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Removing UN forces from Sinai


My precisely planned life
Uri Avnery Social activist
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בסך הכל הייתה תקופה, אני מוכרח לומר, תקופה די מאושרת. אני הייתי רווק יומיים וחצי בשבוע ואיש משפחה שאר ימי השבוע. ביום שני אחרי הצהריים, כשהעיתון כבר היה פחות או יותר סגור, אני עליתי לירושלים. הכנסת סידרה לחברי הכנסת הלא ירושלמים חדרים בבתי מלון טובים מאוד:"הילטון", "המלך דוד”. וגרתי בירושלים כרווק איזה יומיים, שני לילות וחצי יום, ועסקתי בדבר שהאמנתי בו. נהניתי מהעבודה הזאת של הכנסת. זה היה לי תענוג להרגיז אותם ולהעלות דברים שהם באמת דברים חשובים. אני חושב שמי שיקרא היום את כל הנאומים שלי וההצעות שלנו, לא ימצא בהם שום דופי מבחינת הרמה. לא הצקתי להם סתם. תמיד היה תוכן מנומק ויפה. וביום רביעי אחרי הצהריים חזרתי הביתה ל"העולם הזה", לערוך את העיתון. ערכתי את העיתון עד יום שני בצהריים נון-סטופ חוץ מחצי יום שעשיתי חסקה בים. זה היה החופש היחידי שלי. והיה לי שבוע מתוכנן עד לדקה האחרונה. יכולת לשאול אותי "איפה אתה תהיה ב-3 בדצמבר בשעה 12 בשנה הבאה?" אני יכולתי להגיד לך בדיוק איפה אני נמצא ומה אני עושה, מפני שהתפקידים האלה – חבר כנסת, עורך עיתון, ראש מפלגה, קטנה, אבל מפלגה, ומתן ראיונות לעיתונות בחו"ל בעיקר - זה חייב תכנון מאוד מדויק. ולמזלי אני נולדתי איפה שנולדתי, ויכולתי לתכנן ותכננתי ועמדתי בזה בלי שום בעיות. אף פעם לא הייתה לי הרגשה שאני לא מספיק משהו, או שאני צריך לרוץ או משהו. התנהלתי די טוב. וכך נגמר הכנסת הראשונה, 65' עד 69’.‏

Overall there was a time, I must say, which was quite a happy period. I was a bachelor for two-and-a-half days a week and a family man the rest of the week. On Monday afternoon, when the newspaper was more or less closed, I went up to Jerusalem. The Knesset arranged hotel rooms at very good hotels for members of Knesset who did not reside in Jerusalem: Hilton, King David. And I lived in Jerusalem as a bachelor for two days, two nights and a half-day, and I was doing something that I believed in. I enjoyed the work of the Knesset. It was my pleasure to annoy them and raise issues that were really important. I think that anyone who would now read all my speeches and our proposals will not find them at fault in terms of the standard. I did not harass the Knesset members for no reason. There was always reasoned and proper substance. On Wednesday afternoons I came back home to HaOlam Hazeh to edit the paper. I edited the paper until Monday afternoon, non-stop, except for half a day when I went to surf in the sea. That was my sole vacation. My week was planned down to the last minute. You could ask me: 'Where you will be on December 3, at 12:00 next year?' I could tell you exactly where I would be and what I would be doing, because these roles: an MK, a newspaper editor, head of the party – small, but nonetheless a party – and giving interviews, primarily to the foreign press – this required precise planning. And fortunately I was born where I was born and I was able to make plans, and I planned and persevered without any problems. I never had the feeling that it was not sufficient or that I needed to run or something. I was managing fairly well. Thus ended the first Knesset from 1965 through 1969.

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: Jerusalem, Knesset

Duration: 3 minutes, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017