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No chance for peace in Jerusalem


Our Jerusalem
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אז עשינו עם פייסל כמה וכמה פעולות, באוריינט האוס, ומחוץ לאוריינט האוס, חגגנו חתונה של סאאב עריקאת, במקום, וגם אותי הזמינו,

מראיינת: נביל שעת', זה היה נביל שעת' שהתחתן שם.

הזכרון שלך טוב משלי.‏

.מראיינת: אני גם הייתי בחתונה.

את היית שם?! נביל שעת', סליחה, שאח"כ היה שר החוץ של אש"ף. הם דומים אחד לשני, למען האמת. טוב, נביל שעת' הוא מרצועת עזה ועריקאת הוא מאבו דיס ליד ירושלים. ועשינו הפגנה למען ירושלים מאוחדת, ישראלית-פלסטינית. ומההפגנה הזאת ומתוך השיחות עם פייסל, שהשתתף בהפגנה ונאם בה, יצאה, העצומה "ירושלים שלנו" שאני ניסחתי. אני די גאה בזה, זה מתחיל במילים, כותרת: "ירושלים שלנו”. פתיחה: "ירושלים היא שלנו – יהודים, מוסלמים ונוצרים, ישראלים ופלסטינים", וכו' וכו', וכו', די ספרותי. כאמור, אני די גאה בנוסח הזה. ולהפתעתנו המוחלטת, אני קיוויתי שיחתמו על זה 50 אנשים בעלי שם, בסוף חתמו על זה נדמה לי כ-750 אישים בעלי שם כולם. והצטרף לזה יהודי מנוחין, ביקשתי אותו, שלח לי חתימה, והסופר הגרמני סטפן היים, מגרמניה המזרחית, שבארץ הוא לא כל כך ידוע, גרמני-יהודי, מהמשטר המזרח גרמני של אז, הייתה רשימה מאוד מרשימה, וכולל ישראלים. ביקשתי מפייסל לחתום, הוא חתם יחד עם נוסייבה ובפגישה הבאה עם ערפאת עלה על דעתי להחתים אותו, אבל במהלך השיחה אחמד טיבי שהיה נוכח דחף לי פתקה: "אל תבקש אותו”. אז הוא הביע את הסכמתו בעל-פה, ערפאת, אבל לא חתם.‏

So we conducted several operations with Faisal, quite a few, in and outside Orient House. We celebrated the wedding of Saeb Erekat there and I was also invited.

[Q] Nabil Shaath, it was Nabil Shaath who got married there.

Your memory is better than mine.

[Q] I was also at the wedding.

You were there?! Nabil Shaath, sorry, who later was the Foreign Minister for the PLO. They are similar to each other, to be honest. Okay, Nabil Shaath is from the Gaza Strip and Erekat is from Abu Dis near Jerusalem. We held an Israeli-Palestinian demonstration for a united Jerusalem. Following this demonstration and from talks with Faisal, who participated in the demonstration and spoke there, we issued the petition 'Our Jerusalem' which I drafted. I'm rather proud of it. It begins with the words, the title: 'Our Jerusalem'. In the introduction: 'Jerusalem is ours − Jews, Muslims and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians', etc, rather literary. As I mentioned, I'm quite proud of this version.  To our absolute surprise − I had hoped that 50 people would sign it – in the end it seems to me that 750 signed, all of them people of repute. Yehudi Menuhin also joined us. I asked him, he sent me his signature, and the German author Stefan Heym from East Germany, who is not so well known in Israel, a German-Jew from the East German regime at that time. It was a very impressive list and included Israelis. I asked Faisal to sign and he signed along with Nusseibeh. At the next meeting with Arafat it occurred to me to have him sign, but during the conversation Ahmed Tibi, who was present, passed me a note saying: 'Don't ask him'. Arafat expressed his consent verbally, but he didn't sign.

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: Jerusalem, Yehudi Menuhin, Stefan Heym, Yasser Arafat, Faisal Husseini

Duration: 4 minutes, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017