2017(1 comments)
Trump will be the entertainer-president. The question is: do we really want the most powerful man in the world to be an entertainer? Or an overblown egomaniac? Or a totally self-absorbed narcissist? A man who knows nothing and believes that he can solve everything? This is a dangerous world. From today on, it will be a lot more dangerous.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Confessions of a Megalomaniac
There is no one around who believes in anything but the Two-State Solution. Even Netanyahu pretends to believe in it, if only the Palestinians would become Jews or emigrate to Greenland. the Two-State Solution is neither good nor bad. It is the only solution there is.
Friday, January 6, 2017(1 comments)
Yes, We Can
More people in Israel and around the world have been saying that the "Two-State Solution" is dead. Finito. Kaput. The settlers have finally killed it. Peace is finished. There is nothing we can do about it. We can only sit in our comfortable armchair in front of the TV set, sigh deeply, sip our drink and say to ourselves: "The settlements are irreversible!"
Friday, December 30, 2016
The resolution has almost no practical meaning. It has no teeth. Netanyahu could use the old oriental adage: "The dogs bark and the caravan moves on."
But Netanyahu's immediate reaction was very different. He acted like a wounded animal: running berserk, thrashing around, biting everyone in reach.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Don't Send Him!
David Friedman does not identify with all Israelis. He seems to think that most of us are blind, imbeciles, defeatists. or worse -- traitors. This would set a world record: most Israelis, it appears, are traitors. I would cry out to Donald Trump: "If you don't help us achieve peace, at least don't send us this sworn peace-wrecker."
Friday, December 16, 2016(1 comments)
All this is now "government land," on which Israelis can settle freely according to Israeli law. No need to add that all this is totally illegal under international law, which categorically forbids the "occupying power" from moving its citizens into the occupied territory.
Saturday, December 10, 2016(5 comments)
The Call of the Nation
A DARK wave is submerging democracies all over the Western world. The far-far-right is making gains almost everywhere and threatens to get voted into power. Moderate Presidents and Prime Ministers resign or get kicked out. With the notable exception of Germany and Austria, which seem to have learned their lesson, fascism and populism are gaining ground all around.
Friday, December 2, 2016(3 comments)
The Arabs Did It
Binyamin Netanyahu appeared on screen. Clad in a fashionable battle-dress, surrounded by his minions, he declared that it was all the work of Arab terrorists. It was an "Intifada of Fire." All this was nonsense. The brave fire-fighters and policemen had already done their job. Netanyahu's intervention was superfluous, indeed harmful.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
The Call of the Mu'ezzin
The problem could be solved by mutual discussion and understanding. In all Arab towns and villages, people want to hear the call to prayer, even if many of them do not get up to go to the mosque. In neighborhoods with a non-Muslim population, the loudspeakers could be silenced by agreement, or their volume lowered. But prior to submitting the bill, there were no consultations at all.
Friday, November 18, 2016(1 comments)
The President Elect
We are in for four years of uncertainty. Faced with a problem he knows nothing about, he will act according to his mood of the moment. He will take advice from nobody, and nobody will know in advance what will be his decision. Trump is no Hitler. He is no Mussolini. Nor even a Franco. He is a Trump. And that may be bad enough. May be. So do up your safety belt and hold on tight for the roller-coaster ride.
Sunday, November 13, 2016(3 comments)
Oh My God -- Trump!
WE DO not really know who Trump is, and what he will do during the next four years. We know only the Trump of the elections: a nasty person, a megalomaniac, a liar, an ignoramus. Some would add: a proto-fascist. Trumpism is the outcry of the great masses of Americans who are economically dislocated, spiritually disoriented, generally miserable, full of hate, distrust and despair.
Friday, November 4, 2016(3 comments)
The Lesser of Two Evils
The winner will be the PLE -- the Party of Lesser Evil. Or, in this case, the Candidate of Lesser Evil. People will not vote FOR somebody, but AGAINST somebody. Against the greater evil. This is a world-wide phenomenon. In almost all democratic countries, the Lesser Evil wins.
Friday, October 28, 2016
The Israeli Trumpess
Here come Donald Trump who tries to rip apart the delicate ties that bind American society together. He incites men against women, whites against blacks and hispanics, the rich against the destitute. He sows mutual hatred everywhere. Perhaps the American people will get rid of this plague and send Trump back where he came from. Perhaps Trump will disappear like a bad dream, as did McCarthy and his spiritual forefathers.
Sunday, October 23, 2016(1 comments)
The Funeral Ruckus
As long as David Ben-Gurion was in power, assisted by Shimon Peres, our protests came to naught. Only when both were kicked out by their own party was the military government abolished. The Shin Bet (secret internal security service), by the way, advocated abolition -- arguing that it did more harm than good, that the service could do its job better without it.
