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Opposing camps in my living room


The war of the Generals
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אריק במלחמה ההיא בכלל היה אזרח. הוא פרש מצה"ל לפני המלחמה וגויס רק למען המלחמה. והיה מלחמה בין אריק לבין ברן שהרמטכ"ל רצה שברן יחצה את התעלה ויכבוש את מצרים ולא אריק. אריק הקדים אותו פשוט, הפר פקודות. וככה היו טענות לכולם נגד כולם, וכולם דיברו אתי ואני ישבתי עם כולם ולכל אחד היה במערכת שלי ״נציג״. היה אלי תבור, שהיה החבר הכי טוב של אורי דן. אורי דן הביא אותו בכלל ל"העולם הזה”. ואורי דן היה נושא הכלים משועבד נפשית, לחלוטין, לאריק שרון. משועבד! והיה בחור נורא נחמד בשם רינו צרור שבא למערכת עם חבר שלו, צלם בשם,

מראיינת: רמי הלפרין.

תראי כמה כפוי טובה הוא הזיכרון האנושי. לא הכרתי את שניהם. הם מצאו חן בעיניי לקחתי אותם לעבודה, את שניהם, כאילו כצוות. באה המלחמה, הם לא חיכו, הם היו בחופשת שחרור. זאת אומרת עוד לבשו מדים אבל לא היו שייכים לשום יחידה. ואז, ברגע שפרצה המלחמה שניהם רצו להצטרף ליחידות הקודמות שלהם והצלם, הלפרין, נהרג במקום, בחווה הסינית ורינו צרור נשאר בחיים, חזר. וחזר כחסיד נלהב של גורודיש, וזועם על העוול שעשו לגורודיש. באמת עשו לו עוול, בלי כל ספק. והתחילה מה שנקרא "מלחמת הגנרלים", ואחד משדות הקרב היה מערכת "העולם הזה”. שניהם באו – גורודיש ואריק, שבאותו שלב כבר שנאו אחד את השני. אבל גם האחרים. נפגשתי גם עם אדן, אברהם אדן, “בְּרֵן". וכולם ישבו אתי. אבל בעיקר ישבו פה, התמקמו פה בחדר גורודיש ואריק. "עוד זה הולך וזה בא”. ולכל אחד היה דובר ב"העולם הזה" שקידם את ענייניו. אני חשבתי כבר אז שגורודיש לא היה מוכשר לתפקיד שהוא מילא אבל זה לא אשמתו. הוא לא מינה את עצמו, מישהו מינה אותו, והמישהו הזה לא קיבל אחריות על המינוי הזה.

During that war, Arik [Ariel Sharon] had simply been a citizen. He was discharged before the war and was recruited just for the sake of the war. And there had been a war between Arik and Bren [Avraham Adan] when the Chief of Staff wanted Bren and not Arik to cross the [Suez] Canal and conquer Egypt. Arik simply advanced and violated orders. And so everyone was accusing everyone else, and people were talking to me so I sat down with each person and gave them a 'voice' in my paper. There was Eli Tabor who was Uri Dan's best friend. Uri Dan brought him to HaOlam HaZeh. Uri Dan was Arik Sharon's slavishly devoted confidante. Slavishly! And there was a really nice guy named Reno Sror who came to the newspaper with his friend, a photographer named…

[Q] Rami Halperin.

Look how ungrateful human memory is. I didn't know either of them. I liked them and I took them on to work, both of them, as a team. The war started, they didn't wait, they were on pre-release leave. That means they still wore uniforms but didn't belong to any unit. Then, as soon as the war broke out, they both wanted to join their former units and the photographer, Halperin, was killed instantly, at the 'Chinese farm'. Reno Sror survived and returned. He returned as a strong supporter of Gorodish, furiously angry about the injustice done to him. He really had been wronged, without any doubt. And then the so-called war of the generals began, and one of the battlefields was HaOlam HaZeh. Both of them came, Gorodish and Arik who at that stage already hated each other. But the others… I also met with Adan, Avraham Adan, 'Bren'. And they all sat with me. But mostly we sat here in this room, Gorodish and Arik. As soon as one left the other would come and each of them had a spokesman at HaOlam HaZeh who promoted their interests. I thought even then Gorodish was not competent to perform the role he took, but it was not his fault. He didn't appoint himself, someone else had appointed him, and that someone didn't accept responsibility for this appointment.

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: HaOlam HaZeh, Suez Canal, Battle of the Chinese Farm, Ariel Sharon, Avraham ‘Bren’ Adan, Uri Dan, Reno Sror, Shmuel ‘Gorodish’ Gonen, Eli Tabor, Rami Halperin

Duration: 4 minutes, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017