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Samson's Foxes


A test of courage
Uri Avnery Social activist
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ושם עשיתי מבחן של אומץ לב לעצמי. היו מטוסים. למצרים היו מטוסים, לנו עוד לא היו. ואני עומד שם ליד הג'יפ שלי ואני רואה מטוס ספיטפייר מצרי מתוצרת אנגליה, ממלחמת העולם השנייה, בא ישר לקראתי. אמרתי לעצמי: "עם זה אני אתמודד". המקלעים שלנו היו מותקנים על הג'יפים, אי-אפשר היה להוציא אותם. אז בעמידה, אפשר לירות בעמידה מחוץ לג’יפ. ואני התחלתי לירות על המטוס, והמטוס התחיל לירות עלי, ואז נכשלתי. בשניות האחרונות אני עזבתי את המקלע ונשכבתי. והוא [המטוס] הלך לדרכו, עף לדרכו. אז נכשלתי במבחן אומץ הלב. זהו.

And that was where I conducted a test of my courage. There were planes. Egypt had airplanes, we didn't yet have planes. I was standing there next to the jeep and I see an Egyptian Spitfire that had been made in England during World War II coming straight towards me. I said to myself, 'I can deal with this'. Our machine guns were mounted on the jeeps; you could not remove them. So if you were standing up, you could shoot while standing outside the jeep. So I started shooting at the plane and the plane began to shoot at me, but I failed this test. In the final seconds, I abandoned the gun and lay down. And the plane went away. So I failed that test of courage.

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: Egyptian Spitfire, self-courage, test, jeep

Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017