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Italian communists support the Arab-Israeli peace process


Israeli government shows no interest in peace with Egyptians
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אריק רולו היה חסיד נלהב של שלום ישראלי-פלסטיני, בעיקר שלום ישראלי-מצרי. נתן בי אמון מוחלט שאני לא אבגוד באמון שלו ואמר לי: "תלך, תשאל אם הם מעוניינים. אם הם מעוניינים, תחזור, אני אתן לך את ההקלטה”. ככה עשיתי. חזרתי הביתה ושאלתי את עצמי מי האיש בממשלה? לבוא אל גולדה זה היה בזבוז זמן, גם הייתה השנאה הזאת בינינו. אז אני חשבתי שהאיש הכי משפיע בממשלה וגם הכי "יונה" בממשלה הוא פנחס ספיר שהיה איש מאוד חשוב ומרכזי.

אז אני פניתי לספיר. הוא הזמין אותי לפגישה בקריה פה, היה לו משרד בקריה בתל אביב. לקחתי אתי בתור עד את אמנון זכרוני והלכנו לספיר להציע לו את המסמך ההיסטורי הזה, שנאסר בקולו מציע שלום עם ישראל. ספיר דיבר על זה בערך חמש דקות, אח"כ הוא עבר לרכילות על כל מיני חברי ממשלה, הוא שנא את משה דיין, דברים כאלה. אני זוכר שיצאתי, ולפני הדלת של המשרד שלו אמרתי לאמנון: "אני פשוט, אני המום! לא מעניין אותו לחלוטין שלום עם מצרים!" וכך היה, והעסק נמשך.‏

Eric Rouleau was a strong advocate of Israeli-Palestinian peace, primarily peace between Israel and Egypt. He had absolute confidence in me that I would not betray his trust and he said to me, 'Go, ask if they are interested. If they are interested, come back, I'll give you the recording'. So that's what I did. I went home and I asked myself who was the right person in the government for me to approach? Coming to Golda with it would be a waste of time, and there was also this hatred between us. So I thought of the most influential man in the government as well as being the most 'dove-like' in propaganda and I approached Sapir. He invited me to a meeting here at the Kiriya, he had an office at the Kiriya in Tel Aviv. I took Amnon Zichroni with me as a witness and we went to Sapir to offer him this historic document in which Nasser in his own voice is offering to make peace with Israel. Sapir talked about it for about five minutes, then he moved to gossip about all sorts of members of the government, how he hated Moshe Dayan, things like that. I remember leaving and by the door of his office I said to Amnon: 'I am simply shocked! He is totally uninterested in peace with Egypt!' And so it was, and things continued.

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: Eric Rouleau, Golda Meir, Pinchas Sapir

Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017