Uri Avnery: A Fantasy Friend Of Palestine

Uri Avnery. (File)

By Vacy Vlazna

Uri Avnery is widely regarded as an Israeli peacemaker with a balanced view of what he calls the ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’. But under the surface of dissent (often well-founded criticism of Israel), Avnery is a hard core zionist: a fantasy friend of Palestine;

“I have read a lot of Uri Avnery over the years and have always found him insightful and informative. But as time passed I began to regard him as complex, ambivalent and insidiously useful to Israel in the underlying message he conveys.” Allen Jasson

Avnery’s three recent articles provide clues to the undertow of zionist propaganda. The Cats of Ariel (Nov 6), The Reign of Absurdiocy (Nov 30) and Seashore Thoughts ( Dec 4)

Clue no.1 Zionists choke on the words ‘Palestinian‘ and ‘Palestine’ for to use them would be a betrayal of the zionist denial of the existence of Palestine. In The Cats of Ariel Palestinians are referred to as ‘Arabs’ which bolsters the zionist premise that Palestinians can be transferred (like Ariel’s pesky cats) to Arab countries leaving the whole of historic Palestine for the ‘chosen people’.

“Settlers sit on plenty of Arab agricultural land, but they don’t really do agriculture. Their main agricultural activity seems to be to uproot neighboring Arab olive trees.”

Clue no.2 Zionists only use the word ‘Palestinian’ in connection to terrorism; a topic on which Avnery, as a former Irgun terrorist, is an expert. This reinforces the fiction that Israel’s war crimes are acts of self-defense. The Reign of Absurdiocy is a seemingly rational tome on the terrorism hype after the Paris attacks. But, in contrast to the previous Ariel’s cats piece, the word ‘Palestinian’ runs amuck: ”Palestinian terrorism’, ‘knife-weildingPalestinian’, ‘secular Palestinian terrorist organizations’, ‘Palestinians who want to fight and die for Allah’, ‘Palestinians-both religious or secular- who shoot, knife, run over Israeli soldiers and civilians’ and the misleading ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ that suggests the occupier’s superior military advantage is equal to the oppression of the occupied.

Avnery criticises Netanyahu’s ‘inventing a direct link between jihadist terrorism in Europe and Palestinian terrorism in Israel and the occupied territories’ as

“a stroke of genius: if they are one and the same, knife-wielding Palestinian teenagers and Belgian devotees of ISIS, then there is no Israeli-Palestinian problem, no occupation, no settlements. Just Muslim fanaticism. (Ignoring, by the way, the many Christian Arabs in the secular Palestinian “terrorist” organizations.)”

Notwithstanding, he fuses both together in the finale of the article,

“There is no direct connection between IS terrorism around the world and the Palestinian national struggle for statehood. But if they are not solved, in the end the problems will merge – and a far more powerful IS will unite the Muslim world, as Saladin once did, to confront us, the new Crusaders.”

Clue no.3. The fusing of zionists with European Christians in the crusader image is another zionist strategy of promoting israel as an European bastion of righteousness in the barbaric Middle East and aligning israel on the western side of the clash of civilisations spin. Zionists ignore the irony of elevating themselves as European, which the Ashkenazi majority are, and simultaneously claiming semitic heritage to ancient Judaean tribes.

Seashore Thoughts is a self-indulgent piece of zionist foppery opening with Avery enjoying a stroll and coffee at the seaside after a stint in hospital.

Clue no.4. Zionists are blithely comfortable living in the land of Palestine which they stole by force. 67 years ago, a Palestinian would have owned the building/land from where it takes Avnery 5 minutes to walk to the Palestinian seaside. Meanwhile the majority of Palestinians never get to stroll their shoreline and feel the cool salty breeze while sipping ‘americano’ coffee.

Avnery, no doubt, enjoyed first class medical care for his operation, unlike Gazans who are denied access by the zionists to medical care in Egypt and ‘israel’ because their hospitals, like the crumbling Shifa, are desperately and purposely under-resourced: zionist perpetrated genocide by medical deprivation.

Clue no.5. Zionists energetically rebut that Palestinians suffer under zionist apartheid.

Avnery’s claim that ‘israel’ is in danger of becoming an apartheid state is an outright lie; it IS an apartheid monstrosity.

Clue no.6. The zionist idealisation of the creation of the zionist state. Avnery recalls, “When I was young, before the birth of the State of Israel, we were determined to create a new society, indeed a new nation, a new Hebrew nation.”

“We consciously celebrated the “Sabra” prototype. Sabra is the Hebrew word for the cactus plant, which we considered native to our country (though actually an immigrant from Mexico). The appellation was given to the new generation born in the country. The Sabra was supposed to be practical, matter-of-fact, far from Jewish sophistry. Unconsciously we assumed that the new type was Ashkenazi, blue-eyed, of European descent.”

The reality was Avnery’s Sabra comrades were terrorists who savagely established their Jewish utopia by pillaging historic Palestine and killing and driving hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians literally into the sea, mountains and deserts to languish for 67 years in wretched refugee camps. Palestinian rights are held in hands that steadfastly hold the keys to their plundered heritage.

