Emergency demonstrations throughout Israel: Stop the war!
Emergency demonstrations throughout Israel: Stop the war! Move towards peace!
Today at 20:00 - Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem
The Standing Together movement, along with various peace groups, will demonstrate today (Tuesday, Nov. 13) throughout the country, demanding a complete change of direction. Instead of war and fear and bloodshed we should lift the siege of Gaza, end the occupation, and actively pursue of a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The pain of suffering casualties, the fear of another night without sleep and the question “why?" are now the lot of very many people. We want - we must - change this reality. This conflict has gone on far too long. Again and again it flares up. Again we hear arrogant statements about “It is time to teach them a lesson” which do not and should not give anyone a feeling of confidence.
We must take a new path. Residents of Southern Israel and residents of Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians – only peace can guarantee security to all of us. Only peace will ensure quiet nights - this is the only way. Let's end for spreading hatred and sowing fear, let's end this pain. Today, especially today, let us demand what should have taken place long ago, the only thing that can ensure life: lifting of the siege, ending the occupation and achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace. We deserve a happy ending to this sad and difficult story. "
The demonstrations will take place at:
Haifa - UNESCO Square in the German Colony, at the foot of the Baha'i Gardens
Jerusalem - Paris Square
Tel Aviv – The corner of Rothschild Boulevard and Allenby Street
For further details and coordination of interviews:
Hila +972-(0)54-2457680 or Doron +972-(0)54-4673320
His three daughters were killed in Gaza – but he still clings to hope for the Middle East
‘I will never forget my daughters. I believe one day I will meet them and I am accountable to God and to them and they will ask me: what did you do for us?’
Rarely can history have dictated that the blood of three beheaded daughters should be injected into a vein of hope. The operation, I suppose, was self-administered by the stout little man with thick, matted hair sitting in front of me in an upper floor of the University of Toronto’s medical centre.
I might even call Izzeldin Abuelaish stubborn, save for his awesome courage and his instant invitation for coffee and dates. He welcomes visitors to his fifth floor office with a large coloured photograph on the opposite wall which has the dignity and objectivity of an Impressionist painting.
It shows his three daughters, Mayar, Aya and Bessan, sitting on a blustery Gaza beach in the early new year of 2009. Mayar, in a white scarf and looking slightly to her right, Aya in the middle in a woollen cap, Bessan also in a scarf, almost full length, resting on her right hand, looking at her own name, in English, which she has drawn in the sand. As her father said to me, every time the tide came in, it erased their names and they wrote them again.
Two weeks after the photographs was taken, they will be with their father Izzeldin in their Gaza home when Israeli tank shells smash into the house. I don’t ask Izzeldin to repeat what happened next. He told the story, eloquently, terribly, unanswerably in the months that followed. Mayar appeared to be the first to die. This is how he described the events when he spoke at the Karachi Literary Festival:
“I can’t recognise my daughters. Their heads were cut off their bodies. They were separated from their bodies and I can’t recognise whose body is this. They were drowning in a pool of blood… This is their brain. These are parts of their brain. Aya was lying on the ground. Shatha [another daughter] was injured and her eye is coming out. Her fingers were torn, just attached by a tag of skin. I felt disloved [sic], out of space, screaming… The second shell soon came to kill Aya, to injure my niece who came down from the third floor, and to kill my eldest daughter Bessan, who was in the kitchen and came at that moment, screaming and jumping, ‘Dad! Dad! Aya is injured.’”
This took place at 4.45 pm on 16 January 2009. Bessan was 21, Mayar 15, Aya 13.
Izzeldin Abuelaish is an associate professor of global health, born in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, but the 63-year-old gynaecologist still mops his eyes when he comes to this point in our conversation almost 10 years later. I do not bring up the terrible ironies. I do not refer to his wife, who died of cancer only four months before the Israelis killed the three young women and Izzeldin’s niece.
He was himself already the first Palestinian to receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital – could there have been a more appropriate symbol of human trust between two sides? And he speaks Hebrew, of course, and was speaking Hebrew on a live broadcast to Israeli television in the room where his daughters’ remains were lying in their blood in January 2009.
It would be pleasant to record that this changed everything, that the Israelis realised finally, in one terrifying, humbling live broadcast that their army’s butchery of the civilians of Gaza – along with its pathetic Islamist militia – must now end. But the wars went on; in 2012 and then again in 2014.
