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Reporting on the Yom Kippur War


Outbreak of the Yom Kippur War
Uri Avnery Social activist
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ויום אחד אני יושב פה, ממש פה, עם רחל ועם ידיד מאוד טוב שלנו, פרופ' הנס קרייטלר, הוא היה איש מאוד ידוע באוניברסיטת תל אביב בפסיכולוגיה עם כל מיני רעיונות חדשניים. בין השאר הוא עשה כל מיני נסיונות על רחל, מפני שרחל הייתה לה ראייה על-אנושית כמעט. כמעט, אני לא בטוח ב”כמעט". היא ידעה מה את חושבת. היא לא הייתה אינטלקטואלית בשום צורה אבל הייתה לה הצורה הזאת לחוש מה שחש הזולת. וקרייטלר חשב שזה משהו לא רגיל. הוא עשה עליה נסיונות. למשל, הושיב איש עם קלפים בחדר אחד  ואת רחל בחדר אחר. האיש הוציא קלף, רחל הייתה צריכה לנחש איזה קלף יש לו ביד. ויש תוצאה מוסכמת במדע שאדם בנסיבות כאלה צודק 0.7%, משהו כזה, או 1+ כמה. ורחל הייתה הרבה מעבר לזה, זה ממש היה על-טבעי כמעט. אז הוא היה ידיד שלנו. הוא בא ביום כיפור, גר לא רחוק מפה, אז הוא בא לבקר אותנו וישב פה. ופתאום באמצע יום כיפור מתחילה צפירה. בשנייה הראשונה חשבתי צפירה אחת יצאה מכלל שליטה והתחילה. לא. פתאום כל הצפירות בתל אביב התחילו לצפור. רצנו אל החלון, ראינו שמתחילות לנסוע מכוניות ביום כיפור, ממול יש בית כנסת, ופרצה המלחמה. אותה מלחמה שאמרתי בכנסת שתהיה תוך כמה חודשים אם ישראל לא תיענה להזמנות של סאדאת. וכך היה, הייתה המלחמה. אני כשיש מלחמה אני לא יכול להישאר בבית. ומה רוצה המזל? בא לארץ צוות גרמני של הטלוויזיה הגרמנית, ואז מרכז העיתונות היה בבית סוקולוב, והוא בא לשם עם כל הצוותים. מכל העולם באו צוותים של טלוויזיה וכולם עושים אותו הדבר ודובר צה"ל שולח את כולם לאותו מקום וכולם מצלמים את אותו הדבר. ואז במקרה בבית סוקולוב הוא נתקל בי, נכנסנו לשיחה והוא אמר: "אתה יודע מה? אתה מעניין אותי יותר מאשר מה שדובר צה"ל שולח אותנו, בוא נעשה כתבה עליך, אתה במלחמה.‏

One day, I was sitting here, right here, with Rachel and a very good friend of ours, Professor Hans Kreitler, he was a very well known psychologist at Tel Aviv University who had all kinds of innovative ideas. Among other things, he did lots of experiments with Rachel, because Rachel had an almost superhuman perception. Almost, I'm not sure about 'almost'. She knew what you were thinking. She was not an intellectual by any means, but she had this way of sensing what other people were feeling. And Kreitler thought it was something unusual. He did all kinds of experiments. For example, he would put someone with cards in one room and Rachel in another room. The man would pull out a card and Rachel had to guess which card he was holding. The scientific consensus is that a person in such circumstances would be right 0.7% of the time, something like that, or just over 1%. But Rachel scored much more than that, it really was almost supernatural. So he was a friend of ours. He came on Yom Kippur, he lived not far from here, so he came to visit us and sat there. And suddenly in the middle of Yom Kippur, a siren started to sound. In the first second, I thought it was one siren which had broken down, but no. Suddenly all the sirens in Tel Aviv began to sound. We ran to the window, we saw cars starting to drive on Yom Kippur, there was a synagogue across the street, and war had broken out, the same war that I had warned the Knesset would happen within a few months if Israel didn't respond to Sadat's invitation. And so it was, there was a war. When there is a war I cannot stay at home. And what did luck dictate? A crew from a German television station came to Israel – at that time, the Press Association was located in Beit Sokolov – and all of the TV crews came there. TV crews from all over the world came and they all did the same thing since the IDF spokesperson sent all of them to the same place and they all filmed the same thing. Then by chance the German journalist ran into me at Beit Sokolov, and we got into a conversation and he said: 'You know what? You interest me more than where the IDF spokesman is sending us. Let us do an article about you, you in the war'.

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: Hans Kreitler, Rachel Avnery, Beit Sokolov

Duration: 3 minutes, 58 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017