Israeli peace activist, journalist and politician, Uri Avneri, tells his life story to Web of Stories

Written on:June 27, 2017
Comments
Add One

Ever since June 1967, the people living within the borders of Israel have marked the anniversary of the Six Day War. This year’s commemorations are especially significant marking the 50th anniversary of a war which ended with Israeli forces capturing East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Sinai. To many, the result of the war was hailed as a liberation which primarily allowed Jews to once more enter the holy city of Jerusalem, but to others, the end of the war marked the beginning of a harsh and unjust occupation of lands which they had owned and cultivated for generations.

Over the ensuing decades, bitterness and resentment grew on both sides, often exploding with terrifying ferocity but with little positive effect. Palestinians continued to be banished from their ancestral homes, while the country’s population swelled as Jews left places where they were unwelcome to settle in the State of Israel. National and international opinion on the rights and wrongs of this situation polarised journalists, politicians and commentators. It was easy to demonise both sides as they fought uncompromisingly for possession of the strip of land which would guarantee their very national existence.

Of the different voices raised to champion the conflicted sides in this unresolved and, as some would say, unresolvable conflict, one of the most enduring has been that of journalist and peace activist, Uri Averny. A German-born Jew, Avnery came to Israel as a child with his parents when they escaped the persecution unleashed on Jews in Nazi Germany. His early exposure to discrimination on grounds of ethnicity made him sympathetic to the cause of the Palestinians. He espoused their concerns and supported them both as a journalist and as member of the Knesset to which he was elected twice. He, together with his wife, Rachel, went on to establish the peace movement, Gush Shalom which has been described as ‘one of Israel’s most influential peace movements’.

Towards the end of 2015, Uri Avnery agreed to record his remarkable life story for Web of Stories (https://www.webofstories.com/play/Avnery/1). He speaks about the landmark wars fought between the Israelis and the Arab nations: the War of Independence in 1948 – in which he participated as a young soldier; the Six Day War in 1967; the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He talks at length about his political activism as a member of the Knesset and about his time spent editing the weekly newspaper, HaOlam HaZeh, which became one of the platforms from which he denounced Israeli’s official policy towards the Palestinians. And he speaks about his remarkable wife, Rachel, who was by his side as they quite literally battled time and again to make the call for peace between Israelis and Palestinians heard. In the course of his political career and his activism Uri Avnery has come into contact with every major Israeli and Arab politician from David Ben-Gurion to Yasser Arafat to Benjamin Netanyahu. His truly unique experiences and life story, as recorded here on Web of Stories, merit a place in both national and international history.

Publisher and editor Peter Mayer talks to Web of Stories

Written on:November 12, 2015

How many CEOs of major publishing companies can claim to have been in the Merchant Navy, or to have driven Allen Ginsberg in a taxi from New York to San Francisco? Probably not many, but Peter Mayer, former CEO of Penguin Books, can. In a series of videos recorded especially for Web of Stories, Peter Mayer recalls how he progressed from working as a reader for small publishing companies to…

Read more...

New! Science fiction writer Brian Aldiss talks to Web of Stories

Written on:August 18, 2015
Brian Aldiss JPG

Today we launch our newest speaker on Web of Stories! Listen to science fiction writer, Brian Aldiss, tell his life story in a series of fascinating videos. Born in 1925, Brian Aldiss is an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. He was educated at Framlingham College, Suffolk, and West Buckland School, Devon, and served in the Royal Signals between 1943-1947. After…

Read more...

New look for Web of Stories

Written on:February 19, 2015
Web of Stories New Design

Web of Stories, the website that offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their stories, has had a face-lift.  A new, cleaner design now displays the site’s contents to its full advantage.  Users can search for storytellers by name or by their professions while stories are ordered on the site by popular themes such as family life, love and childhood making…

Read more...

Award-winning screenwriter and author, Frederic Raphael, speaks to Web of Stories

Written on:September 11, 2014

American-born writer Fredric Raphael has spent most of his 83 years garnering admiration and awards for his work. A published author by the age of 23, he has written many novels as well as screenplays to films including Far From the Madding Crowd, Darling for which he won an Academy Award, and Two For the Road which starred Audrey Hepburn and Alan Bates. Throughout his career, Raphael has worked with…

Read more...

Welcome to Web of Stories blog!

Written on:September 9, 2014
Web of Stories logo

Web of Stories began as an archive of life stories told by some of the great scientists of our time. As the number of stories grew, it became obvious that some were on related topics and a web was slowly being created of connected stories. After a while we also invited famous people outside the field of science to tell their life stories. Our aim has been to provide an…

Read more...