Monday, May 18, 2009

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery with Yasser Arafat

Praise where praise is due. The Palestinians and their supporters have no better friend than the Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery.

Born in Germany, he migrated to Palestine with his family in 1933. At the age of 15 he joined the Jewish terrorist group, the Irgun (later to gain notoriety as the perpetrators of the massacre of the villagers of Deir Yassin), but left four years later, disenchanted with their bloody tactics. In 1948 he took part in the Arab-Israeli war as a commando. He was first elected to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in 1965, and went on to found Gush Shalom (the Peace Bloc) in 1993.

Now aged 85, Avnery has survived death threats by rabid Zionists and a serious attack on his life. Undettered, he continues to criticise the militaristic and colonialist policies of Israel's political elite, arguing for the recognition of Palestinian human rights and justice for their cause with experience, intelligence and compassion.

Such men as Avnery - and there aren't many - will go down in history as the true Israeli patriots and friends of Jews worldwide. 

Click on the link to Gush Shalom for Avnery's latest article, "Quarrel on the Titanic".

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