For what? Each time Gaza was eviscerated, the Israelis claimed self-defence after Hamas’ largely inaccurate and often home-made rockets were fired into the Israeli frontier town of Sderot.
A few years ago, I went down to Sderot and discovered that it was once a Palestinian village called Huj whose Arab inhabitants – who helped their Jewish neighbours in the 1948 war – were ruthlessly driven out by the Israeli army of the time. Indeed, the Israelis even ignored the appeal of David Ben-Gurion to let the villagers stay.
And one of Izzeldin’s surviving daughters read my old article and told her father – which is why he greeted me warmly in the early cold autumn of Toronto. Because his grandfather was the mayor of Huj in 1948 and because his family, unbeknown to me of course, came from the old village of Huj. And thus Izzeldin’s grandparents were forced from their village by the new Israeli state and abandoned to the camps of Gaza – from which the Hamas rockets now fall on what was Huj and what is now Sderot.
I am therefore not surprised to find that Izzeldin has been to Huj/Sderot, found his destroyed village’s cemetery of stones and some of its fruit orchards and talked to the leaders of the local Jewish kibbutzim and even found, not far away, the gated enclosure which protects the grave of that most warlike of all Israeli leaders, Ariel Sharon, the man who sent his army’s militias into the Sabra and Chatila camps in Beirut in 1982 and which murdered there its Palestinians inhabitants, up to 1,700 of them.
History hangs in curtains over the lands of the Palestinians – both Arab and Jew – who lived under the British mandate, and over the lands in which they live today. In many cases, the curtains are heavy with blood. The lands are usually the same.
Which is where our story takes on a certain nobility. For despite the fact that he vainly took the Israelis to court for his family’s slaughter – first they claimed that there were snipers in the Abuelaish house, then that militants were hiding there, then that the shells which killed the daughters and niece came from Hamas (all disproved) – he founded the “Daughters for Life” Foundation to provide scholarships for young women to study at universities in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria. He wrote a book called I Shall Not Hate.
Now a Canadian citizen, Abuelaish is much honoured, with human rights awards and a degree from Simon Fraser University.
And he clings to what – I try to speak the truth here – is perhaps a very forlorn hope: that history will always surprise us. “Did you ever dream that a black guy would be president of the United States?” he asks. “If I’d told you that 15 years ago, you’d have told me I’m crazy. Or would you imagine Trump would be president? Can you tell me what will happen tomorrow? Did you think Arafat would ever shake hands with Rabin?”
I’m not at all sure that I’d have brought Trump into these dreams, but I get Abuelaish’s point: that some things are unimaginable, others pre-determined.
“Palestine will never leave me,” he says. “It’s inside me. I go there. I am rooted there. I understand all the challenges and the myths. The land is the determinant of our life. The Jews imagined 2,000 years ago that the Jews would go back to Jerusalem and they were all over the world – and they succeeded in establishing their state. [But] we are close [to a Palestinian state]. We are there. We see it. There is a difference between what you want and what is the reality… This is not a religious conflict. This is a political, colonial conflict.”
The latter is true. But Abuelaish’s determination is laced with an innocent pragmatism. He does believe that Palestinians and Israelis should love one another. But he places his trust in common sense, which is a dodgy foundation for peace in the Middle East. There can be no “transfer” of Palestinians from the West Bank, he says. It would be impossible. I am not so sure. He thinks Abu Mazen, the Palestinian “president” is “smart” but doesn’t agree with his “stewardship”, which – these are my words, not Izzeldin’s – is fossilised and corrupt. Izzeldin speaks of unity and then says – all too true – that as Palestine gets smaller and smaller for Palestinians, so the Palestinian factions (the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, you name it) want to be bigger and bigger.
“We don’t want to delete the Israelis – we want to be side-by-side with them. We want to be equal to them. I want to ask Netanyahu: what do Israelis want for themselves and their children?” That’s fine, of course, but a lot of Netanyahu’s extremist cabinet want all of “Palestine” for themselves and their children – through the very colonial project of “settlements” which Abuelaish acknowledges. “We must have a civil, intellectual, pragmatic society in order to face the occupation – with inspiring minds, education, talent, to speak to the world,” he says. “We don’t need missiles.”