Saturday, October 15, 2016(2 comments)
The Kissinger Story
Golda Meir promised Kissinger that any talks about peace must be held under American auspices. The Yom Kippur war cost many thousands of lives, Israeli, Egyptian and Syrian. Kissinger achieved his goal. The Soviets lost the Arab world to the United States. Until Vladimir Putin came along.
Friday, October 7, 2016
The Triumph of Sisyphus
There was the paradox: the hundreds of eulogists, including the dozens who came from abroad, spoke in order to praise the Man of Peace, but the entire event was a propaganda triumph for the Netanyahu government, the government of occupation. All of them ignored the real elephant standing in the middle of the room: the occupation.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Abu-Mazen's Balance Sheet
The separate Gaza Strip is an Israeli invention. In the Oslo agreement, Israel undertook to open four "safe passages" between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under the influence of the army, Rabin violated this obligation right from the beginning. As a result, the West Bank was totally cut off from the Strip -- and the present situation is a direct result of that.
Friday, September 23, 2016
The Saga of Sisyphus
After Rabin's death, Peres became temporary Prime Minister. If he had called immediate elections, he would have won by a landslide. But Peres did not want to ride on the dead man's coattails. He waited for a few months, during which he conducted an ill-advised war in Lebanon. In the end he lost the elections to Binyamin Netanyahu.
Saturday, September 17, 2016(2 comments)
It Can Happen Here...
This land -- call it Palestine or Eretz Israel -- is very small. Living in it in two mutually antagonistic states would be a nightmare. Therefore, some kind of free association, call it confederation or federation, is a sheer necessity. Setting it up and keeping it up needs a spirit of reconciliation. I believe that it can happen here.
Friday, September 9, 2016(8 comments)
Merkel and Netanyahu: Compare and Contrast
Angela Merkel is still in power, and she seems determined to follow her stars and her policy. I envy her people. I do not believe that anyone in the world envies Israel for Binyamin Netanyahu. If I could imagine a politician who is the exact opposite of Angela Merkel, it would be Binyamin Netanyahu. Merkel is a moral heroine, Netanyahu is a moral coward.
Saturday, September 3, 2016(2 comments)
Israeli Civil War?
The division between "left" and "right" in Israel almost solely concerns peace and the occupation. If one wants an end of the occupation and peace with the Palestinians, one is a "leftist." If one wants the annexation of the occupied territories and the enlargement of the settlements, one is a "rightist."
Friday, August 19, 2016
With the creation of the State of Israel, there seemed to be a natural solution: There was the Jewish Diaspora and there was the State of Israel. Jews in Israel became Israelis and were proud of it. When asked abroad what they are, they would naturally answer "I am an Israeli," never "I am a Jew." I strongly suspect that a young Israeli emigrant in Berlin today would still give the same answer.
Saturday, August 13, 2016(2 comments)
The Future belongs to the Optimists
The two-state solution is not ideal, but real. It means that each of the two peoples can live in a state it calls its own, under its own flag, with its own elections, parliament and government, police and education system, its own Olympic team.
Friday, August 5, 2016
The Shot Heard All Over the Country
The crew of an Israeli ambulance was treating the wounded soldier, ignoring the seriously wounded Arab who was lying on the ground. Several Israeli soldiers were standing around, also ignoring the Palestinian. About 10 minutes later Sergeant Elor Azaria, a medic, appeared on the scene, approached the wounded Palestinian and shot him point-blank in the head, killing him.
Thursday, July 28, 2016(6 comments)
The Orange Man
Both candidates claim to be unwavering supporters of "Israel." But what does that mean? Do they support all sections of Israeli society? Certainly not. They support one certain part of Israel: the ultra-right-wing government of Binyamin Netanyahu, which is supported by the American Jewish billionaires who contribute to their coffers.
Friday, July 22, 2016
The Great Rift
Almost no one paid attention to the huge change in the demographic composition of the Jewish people caused by the Holocaust. Before, Oriental Jews were a small minority among the Jews. After, they were a larger part by far. This was bound to change their consciousness. THE TRAGEDY of present-day Israel is not that there are so many divisions, but that they all converge in one large rift.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
What is happening now is the continuation of that Algerian conflict on French soil. The hatred that once ruled the streets of Algiers and Oran is being fought out in the streets of Paris and Marseilles. Tragic? Indeed. Sad? Certainly. Anti-Semitism -- not at all. It has nothing to do with this old European scourge.
