Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery, who died at the age of 94 in 2018, was a member of the Knesset for more than ten years and a leader of the peace movement Gush Shalom. For the last 25 years of his life he wrote a weekly column about the political situation in Israel.

In the Knesset

Uri Avnery, 5 August 2010

When I was first elected to the Knesset, the debates consisted mainly of recitations of the most commonplace clichés. Most of the time, the chamber was almost empty. Many MKs had no idea what they were voting for or against: they just followed the party whip. What frightened me more than anything else was the readiness of members to pass reckless laws for the sake of fleeting...

Last month, the Knesset voted 47 to 34 to pass the preliminary reading of a bill that threatens imprisonment for anyone who questions Israel’s claim to be a Jewish and democratic state. The private member’s bill, proposed by Zevulun Orlev of the Jewish Home party, calls for up to one year’s imprisonment for anyone who publishes ‘a call that negates the existence of the...

The Ceasefire: Calm in Gaza

Uri Avnery, 31 July 2008

And suddenly: quiet. No Qassams. No mortar shells. The tanks are not rolling. The aircraft are not bombing. Children venture out. Inhabitants return from self-imposed exile. And the reaction in Israel? Dancing in the streets? Applause for the prime minister and the minister of defence, who at long last have come to their senses?

Not at all. The nation is appalled: where, it asks, is our...

After a merciless struggle, Barack Obama has defeated Hillary Clinton. And what was the first thing Obama did after his astounding victory? He made a speech at the Aipac conference that broke all records for obsequiousness to the Israel lobby. That is shocking enough. Even more shocking is the fact that nobody was shocked.

It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organisation, the...

I can’t say I ever liked Ehud Olmert. But now I almost feel sorry for him. It isn’t pleasant the way he is being pounced on. The stories about envelopes stuffed with cash, cigars and luxury suites in posh hotels are good for gossip, but Olmert’s behaviour is no different from that of Binjamin Netanyahu or Ehud Barak. Netanyahu lived like a king in expensive hotels paid for...

Belts Gleaming: Uri Avnery

Charles Glass, 11 June 2009

Uri Avnery’s two wartime memoirs, now collected as 1948: A Soldier’s Tale, were published in Hebrew in 1949 and 1950. In the first of them, In the Fields of the Philistines, the...

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