By the way, the sabr- cactus plant isn’t considered native to Avnery’s country but to Palestine. The plant was there before Avnery came uninvited from Germany.

Clue no.7. Avnery’s pessimism of a shared common humanity conforms to the zionist racist premise that only the two state solution which, Catch 22, the zionists will never accept is acceptable. – “These two peoples have nothing in common – socially, culturally, religiously, economically – except their mutual hatred.”

Clue no.8. The raising of the spectre of the eternally victimised Jew. with Daesh and Arab states ready to” turn against us” Omitted is Israel/US collaboration with Daesh to topple the Syrian regime And to push this victim agenda, he falsifies history – Saladin did not turn against Jews as they were ‘protected people’ throughout his empire. Until the onset of Zionism, Jews, Muslims, Christians lived together harmoniously.

Clue no. 9. The Zionist demographic fear of being outnumbered by the Palestinians. Avnery’s third danger to the zionist entity is the “growing numbers of young, well-educated, talented Israelis will emigrate to the US and Germany, leaving behind the less-educated, more primitive, less productive population,” One can understand the flood of people emigrating a sick, warmongering, savage, fanatical pseudo nation full of Jewish snobs like Avnery.

Clue no.10. Zionist hubris; hubris is a moral flaw and in this case it is the supremacist’s inability to acknowledge and own that inhuman violence begins and ends with himself and with every fellow settler – Miko Peled states, “The truth is that all Israelis are colonizers, settlers, and occupiers”. Even though zionists have impunity for their atrocities, until they own their genocidal guilt they can’t escape the psychological and societal consequences, see Video: “I killed for you, with these hands,” Israeli soldier tells lawmakers.

Unowned, the sublimated guilt, passed through generations, becomes projected onto others- Avnery writes “ We brought in a huge wave of new immigrants, and that’s where the trouble started,”. He projects blame on oriental Jews from Muslim countries, on the waves of Russian immigrants, and on the “ fanatical knitted ones’ for the fragmentation and imploding of zionist society that is only unified by war, by more atrocities, by more guilt precipitating cycles of self-destruction.

Palestine will be free because inexorably, zionism is destroying the zionists in what Marcelo Svirsky calls “the system of anti-life called Israel”.

However we can’t wait, for in the waiting young Palestinian martyrs are buried, the innocent are incarcerated en masse, homes are demolished and trauma is epidemic. We must be true friends of Palestine through dynamic BDS actions and advocacy.

– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. 

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. there is no such thing as “historic palestine” – other than as an element of folklore. there has never been a sovereign “palestine” at any time in human history.

    • On the website of the National Library of Israel you will find a map entitled “Palestina Moderna’ dating from the 15th century CE, but based on one from the 2nd century. True, it wasn’t a sovereign state, but then for most of history most countries have been part of someone’s empire. But Palestine has certainly existed under that name for a very long time. Under the Mandate from 1922 to 1948 Palestine was a state with all the requirements specified in the Montevideo Convention – population, defined borders, government, and recognition by other states. The modern state of Palestine was declared and recognized in 1988, and is currently occupied by Israel.

      • In acknowledging that the “name” Palestine has existed without any sovereignty, you are confirming that Palestine’s existence is one based on folklore, as I mentioned in my initial comment. No one is suggesting the Palestinian nation does not exist, or that there isn’t a culture associated to it, but the “state” of Palestine is a myth.

        • Writers like Aristotle; Herodotus wrote about Palestine. It referred to the areas Pelesets lived after migrating from the Mediterranean sea as opposed to all of Canaan which also included Lebanon and Damascus.

        • It is with some arrogance, I believe, that colonizers define sovereignty classification in terms they decide on and dictate as being the exclusive and only way a country is defined, completely negating the country in questions’ own style of government.
          One could look at the illegal occupation of Golan Heights, which is recognized as part of Syria, in international law … yet this sovereign country’s own ‘sovereignty’ is completely ignored. Worth noting, Syria’s sovereignty classification adheres to the colonizer’s own definitions.
          In short, Anonymous – your argument lacks any validity.

    • Balfour (of the Balfour Declaration) wrote of “Palestine” as a “country” in 1919. Who should I believe, an individual who authored The Balfour Declaration, or an individual, such as yourself, that writes an anonymous, unsubstantiated comment on an Internet comments forum?

      • Gerry, you are absolutely right, the Mandate for Palestine called it a ‘country’ throughout.

      • Balfour did write of Palestine as a country, but the name of that country, in his writings was “Palestine and the Land of Israel” – and always a province, territory or protectorate of some other colonial power, whether it be the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans/Turks, British, etc… The only time the land has been truly sovereign was in ancient times or at present – in both circumstances, it is the Jewish homeland and a Jewish state.

