Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Uri Avnery (Israel)

Uri Avnery was born on September 10, 1923 to a Jewish family in Beckum, Germany. When he was ten, his family moved to Israel to escape Nazi rule.

Avnery founded Gush Shalom in 1993, when he felt that other peace groups were unable to stand against the new government under Yitzhak Rabin. In English “Gush Shalom” translates as “The Peace Bloc,” and they have been working towards Israeli- Palestinian peace. They have no political affiliations as a group and their main objective is to change Israeli public opinion, so that they accept the right to exist of a Palestinian nation. Gush Shalom advocates re-instating the “Green line” that was used before 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both countries. Gush Shalom organized many protests for human rights issue in Israel, as well as promoted their ideas for peace through educational campaigns. Uri Avnery became a well-known author for his book; “In the Fields of the Philistines” which details his experience in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He went on to purchase “Haolam Hazeh,” an Israeli magazine, and remained the Editor-in-Chief for forty years. He turned it into a means of reporting on corruption and the government threatened to shut down his magazine several times. As a result, the magazine’s supporters formed a political party and they won a seat in the Israeli Knesset in 1965. Avnery personally served as a member for ten years. He currently has a weekly online column, which is published by Gush Shalom, in which he discusses an important political issue. He was also awarded the alternative Nobel peace prize in 2001and the Erich Maria Remarque Peace prize in 1995.