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Attempts to destroy HaOlam HaZeh backfire


HaOlam HaZeh comes under attack
Uri Avnery Social activist
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נשאר פתוח: מי שם את הפצצות אצלנו? אנחנו חשדנו מאוד-מאוד בשי״ן-בי״ת. היו כמה מועמדים: היה "חושיסטן", אז היינו בעיצומה של המלחמה נגד אבא חושי ועיריית חיפה. אבל אמרנו "לא חשוב מי, האחראי זה השב"כ, השי״ן-בי״ת. הם צריכים למנוע והם צריכים לחשוף ואפילו אם הם לא עשו את זה בעצמם, האחריות עליהם”. ופרסמתי כמה מאמרים. ואיסר הקטן, שבמילא שנא אותנו כל הזמן, שנא אותנו עוד יותר. ואז היה לו רעיון גאוני: הוא אמר ש"העולם הזה" זה האויב מספר אחת של המשטר. הוא כתב את זה באחד הספרים שלו. ו"בוא נכה אותם במקום הכי רגיש. זה עיתון עני, אין לו כסף, מודפס על נייר גרוע, עם מספר עמודים מוגבל, אנחנו השב”כ נאסוף כסף מהמקורות שלנו ונקים שבועון דומה עם הרבה יותר כסף, הרבה יותר עמודים, נייר מבריק, משובח”. וכך נולד “רימון". ובהתחלה אנשים לא הבינו את זה. אנשים כמו יעקב אגמון היה שותף לזה בהתחלה, וכל מיני כאלה. במשך הזמן לאט-לאט אנחנו חשפנו את זה. מתי זה נחשף באמת? בהתחלה זה היה ככה בלי קו ברור. זה היה נחמד כזה. זה לא העביר קורא אחד מ"העולם הזה" ל”רימון", מפני שאיסר הקטן לא הבין את "העולם הזה”. לא הבין שבין "העולם הזה" לבין הקוראים שלו נוצרו יחסים שאני לא חושב שקיימים בעולם כולו. לא היו לנו קוראים. גם היו קוראים כמובן, אבל בעיקר היו לנו אוהדים. ואני טיפחתי את זה במודע, שהקוראים שלנו הם לא קוראים, הם שותפים והם עוזרים לנו והם מספקים לנו מידע וזה "משפחת 'העולם הזה’". ואני טיפחתי את זה בצורה לגמרי מכוונת. ולכן זה פשוט לא עזר. הם לא עברו ל”רימון". הם לא קראו אותנו בגלל הנייר המשובח והצילומים המרהיבים.

The question which remains unanswered is who planted the bombs in our building? We were very, very suspicious of the Shin Bet. There were several candidates. There was Hushistan. At that time we were in the midst of the war against Aba Hushi and the Haifa Municipality. But we said, 'It doesn't matter who is behind this, but it's the Shabak and Shin Bet who are responsible. They should have stopped it, and they needed to expose it, and even if they did not do it themselves, the responsibility lies with them'.  And I published several articles. And Little Isser - who anyway had hated us all the time - hated us even more. Then he had a brilliant idea: he said, HaOlam HaZeh - this the number one enemy of the regime. He wrote it in one of his books. 'Let's hit them in the most sensitive spot. This is a poor newspaper, they have no money, it's printed on bad paper, with a limited number of pages. At the Shabak we will gather money from our sources and establish a similar weekly, with a lot more money, more pages, glossy paper, top quality. That is how Rimon was born. At first people did not understand it. People like Yaakov Agmon was a part of it at first, and others like him. Over time, slowly, we exposed it. When was it really exposed? At first it had no clear line. It was nice. Not a single reader left HaOlam HaZeh for Rimon because Little Isser did not understand HaOlam HaZeh. He didn't understand that a relationship had been formed between HaOlam HaZeh  and its readers which I think does not exist anywhere in the entire world. We didn't have readers. They read it, of course, but for the most part we had followers. I cultivated that consciously, that our readers are not just readers; they are our partners and they help us and provide us with information and that is the HaOlam HaZeh family. I cultivated it quite deliberately. So it simply did not work. They didn't move over to Rimon. They did not read us because of the fine paper and fascinating photographs.

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: Shin Bet, HaOlam HaZeh, Rimon, Shabak, Hushistan, Haifa, Yaakov Agmon, Abba Hushi, Aba Hushi, Little Isser, Isser Harel

Duration: 3 minutes, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017