He is a tough man. “I will never give up. I will never forget my daughters. I believe one day I will meet them and I am accountable to God and to them and they will ask me: ‘What did you do for us?’” Izzeldin talks of his wounded daughter Shatha, who was partially blinded by the tank shells and who later said to him: “If I don’t see with my right eye, I have my left eye.” Shatha came top of her class in her exams that summer of 2009 and passed with flying colours at the School of Engineering at the University of Toronto. “The antidote of hatred and revolution is success and education,” he says. A week earlier, he had expressed his condolences for the 11 Jewish Americans murdered in their synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“We must understand the interconnectedness of health and peace,” he says. “If you are in Gaza, you want to be happy, to be free, to enjoy yourself. This is health. If you are unemployed, you want to have a job. This is health. If you are studying for an exam, you want to finish your exam and to be free of all that and to start your job. Peace, freedom, justice and education depends on who you are and where you are.”
It’s a hard call. When he was travelling to Israel on the Canadian Governor General’s jet on a delegation to the Middle East, Abuelaish presented his Canadian passport to the Israelis at Ben Gurion airport. But along with another Palestinian-born delegate, he was made to wait – until he was given a “Palestinian permit”. I cringe as I hear of this unnecessary, shameful act, although I suppose – in an unintended way – it redeemed his Palestinian identity while demonstrating the impotence of his country of citizenship.
He continues his legal case against the Israelis. Whatever compensation he wins – and he should win – will go towards Daughters for Life. He is writing a new book, which will be titled: “I Shall Not Fear”. But during our conversation, I notice that his mind turns to a disturbing question. How come Malala, the young woman gravely wounded by the Taliban, was so feted – and rightly so – in the West, while Shatha was largely disregarded? He doesn’t begrudge Malala her courage or her fame. But he notices a difference between the two young women and a very crucial one: the identity of those who almost killed them.
Robert Fisk, Toronto - in "The Independent"
B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad to speaks at UN Security Council
El-Ad: Hundreds of thousands of Israelis seek a future of equality, justice and human rights
B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad spoke today before the United Nations Security Council at the quarterly session scheduled in accordance with Resolution 2334. The meeting took take place today, Thursday, 18 October 2018, and was be broadcast live on UN Web TV.
Among other topics, El-Ad addressed the Israeli-imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip and the humanitarian crisis there. He also discussed Israel’s attempts to carry out the forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians, with a view to taking over their lands, and will focus on the impending demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, a shepherding community located in Mishor Adumim.
On the eve of his trip, El-Ad said, “The Israeli government is trying to sell the absurd notion that our control over millions of Palestinians is an internal Israeli matter. At the same time, the government is trying to silence local Israeli criticism of the occupation. In other words, criticism cannot be voiced abroad, or in Israel, or anywhere else, so that the oppression of the Palestinian people can carry on without any interference. But the occupation is taking place outside Israel’s sovereign borders, and like any human rights issue, it is a universal matter. We say it in Israel, and we say it all over the world. I will be at the UN Security Council to speak on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who oppose the occupation, who ardently wish it were over, who seek a future of equality, justice and human rights for all 13 million people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”
Other speakers at today’s UN Security Council meeting included United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov; Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon; Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour; and the ambassadors of the UN Security Council’s Member States.
For additional information: Amit Gilutz, +972-54-6841126, email@example.com Our mailing address is
Commemorating Uri Avnery - Tel Aviv Cinemateque, Wed. Oct. 3 at 7.30 pm
Following is the invitation to the event organized by the Tel Aviv Cinemateque, based on the details given on the Cinemateque website
Following Uri Avnery's death, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque will hold on Wed., Oct. 3 at 7:30 pm a renewed screening of Yair Lev's 2002 film "Uri Avnery: Warrior for Peace"
At the end of the screening, there will be a panel discussion including MK Zahava Gal-On, former Meretz Chair, MK Ahmad Tibi, a delegation from the Palestinian Authority headed by Elias Zananiri, a delegation from Kfar Kassem, headed by former MK Ibrahim Sarsur, Latif Dori, Adam Keller - Gush Shalom, Reno Tzror - former correspondent for "Ha'olam Hazeh" weekly, Raymonada Tawil - a Palestinian message, Naftali Raz -" On the Left Side ".
