Uri Avnery on Gaza Crisis, His Time in a Zionist “Terrorist” Group & Becoming a Peace Activist

Uri Avnery
Uri Avnery

Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – Fighting in Gaza has resumed after the expiration of a 72-hour truce expired. Israel said it launched airstrikes after Palestinians fired at least 18 rockets into southern Israel after the ceasefire ended. Palestinian officials say a 10-year-old boy was killed earlier today when an Israeli airstrike hit near a mosque in Gaza City. Six other people were wounded in the attack. A Hamas military wing spokesman earlier called on Palestinian negotiators holding indirect talks with Israeli negotiators in Cairo to refuse any ceasefire extension unless its long-term demands were met.

We speak with longtime peace activist Uri Avnery, who has pushed for Israel to engage with Hamas. Avnery is a historic figure within the Israeli peace movement. He was born in Germany in 1923. His family fled the Nazis and moved to what was then Palestine. As a youth, he joined the Irgun Zionist paramilitary group, which he later quit to become a leading peace activist in Israel.

In 1950, Avnery founded the news magazine, HaOlam HaZeh. Fifteen years later, he was elected to the Knesset on a peace platform. In 1982, he made headlines when he crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat, head of the then-banned Palestine Liberation Organization. In 1993, he started the Gush Shalom peace movement. He will turn 91 next month and still writes a weekly column.

One thought on “Uri Avnery on Gaza Crisis, His Time in a Zionist “Terrorist” Group & Becoming a Peace Activist

  • Mr Avenry stated that Israel must end the occupation, make peace with the Palestinians, and help them create a Palestinian state. Given that Hamas has declared their unshakeable goal is the total elimination of Israel, that is, the liberation of all of what they deem Palestine (“from the river to the sea”) how would it be possible for Israel to make peace with Hamas?

    Has Mr. Avenry ever addressed that issue, or the even more profound issue that Hamas, and other Palestinians groups, have declared their ultimate goal is to kill all the Jews everywhere?

    All he say is, “Give up the West Bank & Gaza, and the problem is solved.” His willful naivety is no safeguard against those who would gladly kill him.

    Historical note: in 1967, Israel did not occupy either the West Bank nor Gaza nor even East Jerusalem, and yet the PLO & the Arab states still launched a war of extermination on Israel. As far as Hamas and the PLO are concerned, the “problem” will only be solved when Israel is destroyed and the Jews are driven into the see, Mr Avenry included.

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