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Meeting with social activist Raymonda Tawil


Attending the Geneva Peace Conference
Uri Avnery Social activist
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I skipped over one small section. After the war there were two weeks, I think, before the elections. Golda [Meir] would not postpone the date despite the fact that many people demanded that she do so. Even in her own party they said: 'It's impossible to continue as if nothing has happened. Perhaps our preferences for party candidates have changed'. Nothing − an iron wall. Each party prepared a broadcast. They all had a few minutes on TV according to the size of the party in the outgoing Knesset, with a minimum of 10 minutes. We were always allocated the minimum, we always had 10 minutes. We threw out everything that we had prepared which was no longer relevant. There was a peace conference in Geneva after the war convened by [Henry] Kissinger on behalf of the United States and [Andrei] Gromyko on behalf of the Soviet Union and the UN Secretary General, that Austrian idiot, Kurt Waldheim. And there was a conference, a peace conference. So we had the idea: I'll go to the conference as a journalist, I'll sit in the hall as a journalist. I'll take the film crew with me and they will film me there, and it will be part of the propaganda of our election campaign. And that's what we did. I have some very beautiful pictures of me sitting in the gallery at the peace conference, but as I mentioned it didn't work and we lost the election.

קפצתי על פרק אחד קטן. אחרי המלחמה, כאמור, היו עוד שבועיים נדמה לי למערכת הבחירות. גולדה לא הסכימה לדחות את המועד למרות שרבים דרשו, גם במפלגה שלה אמרו: "לא ייתכן להמשיך כאילו לא קרה כלום. אולי ההעדפות שלנו למועמדי המפלגה השתנו”. שום דבר, קיר ברזל. וכל המפלגות הכינו סרטים. הרי כל אחד יש לו כמה דקות בטלוויזיה לפי גודל המפלגה בכנסת היוצאת, והמינימום עשר דקות. אנחנו תמיד ישבנו על המינימום, תמיד היו עשר דקות. כל ההכנות זרקנו, לא היה אקטואלי יותר. ואז הייתה בז'נבה ועידת שלום, אחרי המלחמה, שנקראה ע"י קיסינג'ר בשם ארצות הברית וגרומיקו בשם בריה"מ ומזכיר האו"ם, האוסטרי האידיוט הזה, קורט ולדהיים. והייתה ועידה, ועידת שלום. אז היה לנו הרעיון: אני אסע כעיתונאי לוועידת השלום, אשב באולם כעיתונאי, אקח אתי את הצוות הזה ויצלמו אותי וזה יהיה חלק מהתעמולה שלנו למערכת הבחירות. וכך היה. יש לי כמה תמונות מאוד יפות יושב ביציע של ועידת השלום. אבל כאמור זה לא עזר ואנחנו הפסדנו בבחירות.

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: Geneva Peace Conference, Knesset, Golda Meir, Henry Alfred Kissinger, Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko, Kurt Josef Waldheim

Duration: 2 minutes, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017