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Why do you have a red arse?


Barriers tumble, friendship blossoms
Uri Avnery Social activist
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זה היה המצב אחרי המלחמה. היה "כיבוש נאור”. חיים הרצוג בתור המושל הצבאי, גשרים פתוחים, משה דיין קושר קשרים עם כל מיני מנהיגים ערביים מקומיים. הפך לידיד של ראש עיריית חברון, אחמד אני חושב, אחמד אל ג’עברי [מוחמד עלי אל ג'עברי]. אנחנו מדברים על חברון שכל ילד ישראלי חונך על פרעות חברון, על הרצח של הקהילה היהודית בחברון ב-1929, והחברונים פחדו מנקמה. דיין נפגש עם ג'עברי, התיידד אתו, אמר: "בוא נעשה הסכם: אתה תדאג שלא יהיו שום פיגועים, אני אדאג שלא יתנפלו”. וככה בחברון נוצרה שביתת נשק בתוך שביתת נשק. כל הישראלים הסתערו על הגדה המערבית, קצת גם על עזה. אי-אפשר לתאר את האווירה. היום זה בכלל לא עולה על הדעת. הייתה חגיגה של אחווה והתיידדות שאי-אפשר לתאר. קודם כל הייתה סקרנות עצומה משני הצדדים: הפלסטינים רצו לראות "מי זה המפלצות האלה?" הרי כל השנים אמרו להם שאנחנו מפלצות ואוכלי אדם. הישראלים על הערבים חשבו מה שחשבו והמפגש הזה של שני הצדדים היה חיובי שאי-אפשר לתאר, ממש אהבו אחד את השני. היהודים קודם כל קנו מכל הבא ליד – מהכד שמאחורייך ועד בכלל, הכל! מילאו את המסעדות בג’נין. הכד הזה בא מאיזה כפר מסוים בדרך מירושלים לשכם שהיה כפר שהתמחה בזה. ג'נין, טול כרם, קלקיליה, שכם, רמאללה, חברון, בית לחם. היהודים הסתערו על המסעדות לנגב חומוס אמיתי, לקנות עראק אמיתי, וכן הלאה. והייתה ידידות. ממש ידידות. איך? אף אחד לא חלם שנישאר שם. זה מה שקרה לנו אחר-כך כעבור זמן עם השיעים בלבנון שקיבלו אותנו כמושיעים ותוך שלושה-ארבעה חודשים הצלחנו להפוך את כולם לאויבים בנפש. כך קרה גם שם.‏

This was the situation after the war. There was an 'enlightened occupation'. Chaim Herzog as military governor, open bridges, Moshe Dayan forging links with all kinds of local Arab leaders. He became friends with the Mayor of Hebron, Ahmed, I think, Ahmed al-Jabari [sic]. We are talking about Hebron. Every Israeli child was educated about the riots in Hebron, the murder of the Jewish community in Hebron in 1929, and the people of Hebron were afraid of retaliation. Dayan met with Jabari, befriended him and said: 'Let's reach an agreement: you will make sure that there will be no acts of terror, I will make sure that you won't be attacked'. And so in Hebron an armistice within an armistice was declared. All of the Israelis stormed the West Bank, Gaza too, to a certain extent. It is impossible to describe the atmosphere. Today it is inconceivable. There was a celebration of brotherhood and friendship that is impossible to describe. First of all there was immense curiosity on both sides: the Palestinians wanted to see who these 'monsters' were. After all, for years they had been told that we were monsters and cannibals. They – Israelis – thought what they thought about the Arabs and this meeting of the two sides was positive in a way that it is impossible to describe: they really liked each other. First of all, the Jews bought everything in sight – everything! They filled the restaurants in Jenin. This vase comes from a village on the way from Jerusalem to Nablus, a village that specialises in this. Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem. The Jews stormed the restaurants to eat authentic hummus, to buy authentic arak, and so on. There was friendship. Real friendship. How? No one dreamed we would stay there. This is what happened to us later, after a while with the Shiites in Lebanon who received us as saviors and then within three or four months we managed to make them all our mortal enemies. The same thing happened here.

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: Hebron, Chaim Herzog, Moshe Dayan

Duration: 3 minutes, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017