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The siege of Gaza


Surviving two attempted assassinations
Uri Avnery Social activist
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I was lucky with the attempts on my life. The first time this happened, which I spoke about earlier, was in 1953, when I was leaving the newspaper editorial office. My attackers broke my hands and that was how Rachel came into my life. Not long after that, when I'd left the newspaper office during the day, a madman attacked me and started to hit me, but my injuries weren't serious and I think he ran away. The same man, years later, made a more serious assassination attempt here at the door. He stabbed me, wounding me severely. He missed my heart but not by much, and it was a real attempt to assassinate me. They didn't put the guy on trial; he was hospitalised in a mental institution. A year later, they released him once he was normal again and I never heard from him again, so the doctors really had been right.

לי היה מזל בלינצ'ים. היה הפעם הראשונה שסיפרתי עליו שב-53' יצאתי מהמערכת, שברו לי את הידיים וככה רחל נכנסה לחיי. זמן לא רב אחרי זה כשיצאתי מהמערכת ביום התנפל עלי בחור משוגע, התחיל להכות אותי, אבל זה לא היה רציני והוא ברח נדמה לי. אותו בחור, כעבור שנים, עשה ניסיון התנקשות רציני כאן בדלת, דקר אותי דקירה רצינית, החטיא את הלב אבל לא בהרבה, וזו הייתה התנקשות בחיים אמיתית. אותו בחור לא עשו לו משפט, אישפזו אותו בבי"ח לחולי נפש. אחרי שנה שחררו אותו כשהוא חזר להיות נורמאלי, ויותר לא שמעתי ממנו, כך שהרופאים באמת צדקו.‏

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: editorial office, attack, madman, stabbing, injuries

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017