a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Daf, my first serious failure


The Hebron affair
Uri Avnery Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Moshe Dayan used to go excavating. He went every weekend, and when they again opened the West Bank and the Gaza Strip it was heaven for him; he could dig wherever he wanted to. One day, he went to dig at Agur [sic should be Yazur] which today is called Mishmar HaShiva, I think, something like that, next to the beautiful mosque that still stands there. And he dug, dug, dug until the entire dig fell down on top of him and he was buried under the earth; they barely got him out of there, they saved his life. Something happened to his vocal cords. He couldn't speak for a while. Then he began to whisper and slowly his voice returned to normal. They brought him to hospital and he was there for Passover 1969, I think.

[Q] 1968.

Already 1968. Hanan Porat and, primarily, Rabbi Levinger assembled a group of fanatics, rented rooms in a hotel in Hebron, at the entrance to Hebron and established a settlement. Dayan had been silenced and Yigal Allon, as I said before, was focused solely on getting revenge on Dayan. So he hurried there and gave them his sponsorship for one reason only: to screw Dayan. He knew, it was generally known, that Dayan was a friend of the mayor of Hebron, and [Allon's action] would really be a stab in the back for Dayan. Yigal no longer cared about anything: apart from the issue of Dayan he didn't care about anything. So they sat there a few weeks and then moved to a military camp in Hebron, and later settled there at Beit Hadassah and also established Kiryat Arba. And I ran like crazy to do what I could in the Knesset. One day a motion for the agenda, whatever could be done. Nothing helped. But this was not really the beginning of the settlement, it was a single incident, it was considered to be an isolated case. They connected it with the events of 1929 and all those things. There were several settlements on the border which 'crawled' over the border and things like that, but there was no settlement. The real settlement started with the Kadum affair and that was in the 1970s, 1975-76, something like that.  Before that, of course, there was the settlement in Gush Etzion, as if to return to what had been there once before although Gush Etzion is not where the original Gush Etzion had been. Gush Etzion previously had been next to Halhul on the road to Hebron, and Gush Etzion now was much further west.

משה דיין חפר. כל סוף שבוע הלך, וכשנפתחה הגדה המערבית ורצועת עזה זה היה בשבילו בכלל גן עדן, הוא יכול היה לחפור איפה שהוא רצה. ויום אחד דיין הלך לחפור בכפר עג׳ור, מה שנקרא היום משמר השבעה אני חושב, משהו כזה, ליד המסגד היפה הזה שעוד עומד. וחפר, חפר, חפר עד שכל החפירה נפלה עליו והוא נקבר מתחת לאדמה והוציאו אותו בקושי ,הצילו את חייו. קרה משהו למיתרי הקול שלו. הוא היה אילם במשך כמה זמן. אח"כ הוא התחיל ללחוש ולאט-לאט זה חזר לקדמותו. הביאו אותו לבית חולים. בזמן שהוא היה בבית חולים בפסח 69' אני חושב, מראיינת: 68'. 68' כבר, חנן פורת ובעיקר הרב לווינגר אספו קבוצה של קנאים, שכרו חדרים בבית מלון בחברון, בכניסה לחברון והקים שם התנחלות. דיין היה משותק, ויגאל אלון שאמרתי קודם, כל חייו התרכזו איך לנקום בדיין, רץ לשם, פרס את חסותו עליהם מסיבה אחת ויחידה: "לדפוק" את דיין. הוא ידע שזה היה ידוע שדיין הוא ידיד של ראש עיריית חברון, ושזה ממש סכין בגב של דיין. ליגאל כבר לא היה איכפת כלום, חוץ מהעניין של דיין לא היה איכפת לו כלום. אז הם ישבו שם כמה שבועות ואחר-כך עברו למחנה צבאי בחברון, ואחר-כך התנחלו שם בבית הדסה וגם הקימו את קרית ארבע. ואני רצתי כמו משוגע לעשות מה שאני יכול בכנסת. הצעה לסדר היום, מה שניתן היה לעשות, שום דבר לא עזר. אבל זו עוד לא הייתה ממש ההתחלה של ההתנחלות, זה היה מקרה בודד, נחשב למקרה בודד. קשרו את זה עם המאורעות של 29' וכל הדברים האלה. היו כמה ישובים על הגבול ש"זחלו" אל מעבר לגבול ודברים כאלה, אבל לא הייתה התנחלות. ההתנחלות האמיתית התחילה בפרשת קדום, זה כבר 70' ומשהו, 75-6', משהו כזה. לפני זה כמובן הייתה התנחלות בגוש עציון, זה כאילו להחזיר ימים כקדם. למרות שגוש עציון זה לא איפה שהיה גוש עציון. גוש עציון בשעתו היה ליד חלחול, בדרך לחברון, וגוש עציון פה היה הרבה יותר מערבה.‏

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, Gush Etzion, Mishmar HaShiva, Beit Hadassah, Kiryat Arba, Kadum affair, Halhul, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon, Hanan Porat, Moshe Levinger

Duration: 4 minutes, 30 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017