Explanatory notes for the film as published at the original screening: "A portrait of the last Mohican of the Israeli radical left, who at the age of 78 [Avnery's age at the time of the film's production] continues to proudly hold aloft the banner of Israeli-Palestinian peace. A portrait of a controversial man who in his person represents his spirit of the period when he grew to maturity and the conflicted history of the State of Israel. "
To purchase tickets in advance, call the Cinematheque at 03-6060800 or follow the link below (Cinematheque Hebrew website)
Solidarity sukkah in Khan al-Achmar
A message from Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR): May we all dwell in our homes and temporary structures in peace and faith in G-d’s protective presence. This year we are setting up our sukkah in Khan al-Achmar in a show of solidarity against the threatened demolition of the village. Come, build & sit with us! The residents are waiting for us.
This Sukkot, we are all the Jahalin Bedouin of Khan al-Achmar!
Even if the village is destroyed, the residents will remain nearby it. The Bedouin actually live all year long on Sukkot.
We will express solidarity with our Bedouin brothers, and we will live as they do for a little bit. We will remember that our forefathers lived as free human beings, 40 years in the Sinai Desert. We will sit on Sukkot in the Judean Desert during the seven days of the festival. We will live a life of confidence in our temporary quarters, together with members of the Jahalin tribe, who have been living in this very temporary, vulnerable situation for years...
SCHEDULE AND DETAILS (PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES)
* All welcome during any days of the holiday, from the 23-30*
SEPT 21: Building the sukkah SEPT 23: Erev Sukkot, whoever wants to join is invited SEPT 26: Main event. Dvar torah to be delivered by RHR President Rabbi Levi Weiman Kelman
PLEASE CONTACT PROGRAM DIRECTOR YEHUDA SCHWARTZ WITH QUESTIONS OR TO COORDINATE: 052-6879461
What to bring? Bring your sukkah, or a tent. Sleeping bags. We need to bring water, food, toilet paper. We will be able to buy fresh goat milk, labaneh, butter and fresh pitas from the residents.
BACKGROUND ON KHAN AL ACHMAR:
On September 5 2018 the High Court of Israel ruled to allow the demolition of the Palestinian-Bedouin village Khan al Achmar to proceed.
• The village was established prior to Israel taking control of the West Bank in 1967 • The village sits on lands that the Israeli High Court defined as privately owned Palestinian lands that “may have been confiscated in the past.” • Due to the traditional way of life of the village, it has never been recognized by the State of Israel • When a village is “unrecognized,” the path to gaining building permits is nearly completely inaccessible from the onset. Therefore, any building attempts are considered “illegal” despite the intentions of residents. • Israel rejects plans for legalizing the village on the pretext that it is adjacent to a highway. This remains despite attempts, according to Israeli NGO Bimkom, at alternative plans to move the village slightly further away from the road. Meanwhile, nearby settlements — not under the threat of demolition— also appear to have built adjacent to highways. • The neighboring settlement of Kfar Adumim, some of which was built on private Palestinian land, is not being demolished. • Despite this clearly unjust and discriminatory context, the High Court of Israel is allowing the state to demolish the village.
JERUSALEM POST: "High Court gives final okay to destroy Bedouin village of Khan al Achmar" --> http://bit.ly/2MPMIaN
NOT IN THE AREA? Leave a comment on Prime Minister Netanyahu's Facebook page letting him know that the village must be saved!
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
You wish all the citizens of Israel a sweet new year & joy in their sukkahs, but to the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Achmar living in their vulnerable sukkah-like homes and its 150 school children, awaiting the bulldozers to destroy their homes and beloved school, you send only fear and bitterness.
Although they are not citizens they live under Israeli military control. They are unwillingly subjected to its discriminatory building regulations and selective enforcement of laws that favors their Jewish neighbors in luxurious settlements. What kind of year should they have? One of displacement & trauma it seems.
As a Jew I call upon you to halt the planned demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar. It's destruction is a grave violation of our Jewish moral commitment to protect the rights of the Ger (non-Jews) and an affront to the commandment to have one law for both the Jew and the Ger. Such an act is the direct opposite of loving our neighbor as ourselves and it would be shameful application of the double standard "eiphah ve’eiphah"!
Time is of the essence. You do not have to allow the demolition to go forward. Let it stand & respect our Torah, whose ways are "ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace." Let the coming months be sweet FOR ALL people in our region.
"Do not mistreat or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in Egypt." Deuteronomy 22:21
The Oslo Accords did not fail. The Oslo Accords were simply not implemented.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, one must remember and remind of the truth: The Oslo Accords did not fail. The Oslo Accords were simply not implemented. The non-implementation of the agreements had already cost thousands of lives and may many more lives.
