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An exceptionally diligent Knesset member


One against 119
Uri Avnery Social activist
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בגמר הקדנציה הראשונה שלי אמנון זכרוני כתב ספר שנקרא אחד מול 119. זה אגב כינוי שדבק בי עוד לפני זה, בכל מהלך הכנסת. זה היה כל כך בולט שאני נגד כל האחרים וכל האחרים נגדי, שזה התבקש כמעט מעצמו. והוא כתב שמה על אלף ואחת יוזמות שיזמנו עם חטא אחד שלא יכופר: ספר שלם בלי תאריכים. זה רק אדם יליד הארץ מסוגל לזה. איך אפשר? לכן קשה מאוד להסתמך שמה על מה שיש שם, מפני שאחרי שאתה מגלה משהו, אתה מחפש את זה בדברי הכנסת, אין לך תאריך. אבל אני, בכנסת הראשונה שהייתי, הכנסת השישית, מתחלק לשני חלקים: שנתיים לפני מלחמת ששת הימים ושנתיים אחרי. זה כאילו שתי כנסות שונות. בכנסת הראשונה שלי, בשנתיים הראשונות, העניין הערבי שתמיד בער בעצמותיי, אבל כמעט לא עלה על סדר היום. הכנסת עסקה בדברים אחרים, ואני נאמתי בכולם. אני עקרונית השתתפתי בכל ויכוח של הכנסת. הבחורה שאספה עכשיו את הנאומים שלי בכנסת הגיעה ל-630 נאומים. לאכזבתי, מפני שאני חשבתי שנאמתי יותר מאלף. היו עשרות נושאים שמעולם לא עלו בכנסת, ולא היו פוליטיים, והפכו כאילו לסימן היכר שלי. למשל, הכנסתי חוק על תחבורה לחיילים, שאז זה לא היה קיים. הרבה מהחוקים האלה בסוף נחקקו בלעדי ואחדים עד היום לא. עד היום מתווכחים בכנסת על הצעות שאני הכנסתי ב-65-6-7’. אני אצטרך לקחת ביד את הספר בשביל לזכור את כל היוזמות. אני הצעתי להקים חיל כבאות ארצית, להוציא את זה מהעסקנים המקומיים. אמרתי: ארץ כזאת קטנה, זה אבסורד שיהיו בה עשרות מוקדים, לא מאפשר לה לרכז את הכוחות ולתכנן תכנון ארצי ודברים כאלה.. היו עשרות הצעות כאלה. אני הצעתי להתיר יחסים הומוסקסואליים, שאז זה היה פלילי. אני הצעתי נישואים אזרחיים וגירושים אזרחיים. למעשה כל הדברים שכתבתי ב"העולם הזה" ב-15 השנים לפני זה אני הכנסתי בתור הצעות חוק בכנסת. אני אהבתי את זה. הכנסתי המון הצעות חוק.‏

At the end of the first term, Amnon Zichroni wrote a book called One Against 119. This was a nickname that had stuck to me even before this throughout my time at the Knesset. It was so clear that I was against all of the others and all of the others were against me, this nickname almost created itself. And he wrote there about 1001 initiatives that we launched with only one sin not atoned for: an entire book without dates. Only a person born in Israel was capable of such a thing. How is that possible? It is very difficult to rely on what appears in the book because after you discover something, you look for it in the records of the Knesset, but you have no date. But I, the first Knesset that I was in – the sixth Knesset – was divided into two sections: the two years before the Six Day War and two years after. It is as if it was two different Knessets. In my first Knesset, my first two years, the Arab cause always 'burned in my bones', but almost never arose on the agenda. The Knesset dealt with other things, and I, I spoke about all of them. In principle I participated in every discussion in the Knesset. The girl who collected all of my speeches in the Knesset counted 630 speeches. I was disappointed because I thought I had given more than a thousand. There were dozens of issues that were never raised in the Knesset, were not political, but became almost like a trademark for me. For example, I proposed a law for transportation for soldiers which until then did not exist. Many of these laws were enacted eventually without me, although some have not to this day. The Knesset still debates some of the proposals that I brought in during 1965, '66, '67. I would have to look at the book in order to remember all of the initiatives. I suggested establishing a national fire-fighting force, thus taking it away from local businesses. I said that in such a small country it is absurd to have dozens of centers, let them join forces and devise national planning and things like that… there were dozens of such proposals. I proposed to permit gay relationships, which at the time were criminalised. I proposed civil marriage and civil divorce. In fact all the things I had been writing about in HaOlam HaZeh over the previous 15 years, I brought in as proposals for law in the Knesset. I enjoyed it. I proposed a lot of bills.

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: One Against 119, Six Days War, Amnon Zichroni

Duration: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017