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Sterling advice from a reliable source


Voted in to the Knesset
Uri Avnery Social activist
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וביום הבחירות קרה הנס, באמת נס: בפעם הראשונה בתולדות המדינה רשימה שהיא חדשה לגמרי, שלא תוצאה של מפלגות קודמות, עברה את אחוז החסימה. עברנו. קיבלנו כמעט אחוז וחצי. זאת אומרת אילו היינו מקבלים אלף קולות יותר, היינו מכניסים שני מנדטים, לפי שיטת הספירה של העודפים של אז. מה שקרה הוא שאני נבחרתי לבדי, עם השי״ן הזה. אנחנו בחרנו בשי״ן. אני אהבתי נורא תמיד את האות שי״ן, כי האות שי״ן היא אות כזאת שאפשר לעצב אותה בהרבה מאוד צורות שונות מבחינה גראפית. וגם שי״ן זו מילה טובה. הסיסמא שלנו הייתה "שחרור, שותפות, שוויון", ש-ש-ש. וזה הלך. והקוראים שלנו הכניסו אותנו לכנסת, פשוטו כמשמעו, דבר שאין לו תקדים בעולם אני חושב. יש בעולם הרבה מפלגות שהוציאו עיתונים. המקרה המפורסם המפלגה של לנין, הבולשביקים הוציאו עיתון בשם “איסקרא", לפני שהם הגיעו לשלטון. אבל שעיתון יקים מפלגה? אין דבר כזה. זה דבר שהוא בלתי-אפשרי בכלל. ובזה חוללנו מהפיכה וכך הגענו לכנסת. לפני הבחירות עשינו אסיפת בחירות אחרונה בתיאטרון הקאמרי, איפה שהיום בית לסין אני חושב. הייתה אסיפה יפהפייה. זה פשוט היה מרחיב לב. יש עוד צילומים מזה. הקהל, הנוער הישראלי הכי טוב שיש. קהל נהדר. ולא קהל של שוליים, קהל בהחלט מרכזי. ואחרי הנצחון עשינו מיד עוד חגיגת נצחון, עוד אסיפה כזאת. הייתה שמחה, אי-אפשר לתאר איזה שמחה הייתה. את רשימת המועמדים, איך הרכבנו אותה? אני עשיתי דבר נורא פשוט: חוץ משלום כהן, שהייתי מוכרח, הוא היה צריך להיות מספר 2, אני לקחתי את האנשים שעשו מרידות בארץ בתחומים שונים. היה אמנון זכרוני שעשה שביתת רעב כדי לא להתגייס לצה"ל והיה, אחד-אחד. אנשים שבמשך השנים עשו כל מיני מאבקים גדולים וש"העולם הזה" סיקר אותם, לכן הכרתי את כולם. אני אספתי את כולם, כמה שהסכימו, ומזה הרכבתי את רשימת המועמדים. לא לקחתי 120, הסתפקתי ב-60, אבל הייתה רשימה יפה מאוד. ועם זה הלכנו לכנסת וכך הגענו ליום הראשון בכנסת.‏



And on election day the miracle happened, really a miracle: for the first time in Israel's history a list which was completely new - not the result of previous parties - passed the threshold. We had passed. We received nearly 1.5%. That means that if we had received 1000 votes more we would have had two mandates according to the method of counting the surplus votes at that time. What happened was that only I was elected with that Shin. We had selected the letter Shin. I always really liked this letter because it is a letter - so it can be shaped in many different ways graphically. And Shin is a good word. Our slogan was 'liberation, partnership, equality'. And it worked. Our readers, literally, put us in the Knesset - something that I think is unprecedented in the world. The world has a lot of parties that published newspapers. The most famous instance is Lenin's party - the Bolsheviks put out a newspaper called Iskra before they came to power. But for a newspaper to establish a political party? There is no such thing. This is something that is entirely impossible. And that is how we generated a revolution and how we got to the Knesset. Before the election we had the last election meeting at the Kameri Theater, where Beit Lessin is located today, I think. It was a great meeting. It really was heart-warming. There are many photographs of it. The crowd - the very best of Israeli youth, a great crowd and not a marginal crowd but a crowd that was absolutely in the center. And immediately after the victory we celebrated with another victory celebration, another such meeting. There was great happiness, it is impossible to describe what joy there was.

How did we compile the list of candidates? I just did a really simple thing: everyone except for Shalom Cohen, to whom I was obligated so he had to be my number two, I took from among the people who had instigated rebellions in Israel in various fields. There was Amnon Zichroni, who went on hunger strike in order not to enlist in the IDF and so on, each of them. People who for years had conducted all kinds of major struggles and HaOlam HaZeh had covered them, so I knew them all. I collected them all, those who agreed, and that was how I compiled the list of candidates. I didn't select 120, I settled for 60, but it was a very nice list. And with this we went to the Knesset and that was how we reached our first day in the Knesset.

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: Knesset, Iskra, Bolsheviks, Beit Lessin Theater, Kameri Theater, Amnon Zichroni, Shalom Cohen

Duration: 4 minutes, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017