Friday, July 8, 2016(6 comments)
In the Semitic world, the European idea of separation between state and church never really took root. In both Islam and Judaism, religion and State are inseparable. In Israel, power is now wielded by a government dominated by the extreme ideology of the religious right-wing, while the "secular" left-wing has long been in full retreat.
Friday, July 1, 2016(8 comments)
What the Hell...!
The question is if this world order will be democratic, or not. It is up to humanity to ensure it is. The same is true for the European Union now. Those who dislike its set-up must fight for change -- for its true democratization, for effective social welfare and human rights. That's what the British voters should have voted for. Instead of which they voted for "Stop the world, we want to get off!"
Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Second Coming?
Former Chief of Staff, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a new format. Aggressive. Outspoken. Damning Binyamin Netanyahu in no uncertain terms. Repeating almost word for word my warning that Netanyahu has lost his senses. Saying that Netanyahu "has gone off the rails," and that there are now "signs of fascism" in Israel.
Friday, June 17, 2016
I consider Binyamin Netanyahu as the grave-digger of our state, the man who sets the course towards catastrophe, the man who obstructs any chance for peace. Just this week Netanyahu proudly told his party colleagues that he will "never" agree to conduct negotiations based on the Arab 2002 peace initiative.
Saturday, June 11, 2016(4 comments)
Just a Trick
Slowly, very slowly, Israel's international horizon is darkening. Small things are happening every day all around the world. A resolution here, a boycott there, a condemnation, a demonstration. The Israel that was universally admired disappeared long ago.
Friday, June 3, 2016(1 comments)
The Day of the Rhinos
Elor Azariya, the soldier who shot and killed a severely wounded Palestinian lying on the ground, is now standing trial in a military court for manslaughter. The army high command has been obdurate in face of rightist opposition. And lo and behold, who pushed his considerable bulk into the overcrowded courtroom? Avigdor Lieberman. He came to express his support for the soldier.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016(1 comments)
What Happened to Netanyahu?
What has happened to Netanyahu? Until now he has acted sanely and pragmatically. True, he has taken the path where devastation awaits at its end, our end. True, almost every step he has taken harmed Israeli democracy, the Supreme Court and now the IDF too. But it was possible to explain all these steps as means to survive in power. But no longer.
Saturday, May 28, 2016(3 comments)
The Center Doesn't Hold
The world public has been watching with growing amazement the incredible ascent of Donald Trump. From day to day, the drama, which started as a comedy, becomes more frightening. What, for god's sake, has happened to this great nation? How can millions and millions flock to the banner of a loud-mouthed, vulgar, ignorant candidate, whose main -- and perhaps only -- asset is his distance from all political parties?
Friday, May 20, 2016
I Was There
No one in their right mind would even remotely compare Netanyahu to the Fuehrer, but there are political parties here which do emit a strong fascist smell. The political riffraff peopling the present Netanyahu government could easily have found their place in the first Nazi government.
Friday, May 13, 2016(1 comments)
A Document with a Mission
The writers of the declaration had obviously read the American Declaration of Independence before drafting their own. They copied the general outline. It is not written in the edifying style of an historical document, but as a document with a mission: to convince the nations of the world to recognize our state.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Those Funny Anti-Semites
One can be anti-Israeli. Why not? One can condemn the policy of successive Israeli governments. One can be anti-Zionist. Though one has to make clear what sort of Zionism one dislikes. But all that has nothing to do with real, honest-to-God, anti-Semitism.
Friday, April 29, 2016
"Us" and "Them"
This is not a dream or a forlorn hope. It is a simple political fact. Nothing good will come about in the country but on the basis of Jewish-Arab partnership. This partnership made the Oslo agreement possible. Without the Arab votes in the Knesset it would not have passed. Such a partnership is necessary for any step towards peace.
Friday, April 22, 2016(1 comments)
The Other Gandhi
REHAVAM ZE'EVI was a child of his time. Even his nickname was typical: at a high school celebration he had appeared wrapped in a bedspread, which made him look like the adored Indian leader. The nickname stuck. Ze'evi, a man of violence par excellence, was, of course, the very opposite of Gandhi.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Squaring the Circle
Neither side will be content with an "entity." Jewish Israelis will not give up the statehood of Israel, nor will the Palestinians be content with anything less than a "state." President Rivlin can play an important role in all of this. The President can show to normal, decent people on both sides: yes, the circle can be squared!
