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Decision to prosecute Israel Kastner


Did this little Jew meet Eichmann the devil?
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אייכמן היה אגדה בימים ההם. אייכמן היה השטן בהתגלמותו. יהודים לא הכירו את היטלר ואת הימלר ואת גרינג ואת כל החבורה הזאת. הם הכירו את אייכמן. אייכמן ישב בווינה. היה נאצי אוסטרי שהצטרף לאס.אס. עלה לדרגה לא הכי גבוהה, משהו כמו סגן אלוף, שבגרמניה ובצבא הענקי ועם הגסטפו הענקי היה דרגה די נמוכה, אבל הוא האיש שהיהודים הכירו, ראו אותו. והוא היה השטן. אייכמן, כתבו עליו מאמרים לפני זה. אז שזה, היהודי הקטן הזה נפגש עם אייכמן? עם אלוהים? עם השטן? זה היה כל כך מגוחך, שזה באמת היה לא רציני. ואילו כולם היו מתייחסים לזה כמוני, אז העניין היה נשכח אחרי יומיים, אפילו פחות. אבל הבוס של קסטנר היה השר דב יוסף. דב יוסף היה יהודי קנדי, עם פסיכולוגיה של מושל מחוז בריטי. הוא היה קפדני וישר כמו סרגל, והוא ידע בדיוק איך כל דבר צריך להיות. ההיפך הגמור מהעסקנים הרגילים של מפא”י. וכשהביאו לו את הדבר הזה, הפקיד שלו, מאשימים אותו בדברים נוראים כאלה? אז אי-אפשר לעבור על זה בשתיקה. צריכים לנהוג כמו שאנגלי הגון נוהג: אתה מגיש משפט. אם אתה לא מגיש משפט, אתה מודה שזה נכון. היועץ המשפטי לממשלה היה יהודי מאוד-מאוד-מאוד שנוי במחלוקת בשם חיים כהן. חיים כהן היה היועץ המשפטי לממשלה, התובע הכללי. יהודי גרמני עם איזה ראש מוזר, גולגולת מוזרה, והיה לו אופי מאוד מיוחד עם כל מיני מוזרויות. בחורה ששירתה בצבא עם אשתי וחיים כהן פרס עליה את חסותו וביקר אצלה והזמין אותה, ילדה בת 18. איש מוזר, בקיצור. והאיש המוזר הזה היה התובע הכללי של בן גוריון. גרמני ועשה מה שתובע כללי צריך לעשות.‏

Eichmann was a legend in the old days. Eichmann was the devil incarnate. Jews did not know Hitler and Himmler and Goering and all that lot. They knew about Eichmann. Eichmann had been in Vienna. He was an Austrian Nazi who had joined the SS and risen to the highest level, something like a lieutenant-colonel, which was quite a low rank in Germany and in the huge army and in the Gestapo, but this was the man that the Jews knew, they had seen him. And he was the devil. Articles had been written about Eichmann before this. So this little Jew had met with Eichmann? With God? With the devil? It was so ridiculous it really could not be serious. And if everyone would have related to it like I did, then the entire thing would have been forgotten two days later, even sooner. But Kastner's boss was Minister Dov Yosef. Dov Yosef was a Canadian Jew, with the psychology of a British provincial governor. He was contentious and straight as an arrow, and he knew just how everything should be. The exact opposite of the normal Mapai politicians. And when they told him this, that his clerk was being accused of such terrible things, he was unable to keep silent about it. He needed to act the way an honest Englishman would act: one files a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit, it means that you are admitting that it is a fact.  The Attorney General was a very, very controversial Jew named Haim Cohen. Haim Cohen was the Legal Advisor to the government, the Attorney General. A German Jew with a strange head, a weird skull, and he was a very peculiar character with all sorts of idiosyncrasies. I know about one young woman who served in the army with my wife and Haim Cohen took care of her and visited her and invited her out. She was an 18 year-old girl, and he...

A strange man. And this strange man was Ben-Gurion's Attorney General, a German and he did what an Attorney General should do.

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: Adolf Eichmann, Dov Yosef, Haim Cohen, Israel Kastner

Duration: 3 minutes, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017