A member of the Irgun
as a teenager, Avnery sat in the Knesset
from 1965–74 and 1979–81. He was also the owner of HaOlam HaZeh
, an Israeli news magazine, from 1950 until it closed in 1993.
He is famous for crossing the lines during the Battle of Beirut
to meet Yassir Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli.
Critics of the war plans (including myself) have pointed to the disastrous political results that must be expected: Iraq would break into three parts (Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center, Shi’ites in the south), the Middle East would be exposed to the onslaught of Iranian fanaticism, pro-Western Arab regimes would collapse. Israel would be surrounded by aggressive Islamic fundamentalism, like the Crusader kingdom with the advent of Saladin.
Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for 50 generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times "by the sword" to get them to abandon their faith.