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A British licence to publish a newspaper


Working for the Histadrut
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אחר כך עבדתי… הכרתי אדם בשם ד"ר אבניאל, גם כן איש ימני שהיה… לא, סליחה, צעד אחד אחורה. כשחדלתי להרגיש ימני, אני עזבתי את העבודה הזאתי וחיפשתי עבודה קרוב לארץ ישראל העובדת. ואז הציעו לי עבודה… הוקם מוסד שהיום זה נקרא "המוסד לגהות" ואז הוא נקרא "להיגיינה מקצועית”. מוסד שמפקח על בתי-חרושת ומקומות עבודה מבחינת ההיגיינה של העובדים, תנאי העבודה וכן הלאה, הפיזיים. התחלתי לעבוד שם. זה היה מוסד משותף להסתדרות ולהתאחדות בעלי התעשייה, ארגון התעשיינים. כזה מלוכה כפולה. התחלתי לעבוד שם. עשיתי שם את הכל: למדתי הנהלת פנקסים, וניהלתי את המשרד. ויום אחד הנציג של התעשיינים אמר: "אתה יודע מה? אני צריך אדם שיעזור לי. אני כותב ספרים. למה שלא תעבוד אצלי בהתאחדות בעלי התעשייה במחלקת העבודה?" וככה אני עבדתי איזה שנתיים במחלקת העבודה של "התאחדות בעלי התעשייה”, כפי שזה נקרא אז. במחקר בעיקר, במחקר של יחסי עבודה. הכרתי את כל צמרת ההסתדרות, מפני ששם ניהלו את המשא ומתן המקצועי על שביתות ודברים כאלה. למדתי להכיר את לוי אשכול ואת ירוחם משל ואת כל החבורה הזאת. הייתי בהרבה ישיבות על תנאי עבודה, יחסי עבודה. אני זוכר שהייתי ברחוב בהפסקה, כששמעתי שנגמרה מלחמת העולם השנייה. הייתי ברחוב נחלת בנימין פינת מונטפיורי. עד שקצת נמאס לי לעבוד עם התעשיינים ועברתי לעיתונות נטו. היה עיתון מקצועי של הכלכלנים בתל אביב, עיתון כלכלי, והיה עיתון לנשים שנקרא לא “לאשה", כי אם "עולם האשה”. וחצי-חצי התחלתי לעבוד בשני המקומות האלה כעורך טכני.‏


Later I worked… I met a man named Dr Avniel, he was also right-wing… no, sorry, one step back. When I stopped feeling right-wing, I left this job and looked for work closer to the Land of Israel Workers. Then they offered me a job… an institution was established that today is called the Institute of Hygiene. Then it was called 'For professional hygiene', an institute that supervised the physical hygiene of workers, working conditions and so on in factories and workplaces. I started working there. It was a joint institution of the Histadrut and the Association of Industrialists, the Manufacturers' Association; a dual monarchy. I started working there. I did everything there: I learned to manage ledgers and ran the office. One day a representative of the industrialists said: 'You know what? I need someone to help me. I write books. Why not work for me in the Association of Industrialists in the Labour Department?'  So I worked for two years in the Labour Department at the Association of Industrialists, as it was called then, primarily researching labour relations. I met the leaders of the Histadrut because there they conducted professional negotiations relating to strikes and such matters. I got to know Levi Eshkol and Yeruham Meshel and all of that gang. I attended a lot of meetings relating to working conditions, labour relations. I remember being on the street during a break, when I heard that World War II had ended. I was on Nahalat Binyamin Street at the corner of Montefiore... until I became somewhat bored working with Manufacturers and I moved over to journalism only. There was a professional newspaper of economists in Tel Aviv, an economic newspaper, and there was a newspaper for women, not called La'Ish'a, but Olam Ha'Isha. I started working in both of these places, 50/50, as a technical editor.

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: Olam Ha'Isha, Land of Israel Workers, Institute of Hygiene, Association of Industrialists, Manufacturers' Association, Levi Eshkol, Yeruham Meshel

Duration: 3 minutes, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017