Saturday, April 9, 2016(2 comments)
The Case of Soldier A
THE MAIN point of this incident, which nobody dares to spell out, is that for the first time in the history of Israel we are witnessing a full-fledged mutiny. There is no other way to define it. A group of soldiers, supported by a major part of the political scene, has mutinied against their commanders. This is a major menace to the structure of the state, a challenge to what remains of our democracy.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Under the Lime Trees
Tiny Israel is considered a military giant, a technological power, a stable democracy (at least for its Jewish citizens). Enemies like the BDS movement are mere irritations. So what's bad? The masses of the Arab peoples everywhere are far too emotionally involved with the plight of the Palestinians to tolerate official connections between their rulers and Israel.
Friday, March 25, 2016(1 comments)
If there were such a thing as political terrorism, AIPAC would take the crown
Anyone running for office needs heaps of money. Looking for money is now the main job of an American politician. In today's America, almost every politician can be bought. Literally. So can entire party organizations. The sums are not even very impressive. AIPAC has pushed this corruption to a climax. If there were such a thing as political terrorism, AIPAC would take the crown.
Sunday, March 20, 2016(1 comments)
My Terrorist, Your Terrorist
Terrorists do not achieve their goals owing to the magnitude of their deeds but rather by their psychological effect. The killing of a hundred may be forgotten the next day, the killing of one may be remembered for centuries. Modern terrorists -- real terrorists -- lay bombs in markets, shoot at random civilians, run over people. Hezbollah does none of these.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
The Great BDS Debate
There are some BDS adherents who utter statements with an unmistakable anti-Semitic smell. For an honest-to-goodness anti-Semite of the old school, BDS is nowadays a safe pulpit from which they can preach their odious gospel, under the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism.
Friday, March 4, 2016
The Last Trump
According to the Oxford dictionary, a trump is not only a card of the suit which ranks above others, but also a deafening sound. "The Last Trump" is the trumpet blast that will wake the dead on Judgment Day. Let's hope American voters wake up before that.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
The Minister of Education wears, of course, a kippah. Six members of the prestigious Council for Higher Education have resigned because of the government's effort to stuff that august body with nationalist and religious agitators. I shall not be surprised if one evening I turn on the TV and -- lo and behold -- there is Binyamin Netanyahu's head adorned with a nice, neat kippah.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
When God Despairs
Netanyahu was brought up in the US. He most surely has been taught there that democracy does not mean only the rule of the majority. Adolf Hitler was probably supported by the majority. Democracy means that the majority respects the rights of minorities. Including the right of free speech.
Friday, February 12, 2016(1 comments)
A Lady With A Smile
what is the job of an Arab MK? To upset the Jews? Or to narrow the gap and convince Israelis that Israeli-Palestinian peace is both possible and worthwhile. I am afraid that Zuabi's smile does not help with the second aim. IF ANYTHING, this affair has reinforced the arguments for the Two State. Let each of the two states have a parliament of its own, where they can commit all the stupidities they want.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Optimism of the Will
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, the highest international official, a kind of World Prime Minister, has dared to criticize the Israeli government, as well as the Palestinian Authority, for sabotaging the peace process, and thereby making Israeli-Palestinian peace almost impossible. He emphasized that there is a world-wide consensus about the "Two-state Solution" being the only possible one.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
The Pied Piper of Zion
Binyamin Netanyahu is our pied piper. Enchanted by his melodies, the people of Israel are marching behind him towards the river. The Israeli Peace Camp is in despair. No savior is in sight. Many just sit in front of their TV sets and wring their hands. Who is right: those who believe that only the fight inside Israel can save us, or those who put their trust entirely in outside pressure?
Saturday, January 23, 2016(1 comments)
Extreme, Extremer, Extremest
In Israel proper, the government belongs to the extreme Right, with some elements that would be called "fascist" anywhere else. The Center and Left are impotent. The only real political fight is between the radical Right and the even more radical extreme Right.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
The Widening Gap
A question concerns the disclosure that extreme right-wing organizations, financed by foreign (Jewish-American) donors, are conducting widespread secret espionage activities against Israeli activists. Israeli politics is becoming uglier by the day. The gap between left and right is turning into a gulf of hatred. bvcx
Saturday, January 9, 2016(1 comments)
Fear of Assimilation
What is happening is the retreat of the new Israeli nation which we created in the 30s, 40s and 50s of the last century, into a new edition of the Jewish ghetto -- an armed ghetto, a nuclear ghetto, but a ghetto nonetheless. In such a society, "assimilation" is indeed seen as a mortal danger. There is still time to turn the wheel around and save the state we built. But for how long?
Friday, January 1, 2016
A Bribery Case
After a very long judicial battle, the final decision was made this week by the Supreme Court: Olmert was found guilty of one of the many bribery cases he was suspected of, and sent to prison. I never liked the man very much, neither politically nor personally. Yet I must confess that at this moment, I feel neither joy nor satisfaction. I rather pity him.