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The pogrom in Iraq


The ‘Avnery theory’
Uri Avnery Social activist
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עכשיו, השיחות נמשכו. השיחות היו כולן על נושא מרכזי אחד: מה לעשות כדי לקדם את העניין הישראלי-פלסטיני. וסרטאווי קיבל לגמרי את התיזה שלנו, אולי אפשר להגיד שלי, שהתפקיד האחד המרכזי החשוב הוא לשכנע את דעת הקהל בישראל. זה לא עניין של מה יותר חשוב – ישראלים או פלסטינים או ערבים. זה בכלל לא חשוב. חשוב באופן ענייני: שום דבר לא יצלח אם לא נצליח לשכנע את דעת הקהל הישראלית שמבחינת האינטרס הישראלי שלום עם העם הפלסטיני זה הדבר הנכון לעשות. בתורת הצבא יש דבר שנקרא "ציר המאמץ המרכזי”. זאת אומרת, אם אתה מנסח אסטרטגיה צבאית אתה צריך לבחור איפה אתה מרכז את הכוחות שלך, מה הקטע החשוב, ואחרי שקבעת, כל שאר הדברים אתה מסתכל עליהם תוך התייחסות לקביעה הזאת. כלומר: זה עוזר לציר המאמץ העיקרי או מפריע לציר המאמץ העיקרי? זה מחשבה לוגית, צבאית בעיקר. וסרטאווי היה שותף מלא בתפיסה הזאת. ואני מאז ומעולם, מאז 49’ אני דוגל בעניין הזה. אם ציר המאמץ העיקרי זה שלום עם הפלסטינים, לא יהיה שלום עם הפלסטינים אם דעת הקהל הישראלית לא תקבל אותו. ולכן ציר המאמץ העיקרי זה לשכנע את דעת הקהל בישראל. אם אפשר להגיד את תורת אבנרי על רגל אחת – זהו. וסרטאווי לגמרי או השתכנע ואולי כבר היה משוכנע מקודם. תכף אני אחזור לסרטאווי בעניין .זה. ואנחנו ישבנו ותכננו עצה מה אנחנו יכולים לעשות אש"ף ואנחנו ביחד, כדי לשנות את דעת הקהל הישראלית ששנאה את אש"ף, שערפאת היה בכלל שטן בעיניו.‏

Now, the talks were continuing, and they were all about one major subject: what to do to advance the Israeli-Palestinian issue. And Sartawi totally accepted our proposal – maybe you could say my proposal – that the most important thing is to convince the Israeli public. It was not a matter of what was more important – Israelis, or Palestinians, or Arabs. That was not the crucial thing. The important thing was that nothing would succeed unless we convinced the Israeli public that, in terms of Israeli interests, peace with the Palestinian people is the right thing to do. There is something in military doctrine called 'the axis of the main effort'. I mean, if you formulate military strategy you should choose where you concentrate your forces − what is the most important thing − and after you've established that, you look at all the other things with reference to this determination. In other words, whether it helps the axis of the main effort or whether it interferes with the axis of the main effort. It's logical thinking, military in particular. And Sartawi fully supported this concept. I have always advocated this, ever since 1949.  If the axis of the main effort is peace with the Palestinians, there will be no peace with the Palestinians if the Israeli public will not accept that. And therefore this axis of the main effort was to change Israeli public opinion. If you could recite the 'Avnery theory' in a nutshell, that is it. And Sartawi was completely persuaded, or may have been convinced before that. I'll refer to Sartawi again in this respect. We sat and planned what we and the PLO could do together to change Israeli public opinion which hated the PLO and saw Arafat as the devil.

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: Rakah, Issam Sartawi, Yasser Arafat

Duration: 3 minutes, 1 second

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017