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One-nation state


A British licence to publish a newspaper
Uri Avnery Social activist
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עד שבאה לארץ ועדת החקירה להחליט מה לעשות עם פלשתינה-א”י. באותה עת אני כבר הוצאתי את “במאבק”. “במאבק" לא הופיע באופן קבוע, גם לא בצורה קבועה. למה לא בצורה קבועה? מפני שהיה חוק מימי המנדט, שבשביל להוציא עיתון, אתה צריך רישיון אנגלי. אבל אם אתה מוציא הוצאה חד-פעמית, אתה לא צריך. אז הוצאנו כל פעם הוצאה חד-פעמית: "במאבק", "מאבק", "למאבק" – שמות שונים. ומאיפה הכסף? מאיתנו. אספנו כסף בינינו, מהמשכורות שלנו. זאת אומרת שהוצאנו גיליון כשהיה כסף. פעם היה אחרי שלושה חודשים, פעם אחרי חודשיים, פעם אחרי חצי שנה. הוצאנו בסך הכל, אני חושב, ארבע או חמש חוברות, שהקימו שערורייה בארץ שאי-אפשר לתאר. כמו שאמרתי קודם, האידיאולוגיה הזאת, שאנחנו אומה עברית חדשה, ושהציונות אין לנו עסק איתה יותר, מתה, ושצריכים להקים אומה חדשה, עברית, ששייכת למקום, שייכת לארץ, שייכת למרחב, זה היו רעיונות שהם היו דברי כפירה באותם הימים. ונחזור לעניין השם, השמות. היה ברור לנו שצריכים לבחור בשם עברי, ברגע שאתה יכול, מפני שאנחנו מקימים דבר חדש. זה לא המשך של פולין, זה לא המשך של גרמניה, ועם כל הכבוד זה גם לא המשך של מרוקו, כי אם דבר חדש שצומח במקום אותנטי עם תרבות חדשה, מקומית, מעבר לכל ארצות המוצא וכוליי. זאת הייתה האידיאולוגיה שלנו. הוצאנו שלוש חוברות, שכתבתי חלק גדול מהן, אבל גם אחרים כתבו. נזכרתי השבוע במיקו אלמז, איש הרדיו, שגם התחיל את דרכו אצלנו. עמוס אילון התחיל את דרכו אצלנו. אז באה ועדת החקירה של האו”ם.

The Commission of Inquiry came to Israel to decide what to do with Palestine – the Land of Israel. At the time I was already publishing In the Struggle. In the Struggle did not appear regularly nor was it constant. Why not regularly? Because there was a law during the period of the British Mandate which stated that to publish a newspaper you had to have a British license. But if you published one-off issues, you did not need a license. So every time we published one-offs:  In the Struggle, Struggle, For the Struggle − different names. And where did the money come from?  From us. We collected money among ourselves, from our salaries. That meant that we published a sheet when there was money. Once after three months, once after two months, once after half a year. We issued in all, I believe, four or five pamphlets which caused an indescribable scandal in the country. As I said earlier, this ideology that we are a new Hebrew nation, that we no longer have any dealings with Zionism which had died, and that we need to build a new nation, a Hebrew nation, which belongs to the place, belongs to Israel, belongs to the region − these were concepts that were heretical at the time.

Let's return to the matter of the name, the names. It was clear to us that we needed to choose a Hebrew name as soon as possible because we were establishing something new. It was not a continuation of Poland, it was not a continuation of Germany − with all due respect − it was also not a continuation of Morocco, rather it was something new which was growing in an authentic place with a new culture, locale, outside of all of the countries of origin and so forth. This was our ideology. We published three pamphlets, of which I wrote the greater portion, but others wrote as well. This week I was thinking about Miko Almaz, a radio personality, who also started out with us. Amos Ayalon began his career with us. Then there was the United Nations Commission of Inquiry.

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: United Nations Commission of Inquiry, Land of Israel, British Mandate, In the Struggle, Amos Ayalon, Miko Almaz

Duration: 3 minutes, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017