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Networking Egyptian style


Devastation of Yamit
Uri Avnery Social activist
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[Q] And when did they evacuate Yamit?

Before that came the evacuation of Sinai and the evacuation of the Yamit region and Arik Sharon, foolishly, destroyed Yamit, levelled it completely. I had thought of what Sadat said: 'An Egyptian city on the border with Israel'. This kind of relationship would have created peace, would have ensured peace for generations. No! Arik Sharon insisted that everything be destroyed, razed to the ground. I remember that a ruined wall still stood… just a wall remained from an entire kibbutz and there was something written in Hebrew.

[Q] A year later.

Yes, later. 'We will never leave', or something like that. We visited Yamit, a city in ruins, it was surreal: an entire city reduced to rubble, with streets, all of the streets still intact, in their place. On both sides of the houses lying on the ground and a girl walking along the middle, a goat herder; it was something very eerie. But we visited Egypt many times after that.

לפני זה היה הפינוי של סיני והפינוי של חבל ימית ואריק שרון בלי שום חכמות הרס את ימית עד היסוד. ולי היה בראש מה סאדאת אמר: "עיר מצרית על הגבול של ישראל”. זה קשר יוצר שלום, מבטיח שלום לדורות. לא! אריק שרון עמד על כך להרוס את הכל עד היסוד. אני זוכר שעמד קיר הרוס, מקיבוץ שלם נשאר איזה עיר ושמה סיסמא בעברית,

מראיינת: אה, שנה אחרי, אני הייתי אתך.

"לעולם לא נעזוב" או משהו כזה. וביקרנו בימית, עיר הרוסה לחלוטין, זה מחזה סוריאליסטי: עיר שלמה שוכבת על הארץ, עם הרחובות, עדיין כל הרחובות intact, במקומם. בשני הצדדים הבתים שוכבים על הארץ ובאמצע מטיילת לה ילדה רועה עיזים, זה דבר נורא מוזר. אבל ביקרנו במצרים הרבה פעמים אחרי זה.

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: Yamit, Egypt, Ariel Sharon

Duration: 1 minute, 54 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017