        • Those borders are colonial borders and were never needed to separate Palestine from Jordan; Syria or Lebanon. Nevertheless:
          1. Article 7 of the Mandate provides that “The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law.”
          2. Palestine was one of Asiatic territories renounced by Turkey as a consequence of the Treaty of Lausanne 1923. In these territories treaty nationalities were established under the provisions of Section II of that Treaty, which came into force on the 6th August, 1924. Effect was given in Palestine to the nationality of the Treaty by the Palestinian Citizenship Order, 1925, which came into force on 1st August of that year. …in retrospective effect there was a gap of nearly one year from the date when there should have been a treaty nationality and the date when it began to exist under local law; consequently on the 23rd July, 1931, the Order in Council was amended to provide in effect that treaty nationality should run from the 6th August 1924, in accordance with the intention expressed in the Treaty of Lausanne.
          3. The order of 1925 is divided into 4 parts. Part l deals with with treaty nationality which provides that Turkish subjects habitually resident in Palestine on 1st August 1925, shall become Palestinian citizens. Under Part l virtually ALL the Arab population became Palestinian citizens, for although the Order gave the right to opt for Turkish or other nationalities within two years the number of Arabs who availed themselves of this option was negligible.” – Palestine Royal Commission, Report, Cmd 5479 (1937) https://palestinianmandate.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/cm-5479.pdf

  2. A truly excellent article which confirms my view of Uri Avnery as a wolf in sheep’s. clothing. When reading his phrase that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state I had exactly the same reaction as Dr Vlazna. I salute her withdrawal,on principal, from the Acheh peace talks. We need her as chief prosecuter of the ICC. People with her courage and integrity are thin on the ground.

  3. This way of treating friends explains why support to the Palestinians has not yet produced effective aid to the cause. A cause that I wholeheartedly support !
    It ‘s an attitude not intelligent.

    • mcc43. I agree. I find the article and most of the comments here very misguided. It cannot possibly help the Palestinian cause to denigrate any of their Israeli friends, especially Avnery who has spent several decades trying to promote the cause of peace and who certainly does NOT (Leon) see Palestinians as lesser humans.

      • I’m with you and mcc43 on this issue. The conclusions Vlazny draws, linking the present -day Avnery (the 1948 Avnery is rightly castigated) to Israel’s ongoing ethical rottenness, are frail and too tenuous to be taken seriously. Her conclusions have an air of concoction to them. Her diatribe resonates with the recent attacks on Gilad Atzman and Allison Weir by some persons/organizations in the Justice for Palestine movement and does the cause no good.

      • But what you see as the Pal cause is not what rules here, namely hatred for the Jewish State and its Jewish inhabitants and a desire to destroy it regardless of what it means for Arabs.

  4. Zionism and Nazism

    same deadly hate
    different targets
    while the world stands by

  5. You don’t need to read between the lines just read A Soldier’s Tale. Avnery describes his own looting. He describes watching a young soldier shoot a civilian prisoner in the head and apparently did nothing. A fellow soldier told him he had raped a young Arab girl and then murdered her. Avnery did not report this. This is what Avnery admits to. But the book is strangely silent in the period before he was seriously wounded. This was the time when his brigade, the Giv’ati brigade was ethnically cleansing the region around Gaza. When they were involved in at least 2 massacres (Bayt Daras & Burayr).

    He also voted for the seizure of East Jerusalem when in the Knesset. And he opposes BDS.

    • Avnery is obviously ambivalent morally, but his aversion toward BDS certainly puts him well to the right of every other Israeli peace activist I can think of. The author makes valid points about the wavering nature of his support for Palestinian rights.

  6. Zionists from the right and left see Palestinians as lesser humans. Anyone who rejects the right of return is a Zionists like Uri.

  7. Whether Palestine was ever sovereign is totally irrelevant. It is nonsense to raise that hoary drivel.

  8. If Avnery was sincere and respectful, he would have left PALESTINE decades ago, as did other Jews. Maybe he imagined he could help bring about a good (ie. good for everyone) peace settlement.
    He was always a Zionist, however, my impression is that he loved Arab culture, and was willing to share the place with all the Palestinians, as equals.

  9. In defense of Avnery, I have been surprised that he has not been lynched for what he has said.
    I bet he wears a hat and sunglasses, everytime he does go to the beach, and he does do that peace demo every Friday.

  10. Yes, I know well the type of fanatics like the author of this article. Anything less (more is impossible) than what she considers to be right is wrong, morally indefensible, renegade, treacherous and so on. She reminds me of Orwell’s Animal farm. In Stalin’s Russia or Pol Pot’s Cambodia people like this would flourish as a commissar sowing death and despair, but in Australia these people are just boring to death. Avnery on the other hand, is the one of the most impressive people I know. Obviously he committed his share of errors, like of all us, but even they are of more value than sermons by Dr. Vlazna. I wish him good health and I hope to be able to read his “wrong” writings for years.

  11. ZIONISM is crime, It seems every way they have tried to effect change, any actions they have done is by violence, intimidation, killing of innocents to send a message to instill fear, deceit and hatred, disrespect, and all for ‘their’ cause, to the exclusion of anyone else. When uniting with Hitler to raise episodes of antisemitism to increase fear among Jews, so they’ll seek protection in Palestine, and to use Judaism the religion, when it’s convenient as it gives them the upperhand, To influence the USA with its Foreign Lobby group, but failing to register as foreign, AIPAC then is able to manipulate the stupid unprincipled lawmakers to do Zionists bidding.There’s no Israel,only Palestine

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