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Going to work for the Wellcome Foundation

James Black


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Finding my place on the political spectrum

Uri Avnery - Social activist

And after a year I decided it was no longer for me. Also, conceptually, I underwent a process of, let's call it 'lefticism'. I started to like kibbutzim and the collective agricultural labour settlements in general and, with all of this romanticism and this ideology, I left Etzel and revisionism, especially revisionism. There was a terrible crisis, I remember that evening − I think I wrote about it in one of my books − sitting in the classroom. The classroom was in total darkness; we would gather then at the Bilu gymnasium at the end of Rothschild Boulevard and just sit there. A squad, perhaps just a platoon, of 40 people and in the darkness someone came with a really deep, deep voice, we did not know who it was, and he began to speak to us about the Irgun, about the road ahead, and said: 'Whoever is not going with us on this road should get up now and leave'. I do not know what it was that got hold of me as if it was some kind of higher power, I got up in the darkness, I walked towards the door and left, alone. I remember walking through the streets for several hours, like some crazy person, and I left. I remained in the Revisionist party for a few months. I saw that it really was not for me, it was not my worldview, and I started to go for the 'organized settlement', as it was called, to the labour movement. It wasn't easy because there I was labelled as being with Etzel, which meant that I couldn't get into the Haganah. I couldn't even dream of going to Palmach. But a real odyssey had started. For a few years, two or three years, I joined and left all kinds of organizations, political parties, trying to formulate a worldview.

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