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Writing my autobiography from memory


When killing becomes an act of revenge
Uri Avnery Social activist
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And there were other far-reaching implications. The Attorney General was [Yitzhak] Zamir, who later became a judge at the Supreme Court, and there was Justice [Dorit] Beinisch who was then an advocate, the State Attorney. Zamir was Attorney General, she was the State Attorney and they actually made these things public. Their adversaries spread the rumour that they were lovers and that is why they did this; there was all kinds of slander spread about them. But in the end they put them on trial, but before the trial even began, the President granted amnesty to everyone and no one was actually put on trial. Both Zamir and Beinisch were made Supreme Court Judges, and the whole dirty affair was just left. But I think she helped. Overall this matter helped shed some light on the General Security Service, the Shin Bet. The truth is that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir had said at some point: 'I don't want terrorists to escape an attack alive', which was absolutely, obviously, illegal. But the chief of the Shin Bet at the time adhered to this rule. He thought that was what the government wanted, and he killed all four of the hijackers, who were children, young men, completely innocent, who had just gone out for an adventure – they didn't kill anyone. And, unfortunately, today this practice is still the rule. In other words, every two to three days one hears that a terrorist has stabbed or run over soldiers, and they killed him on the spot, even though there was no military need to kill him. I would say that this is even anti-military logic because if you catch a 'terrorist' alive, he can be a source of important information. This killing is not necessary for security reasons; it does not deter anyone, because whoever takes such action has already made his peace with God. And it makes no sense, militarily or politically. All it is is ugly, nasty revenge with which the public has probably been infected, and it doesn't do anything to improve the image of the people of Israel.

והיו לזה המשכים מרחיקי לכת. היה היועמ"ש לממשלה זמיר, שאח"כ היה לשופט בימ"ש עליון, הייתה השופטת ביניש, שאז הייתה אשת הפרקליטות, פרקליטת המדינה. זמיר היה היועמ"ש, היא הייתה פרקליטת המדינה והם גרמו למעשה לפרסום הדברים. אויביהם הפיצו את השמועה שהם בכלל מאהבים ולכן הם עשו ככה, כל מיני השמצות. אבל הסוף היה שהעמידו אותם למשפט ולפני שהמשפט אפילו התחיל, נשיא המדינה נתן חנינה לכולם ואיש לא הועמד בפועל למשפט. וגם זמיר וגם בייניש הפכו לשופטים בביהמ"ש העליון והפרשה נשארה פרשה די מזוהמת. אבל אני חושב שהיא עזרה. בסך הכל הפרשה עזרה להטיל קצת אור על שירות הבטחון הכללי, השב"כ. אגב, לפני כן שירות הבטחון נקרא הש"ב ובגלל השם הרע שיצא לו שינו את השם לשב"כ, אותם ראשי התיבות אבל בצורה אחרת. האמת היא שראש הממשלה יצחק שמיר אמר באיזושהי הזדמנות: "אני לא רוצה שמפיגוע המחבלים ייצאו חיים", שזה היה בלתי-חוקי לצמיתות, לחלוטין, בעליל. אבל ראש השב"כ דאז הלך לפי הכלל הזה. חשב שזה מה שהממשלה רוצה והרג את כל ארבעת החוטפים שהיו ילדים, בחורים צעירים, תמימים לגמרי, שיצאו להרפתקה בסך הכל, לא הרגו אף אחד. ולצערי עד היום הכלל הזה נוהג. דהיינו – אחרי כל יומיים שלושה שומעים שמחבל דקר או דרס חיילים ובמקום הרגו אותו, למרות שלא היה שום צורך צבאי להרוג אותו. הייתי אומר שיש אפילו היגיון אנטי-צבאי מפני שאם תופסים "מחבל" (במרכאות) חי, מחבל חי הוא מקור לידיעות, חשובות. ההריגה הזאת היא לא צורך בטחוני, היא גם לא מרתיעה אף אחד, מפני שמי שיוצא לפעולה כזאת עשה את שלומו עם אלוהים לפני זה. ואין בזה שום היגיון, צבאי או פוליטי, אלא תאוות נקמה מכוערת, גועלית שבה כנראה כל הציבור נדבק, וזה לא מייפה את קלסתרו של העם בישראל.‏

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: Shin Bet, Yitzhak Zamir, Dorit Beinisch, Yitzhak Shamir

Duration: 4 minutes, 42 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017