Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery is a former member of the Knesset and a leader of Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc. His 1948: A Soldier’s Tale – The Bloody Road to Jerusalem came out in 2008.

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...

Israel’s Racist Laws

Uri Avnery, 25 June 2009

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...

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...

Sleaze in Israeli Politics

Uri Avnery, 19 June 2008

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...

Remembering the Ultimate Sabra

Uri Avnery, 15 November 2007

The speaker of the Knesset invited me to take part in a special session to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. I debated with myself whether to accept the invitation. On the one hand, I would have liked to honour the man and the achievements of his last years. I liked him. On the other hand, I had no wish to listen to a eulogy delivered by Shimon Peres, who...

What is to be done?

Uri Avnery, 8 March 2007

I am an Israeli patriot, and I do not feel that I need anybody’s recognition of the right of my state to exist. If somebody is prepared to make peace with me, within borders and on conditions agreed on in negotiations, that is quite enough for me. I am prepared to leave the history, ideology and theology of the matter to the theologians, ideologues and historians. The demand now...

Bush eyes up the Middle East

Uri Avnery, 6 January 2005

When the fruit-sellers in the market in Tel Aviv shout ‘The boss has gone crazy!’ they mean that they are selling their merchandise at ridiculously low prices. In the world’s capitals, a similar cry is now being heard, but it is not about the price of oranges. It refers to the situation now that George W. Bush has been re-elected. Bush has attacked Afghanistan. He has...

In Arafat’s Compound

Uri Avnery, 6 November 2003

The most dramatic moment occurred the evening after Yom Kippur. We were sitting in the courtyard of Arafat’s Mukatah (compound): a group of Israeli peace activists and Palestinian friends. A mild wind was blowing after a hot day. We were talking about the situation (what else?) and the latest gossip on the Palestinian leadership. From time to time a senior Palestinian Authority official...

From The Blog
6 September 2016

Something happens to retired chiefs of the Israeli internal Security Service, Shin Bet. Once they leave their jobs, they become spokesmen for peace. How come? Shin Bet agents are the only members of the establishment who come into real, direct, daily contact with Palestinians. They interrogate Palestinian suspects, torture them, try to turn them into informers. They collect information, penetrate the most remote parts of Palestinian society. They know more about the Palestinians than anybody else in Israel (and perhaps in Palestine, too).

From The Blog
6 September 2011

Such terrifying dogs have not been seen since the Hound of the Baskervilles. They have been bred by an ardent admirer of the late ‘Rabbi’ Meir Kahane, who was branded a fascist by the Israeli Supreme Court. Their task is to protect the settlements and attack Palestinians. Our TV stations have reported on them at length. All in preparation for ‘September’.

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...

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences