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Confronted by fury


Writing my autobiography from memory
Uri Avnery Social activist
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 מראיינת: אתה רוצה לדבר על הספר? על האוטוביוגרפיה?

על האוטוביוגרפיה אין לי הרבה מה להגיד. אני כל החיים ידעתי שבאחד הימים אני אכתוב אוטוביוגרפיה ודחיתי. תמיד שאלו אותי, גם בארץ גם בחו"ל ואני אמרתי: "אני עוד לא בשל, אני עוד צעיר מדי", הייתי בסך הכל בן שבעים, או שמונים. יום אחד החלטתי שאני אכתוב, לא יודע מה גרם לזה, מה נתן לי את הדחיפה. אולי התחלתי להבין שאני לא אחיה לנצח, לא יודע, והתחלתי לכתוב. והתחלתי לכתוב כמו שאני עכשיו מדבר. החלטתי מראש – אני לא אשנה שום דבר, אני לא אייפה שום דבר, אני אספר את הדברים הטובים והדברים הרעים, דברים שאני מצטער עליהם ודברים שאני מתגאה בהם, אכתוב באמת ביוגרפיה אמת. מה נקרא "אמת"? זה צריכים מיד לסייג, הזיכרון האנושי הוא דבר מתעתע. לפעמים אתה זוכר דברים, פשוט זוכר דברים שלא היו, לפעמים אתה שוכח דברים שכן היו. אבל אני החלטתי לא לכתוב מחקר, אני לא נברתי בספרייה של האוניברסיטה בשביל לבדוק דברים. אני כותב את הדברים כמו שאני זוכר אותם.‏

[Q] You want to talk about the book? The autobiography?

There is not much to say about the autobiography. All my life I knew that one day I will write an autobiography and I kept postponing it. I was always asked, both in Israel and abroad, and I said: 'I'm not ready yet, I'm too young' – I was only 70 or 80. One day, I decided that I would write, I don't know what caused it, what prompted me? Maybe the realization dawned on me that I was not going to last forever, I don't know, and I began to write. And I began to write as I am now speaking. I decided in advance − I will not change anything, I'm not going to beautify anything, I will talk about the good things and about the bad, things that I regret and things that I am proud of − I will write a truthful biography. What is the truth? This must immediately be qualified; human memory is deceptive. Sometimes you remember things, simply remember things that didn't happen, and then sometimes you forget things that did happen. But I decided not to do any research. I will not burrow into the university library in order to check things. I am writing things as I remember them.

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: autobiography, truth, research, memory

Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017