The Oslo Accords had set an interim period of five years that began in April 1994. The situation in which the Palestinian Authority holds only a collection of isolated enclaves, having no real power even there, was to end in May 1999. Likelwise, the division of the West Bank into the A., B. and C. areas was intended to be a temporary arrangement for only these five years, from 1994 to 1999. At the end of five years, all this should have been come to its end, replaced by implementation of the Definite Status.
The Palestinians expected, as a matter of course, that the Definite Status would involve the end of the Israeli occupation regime and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. The reason Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords was the assumption and expectation that a Palestinian state would emerge in 1999. For his part Yitzhak Rabin, a man who had devoted most of his life to war, knew that peace is made with the enemy. He fully and seriously intended to carry out what he had signed, and reach full peace with the Palestinians.
Had Arafat known that in 2018 the IDF would still be holding the whole of the West Bank and imposing a stangling siege on the Gaza Strip, and that the Israeli settlements would be growing and expanding, he would certainly not have dreamed of signing the agreement. Nor would Mahmoud Abbas or any other Palestinian leader have signed the Oslo Accords, ciuld he have known that this would be the outcome.
The goal for which the Palestinians signed the agreement - ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state - did not come about. The State of Israel had not kept its part of the agreement. Naturally, also the State of Israel and its citizens did not gain what they expected – namely, an end to the conflict with the Palestinians and the achievement of peace and good neighborly relations. Had the Oslo Accords been implemented and the Definite Status carried out in 1999, we could have now been entering the twentieth year of peace between the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, and and the casualties of the Second Intifada and the years after it would have still been alive and well among us.
A new year begins with the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar
B’Tselem to EU: Clarify that demolition of Khan al-Ahmar will have consequences for Israel
After the High Court ruling, which greenlighted the state’s plan to demolish the community within a week, B’Tselem’s director wrote urgently to EU foreign policy chief Mogherini yesterday, warning that Israel is trampling the shared values that are at the core of its relationship with the EU.
B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad wrote yesterday (8 September) to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, calling upon the European Union to act urgently to prevent the destruction of the Khan al-Ahmar community, after Israel’s High Court gave the demolition plan the go-ahead earlier this week (5 September). According to the ruling, the state may demolish all the structures in the community, including a school attended by some 180 children, about half of them from other communities, as of the middle of next week.
In the letter, El-Ad quoted a statement from 18 July by Mogherini herself, in which she warned Israel that destroying the community would have serious consequences. According to El-Ad, “we have reached the juncture where it appears that these serious consequences must be spelled out, if the EU is to credibly back its own positions.”
Regarding the High Court ruling, El-Ad noted that “in their occupation-serving decision, the justices ignored both the context of a completely one-sided planning regime, where building ‘legally’ is an option reserved for settlers and denied from protected persons – as well as the broader Israeli intention, to minimize Palestinian presence throughout Area C, displace local communities, and expand settlements.”
“The EU obviously has ample leverage to affect a concrete impact, by showing Israel that unacceptable human rights violations will have serious consequences and spelling out exactly what it stands to lose”, wrote El-Ad. “Every day that goes by without any of the numerous tangibles Israel stands to lose being made conditional upon it ending human rights abuses against millions of Palestinians – and ending the occupation – articulates to the Israeli leadership, and to the Israeli public, that the EU accepts the current reality, and that, in fact, it is helping to sustain and advance it.”
“The destruction of an entire Palestinian community is the clearest recent expression of Israel’s unabashed disregard for the supposed shared values that presumably lie at the core of its relationship with the EU”, noted El-Ad, and ended by saying: “We are potentially less than a week away from the destruction of an entire Palestinian village. What may follow will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank. If not act now, when?”
The residents of Khan al-Ahmar belong to the Bedouin Jahalin tribe. In the 1950s they were driven out of the area of Tel Arad in the Negev (within Israel) and made their new home in the West Bank, at a site where the settlement of Kfar Adumim was later established. They were driven out again and took up residence at their current location, some two kilometers south of the settlement. The community consists of 32 families that make up a total of 173 residents, 92 of them minors. In addition to homes, the community has a mosque and a school that serves some 180 children, about half of them from neighboring Palestinian communities.
