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Israel’s biggest success


My friend, the fanatic Abu-Tir
Uri Avnery Social activist
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.לא סיימת את הסיפור על אבו טיר - 

אבו טיר ואנחנו התיידדנו מאוד. אבו טיר, הקנאי המוסלמי הזה כביכול, היה מלא חוש הומור והיה קל מאוד להתיידד אתו. כפי שכבר סיפרתי, באוהל המחאה נוצרה ידידות בין רחל ובין, גם ביני, אבל בעיקר בין רחל ובין שייח' ראאד סאלח, מלך הקנאים המוסלמים, כך גם היה עם אבו תיר. הוא הזמין אותנו כמה פעמים לבוא אליו הביתה. אני פגשתי אותו באחת ההפגנות בא-ראם נגד החומה והלכנו בשורה הראשונה, סירחאן, אבו תיר ואני, והתחלנו בשיחה פוליטית. סיקרן אותי מאוד מאוד מה איש כמוהו חושב על ישראל והשלום. ואז הוא אמר: "לא נוח פה לנהל ויכוח פוליטי, בוא אלי הביתה בצור באהר”. ובאמת ביום שישי נסענו מתלפיות, תלפיות מזרח, דרך רמת רחל אם אינני טועה, לצור באהר ושאלנו איפה גר השייח' אבו תיר. והנערים ברחוב הסתכלו עלינו בחשדנות "מה פתאום אתם צריכים את השיח' אבו תיר?” חשבו שאולי אנחנו מסתערבים. אבל בסוף מצאנו אותו. כל המשפחה קיבלה אותנו מאוד בידידות, הוא הזמין עוד אחד או שניים מצמרת חמאס בירושלים והתיידדנו. וזה היה כאילו המשך לסיפור הקודם של המגורשים וקבלת הפנים בעזה וכן הלאה. עד שיום אחד יד השלטון ירדה עליהם ואסרו אותם, אותו ואת חבריו ורצו לגרש אותם לשטחים הכבושים והם לא הסכימו. העדיפו להישאר במאסר במקום לעבור לרמאללה. ואז הם עשו שביתת שבת. ראשי הציבור הערבי בירושלים, אנשי חמאס בעיקר, עשו שביתת שבת נגד גירוש ערבים מירושלים, במשרדי הצלב האדום בשייח' ג’ראח, ששמה התחילה סדרה חדשה של הפגנות. ואנחנו במקום בא-ראם התחלנו להפגין בשייח' ג’ראח. ועשינו שביתת שבת במשרדי הצלב האדום, לא עזר. בסוף גירשו אותם. לא יודע איפה הוא היום. אני מתאר לי שהוא בגדה. בטח לא חיים קלים מפני שיש הרי כמעט מלחמת אחים בין חמאס ואש”ף.‏


[Q] You did not tell me the story of Abu-Tir.

How did I get so far? Yes, surely. We became very good friends with Abu Tir. Abu Tir, this so-called Muslim fanatic, had a great sense of humour and it was very easy to make friends with him. As I have already said, in the protest tent a friendship grew up between Rachel, and me too, but mainly between Rachel and Sheikh Raed Salah, the king of Muslim fanatics. And it was the same with Abu Tir. Several times he invited us to come to his house. I met him in Al-Raam, at one of the demonstrations against the barrier wall, and we walked in the front row, Sirhan, Abu Tir and I, and we started talking politics. I was extremely curious to know what people like him think about Israel and peace. Then he said: 'This isn't a good place to have a political conversation. Come to my house in Tzur Baher'. So on Friday we went to Talpiot, East Talpiot, through Ramat Rachel, if I am not mistaken, to Tzur Baher, and we asked where Sheikh Abu Tir lives. The youth in the street looked at us suspiciously. 'Why do you need Sheikh Abu Tir?' They thought we might be undercover agents.   But in the end we found him. The entire family received us very cordially. He invited one or two of the leaders of Hamas in Jerusalem and we became friendly. It was like a continuation of the previous story of the exile and the reception in Gaza and so on. Until one day the hand of the regime fell on them and they were arrested, him and his friends. The authorities wanted to exile them to the occupied territories but they refused. They preferred to stay in prison instead of going to Ramallah. Then they conducted a sit-in strike. The Arab community leaders in Jerusalem, Hamas in particular, held a sit-in strike against the expulsion of Arabs from Jerusalem, at the Red Cross offices in Sheikh Jarrah, where a new series of demonstrations began. And instead of demonstrating in al-Ramm we started demonstrating in Sheikh Jarrah. We held a sit-in strike at the offices of the Red Cross, but it didn't help. At the end they were exiled. I don't know where he is today. I guess he is in the West Bank. Certainly his life isn't easy, because there's almost a civil war between Hamas and the PLO.

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: Abu Tir, Tzur Baher

Duration: 5 minutes, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017