a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Shmuel Tamir


Decision to prosecute Israel Kastner
Uri Avnery Social activist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

כשבן גוריון היה כבר מין חצי דיקטטור, ואנחנו הרגזנו אותו, 'אנחנו' 'העולם הזה' ואולי גם העיתונות בכלל קצת, אז חיים כהן ניסה לחוקק שורה שלמה של חוקים שכל אחד מהם היה מסמר שיער. היה חוק לבטחון המדינה, ששם היה סעיף-סעיף: עונש מוות, עונש מוות, עונש מוות, עונש מוות. דברים מסמרי שיער אפילו במדינה של אז. ו"העולם הזה" פרסם שער עם תמונה שלו עם גרדום. הוא אגב גם ניסח חוק לשון הרע, שהיה כל כך קיצוני, שהוא לא התקבל. גם החוק הזה של בטחון המדינה לא התקבל. היה איש מאוד קיצוני. וזה מוזר, בסוגריים, מפני שהאיש הזה הפך לימים לשופט בית המשפט העליון. עד היום הוא סמל של המשפט הכי ליבראלי שאי-פעם היה. עד היום אומרים: "זה חוק ליבראלי, שהיה מתאים לחיים כהן”. אותו איש! איש מאוד מוזר. אז דב יוסף קרא לחיים כהן, ואמר לו: 'הנה דיבה חמורה כזאת על פקיד שלי, צריכים להגיש תביעה'. חיים כהן, שחוץ מהכל גם לא היה חכם גדול, אמר: "בבקשה, נגיש משפט". יום אחד הופיע אצלי רומַק (ראובן גרינברג) . מי זה היה רומק? רומק היה יהודי מגודל, שמן, רומני, שהיה קצין המודיעין של לח"י בירושלים. בתור שכזה הוא קשר את הקשרים בין לח"י ובין אבו גוש, הכפר. והוא ארגן את אנשי אבו גוש שהלכו לשחרר את גאולה כהן מהכלא. אז רומק זה, שהיו עליו כל מיני שמועות לא הכי חיוביות, הוא היה מעורב בכל מיני פרשות לא הכי מחמיאות, אבל הוא היה ידוע עדיין כאיש המודיעין של לח"י ומלכיאל גרינוולד פנה אליו להושיע אותו. והוא בא אלי וסיפר לי את כל הדבר הזה. לי זה נראה מוזר, תמוה, קצת משוגע כל העניין הזה, אבל הוא הלך לעורך דין שהיה מחובר אתי, שמואל תמיר.‏

When Ben-Gurion was already behaving like a kind of semi-dictator, and we were irritating him – 'we' being HaOlam HaZeh and perhaps, to a certain extent, the press in general – then Haim Cohen tried to pass a whole series of legislation, each of which was hair-raising. There was the State Security Law, where the sections were: capital punishment, death penalty, capital punishment, the death penalty. Horrific things, even at that time. HaOlam HaZeh published a cover with a picture of him and some gallows. Incidentally he also formulated a libel law which was so extreme that it wasn't passed. The State Security Law also wasn't passed. He was a very extreme individual. And yet he remains a byword for the most liberal legislation that there ever was. To this day people say: 'This is such a liberal law that it would have suited Haim Cohen'. That same man! A very strange man. So Dov Yosef called Haim Cohen, and told him: 'There is such serious slander against my clerk that we need to file a lawsuit'. Haim Cohen who, apart from everything else, was not particularly wise, said: 'Of course, we'll file a lawsuit'.

One day, Romac appeared before me. Who was Romac? Romac was a big, fat Romanian Jew, who was the Intelligence Officer of Lehi in Jerusalem. He was therefore the link between Lehi and the village of Abu Ghosh. He organized the people of Abu Ghosh who went to liberate Geula Cohen from prison. So there were all sorts of negative rumours about Romac, that he was involved in many not so flattering incidents, but he was still known as the Intelligence Officer of Lehi, and Malkiel Grünwald approached him for help. Then he came to me and told me the whole thing. To me it seemed weird, puzzling, a little crazy this whole thing, but he went to a lawyer who was connected with me, Shmuel Tamir.

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: HaOlem HaZeh, Abu Ghosh, Israel Kastner, Haim Cohen, Romac

Duration: 3 minutes, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017