For years, Israel has been endeavoring to displace this community for a variety of reasons, including the expansion of nearby settlements, de facto annexation of the area – without its Palestinian residents – and bisecting the West Bank. Expelling the community – or forcing its residents to leave by creating unbearable living conditions – will violate the prohibition on forcible transfer in international humanitarian law. The violation will constitute a war crime. Personal liability for the commission of this crime will be not only that of policy-makers – including the prime minister, senior minister, the chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration – but also of those who paved the juridical route enabling it.
For additional information: Amit Gilutz, +972-54-6841126, firstname.lastname@example.org Our mailing address is B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories P.O. Box 53132, Jerusalem 9153002
Happy new year to Isaac & Ishmael!
Several miles east of Jerusalem, some 180 children are studying – for now – in a school made of tires and mud. A new school year has just begun in Khan al-Ahmar, but with the High Court’s recent approval Israel intends, in the coming days, to demolish the entire community, including the school, and expel the residents.
Several miles south of Jerusalem, the Da'na family is recovering from a familiar nightmare. Soldiers again entered their Hebron home in the middle of the night, this time during 'Eid al-Adha. They arrested 17-year-old 'Udai, after one soldier commented to the boy’s father: “We’re behaving well. If we weren’t, we'd grab you and take you by force.”
Several miles north of Jerusalem, the villagers of 'Urif are waking to another day of occupation violence: settler militias backed and aided by the military are assaulting them, as part of a broader strategy to strengthen Israeli control and take over more land. While “the rule of law” is bandied about, the law itself is serving to both perpetrate violence and cover it up.
Meanwhile, several miles to the west, we are living in Israel, ruling over the lives of millions of Palestinian subjects in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Every day we decide, over their heads and under their feet, how they will live their lives.
For more than half a century, since the Jewish year 5727 (1967), we have had the rights and privileges – they, oppression and dispossession. Now, with the year of 5779 about to begin, this reality is truer than ever, with the Deputy Knesset Speaker talking of Gaza “population dilution” and the Justice Minister, as well as the Defense Minister, celebrating the sanctioning of yet another “legal” abomination.
With your help, we will continue – this new Jewish year and for as long as it takes – to expose the facts, document reality and capture it on video, in order to inform you and the rest of the world, and play our part in this struggle. When we are all “heads” and no one is a “tail”, we will be able to celebrate a year of rights.
Executive Director, B’Tselem
Uri Avnery - 1923-2018. His opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps
We have this evening said the final goodbye. The hall in which Uri Avnery's coffin had been placed was very crowded. There were TV cameras and Knesset Members from various parties, and a high level Palestinian delegation and very many people who had either known Uri personally or read his articles and books and heard about him. There were very moving speeches and eulogies. And then it was over and the body was taken to be cremated - as he specifically asked and arranged for, already some time ago. His ashes will be scattered by his closest friends in the seashore of Tel Aviv, which he loved. We will never again see him on the way to the beach, nor hear his voice or read a new article by him. But we will continue his life work without him, as best we can, as he wanted and expected of us, and because it is our own cause.
To all the very many who wrote us expressing support and condolences in this sad hour, many thanks and our apologies for not being able to give personal answers - the flood is simply far too overwhelming.
Previous message: The coffin of veteran peace activist Uri Avnery will be placed tomorrow (Wednesday) between 5-6 pm in Beit Sokolov (Journalists' Association House) at 4 Kaplan St., Tel Aviv. That is a suitable and worthy location for a man who has made a major contribution to the development of the Israeli press. All who cherish his memory are heartily invited to come and pay their final respects. At Avnery's request, his body will be cremated. There will be no possibility of public presence during the cremation itself.
Contact: Adam Keller +972-54-2340749 Anat Saragusti +972-54-2151991
Gush Shalom grieves and mourns the passing of its founder, Uri Avnery. Until the last moment he continued the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the "Nation State Law", a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.
Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World. He did not get to the end of the road, did not live to see peace come about. We – the members of Gush Shalom as well as very many other people who were directly and indirectly influenced by him - will continue his mission and honor his memory.
On the day of the passing of Uri Avnery, the most right wing government in the history of Israel is engaged in negotiations with Hamas. Ironically, the same demagoguery accusations which were hurled at Uri Avnery throughout his life are now made against Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
In the history of the State of Israel, Uri Avnery will be inscribed as a far-seeing visionary who pointed to a way which others failed to see. It is the fate and future of the State of Israel to reach peace with its neighbors and to integrate into the geographical and political region in which it is located. Avnery's greatest opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps - because the State of Israel has no other real choice.
Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson +972-54-2340749