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Resignation of David Ben-Gurion


The Alexis Affair
Uri Avnery Social activist
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ואני יושב ויושב. בינתיים פורצת ״פרשת לבון״. בן גוריון דורש להדיח את לבון, אף אחד לא ידע מה, אף אחד לא דיבר. אסור היה להגיד מילה על הפרשה עצמה. ואני יושב על הסיפור הזה, עורך עיתון, ומתנגד של בן גוריון. מה לעשות?

ואז יכולתי עכשיו להגיד שהמצאתי רעיון גאוני, אבל אני צנוע מדי, ולכן אגיד ש…היה לי ידיד ומוסר ידיעות. היו לנו ב"העולם הזה" כל מיני מוסרי ידיעות נסתרים בכל מיני פינות חשוכות. אחד מהם היה ישראל בר, שאני גם צריך לספר עליו. והאיש הזה, שהייתי נפגש אתו מדי פעם, אני אומר לו: "אני יושב על הסיפור הזה ולא יודע מה לעשות, אין שום סיכוי שהצנזורה תעביר מילה מזה”. אז הוא בא עם הרעיון הזה: "למה שלא תכתוב סיפור דמיוני, ותספר את כל הסיפור הזה בלי שמות, עם שמות אחרים ותשנה את כל הפרטים החיצוניים, אבל עם הסיפור?" אז כך ישבתי וכתבתי סיפור בשני חלקים. על פרשה של ריגול יווני בתוך תורכיה בתקופת מלחמת קפריסין בין התורכים והיוונים, ועם גנרל גידם וכו' וכו’. וכתבתי את כל פרשת מצרים-לבון עד לפרטי הפרטים. הכל. אבל חילקתי את זה ככה שבחלק הראשון יהיו הפרטים הפחות חמורים, ובחלק השני יהיו הפרטים היותר חמורים. ובערב שבועות פרסמתי את החלק הראשון, "פרשת אלקסיס".

I am sitting and waiting, and the Lavon affair is breaking. Ben-Gurion demands to fire Lavon. No one knew or talked about it. It was not allowed to talk about the affair. And I was sitting on this story, a newspaper editor and an opponent of Ben-Gurion. What should I do? Now I can say that I came up with an ingenious idea, but I'm too modest, so I will say that... I had a friend and an informant. At HaOlam HaZeh we had all kinds of secret informants in all sorts of dark corners. One of them was Israel Bar and I also have to tell about him. To this man, whom I would meet with every now and then, I said: 'I am sitting on this story and do not know what to do. There is no chance that the censors will allow a word of it to come out'. So he came up with this idea: 'Why don't you write a fictional story and recount the entire story but without names, with other names and change all the identifying details, but with the story?' So I sat down and wrote a story in two parts. About an affair of a Greek spy-ring in Turkey during the Cyprus War between the Turks and the Greeks, with a one-armed general etc. I wrote the whole story of the Egyptian-Lavon Affair down to the last detail. Everything. But I divided it in such a way that the first part contained the less serious details, and the second part had the more serious ones. On the eve of Shavuot, I published the first part of The Alexis Affair.

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: Turkey, The Alexis Affair, Israel Bar

Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017