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How I met Rachel, my wife


The moment I thought of leaving Israel
Uri Avnery Social activist
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ואז בן גוריון עשה דבר מאוד חכם: במקום לחכות שאנחנו נפרסם את החוברת, ולאסור אותנו ולהאשים אותנו אני לא יודע במה, לפחות בהפרת צווי צנזורה, שאז היה מתפרסם והיה דולף בצורה זו או אחרת. הוא בעצמו הלך לכנסת, וחשף את הדבר הזה: "קרה דבר נורא״, מה היה הביטוי שלו? היה לו ביטוי מיוחד של "יוצאים מן הכלל", "חריגים", משהו כזה, והודיע על כל העניין בכנסת: "הייתה טעות, הפקודות לא עברו", משהו כזה. ואני נשארתי עם הנייר. אז במקום לפרסם את העדויות, שכבר עבר זמנם ובטל קורבנם. במקום זה אספנו את התגובות החמורות מאוד. היה מאמר של דן בן אמוץ. דן בן אמוץ היה כל כך מזועזע, שבפעם הראשונה בחייו הוא גילה, או לפחות רמז, שהוא לא נולד בארץ, אלא נתן סיפור מהשואה. וכל מיני אנשים כתבו. גם אני כתבתי מאמר. והופיעה החוברת הזאת. זה הלך למשפט. אני כמובן הייתי גם במשפט, או בבית נבאללה או בסרפנד. ומי השופט? בנימין הלוי! אותו בנימין הלוי, וגם פה הוא נתן פסק דין משוגע, שהיה כל כך חמור, שצה"ל פשוט העניק חנינה לכולם וכולם יצאו אחרי זמן די קצר. ומלינקי, האחראי המרכזי, המג"ד, נשלח לדימונה להיות אחראי לבטחון של הכור האטומי. ודהאן, האיש שפיקד על הרצח ממש, הפך לקצין הבטחון של עיריית רמלה. אז זה פרשת כפר קאסם. זה היה מזעזע, אני מוכרח להגיד, אני זוכר את הזעזוע שעבר עלי כשקראתי את העדויות הגולמיות של תופיק טובי. אם אי-פעם בחיי היה רגע שבו חשבתי להגר מהארץ, אני חושב שזה היה אותו רגע.‏

Then Ben-Gurion did something very smart. Instead of waiting until we published the booklet and forbidding and blaming us – I don't know what he would have blamed us for, at the very least for violating censorship orders which would have been published and would have leaked one way or another – he himself went to the Knesset, and disclosed that 'a dreadful thing has happened'. What was his expression? He had a special expression, 'extraordinary', 'irregular' something like that, and told the Knesset about the entire incident: 'It was a mistake, orders weren't received', something like that. And I remained with the paper. The testimonies lost their validity after they were not published in the time originally planned for publication, but we collected the serious responses. There was an article by Dahn Ben-Amotz. Dahn Ben-Amotz was so shocked that, for the first time in his life he revealed, or at least hinted, that he had not been born in Israel, and he gave us a story from the Holocaust. All kinds of people wrote. I also wrote an article and this booklet was published. The case went to trial. Of course, I was also at the trial either at Nabala or Sarafand. And who was the judge? Benjamin Halevi! That same Benjamin Halevi and here, too, he gave a crazy judgment. It was so severe that the IDF has just pardoned everyone and everyone went home after a fairly short time. Malinki, the regiment commander who was the main person responsible, was sent to Dimona to be in charge of security for the nuclear reactor there. And Dahan, who actually gave the command for the murder, became a security officer afor the Municipality of Ramla. So this is the story of Kfar Qasim. It was shocking, I must say, I remember the shock I felt when I read the raw evidence collected by Tawfik Toubi. If ever there was a moment in my life when I thought of leaving Israel, I think it was then.

Uri Avnery (1923-2018) was an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, 'HaOlam HaZeh' from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery was the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Kfar Qasim, Dimona, Tawfik Toubi

Duration: 3 minutes, 38 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017