Hundreds, including a delegation of officials from the Palestinian Authority, attended a memorial service for the noted peace activist and journalist Uri Avnery on Wednesday, August 22, at the headquarters of the Journalist Union in Tel Aviv. Head of the Joint List MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), a leading member Communist Party of Israel, MK Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List), and Hadash and CPI activists also attended the ceremony.
Avnery, a member of Israel’s founding generation, was a symbol of Israel’s peace camp for decades and championed the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a journalist, he famously sneaked into besieged Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War to talk to Israel’s then-nemesis, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.
MK Odeh called Avnery “a dear man who dedicated his life to peace, to a better future for both peoples and to the establishment of a Palestinian state. His voice, vision and outlook will continue to reverberate after his passing.” Odeh urged that Israel must follow Avnery’s vision of a two-state solution, and implored Palestinian Authority that Avnery’s name be memorialized in the streets of Ramallah “To show that we are meant to co-exist.”
At the end of the event, Avnery’s body was taken to be cremated, according to the instructions he left while alive. The location of the cremation facility was kept secret due to attempts by extremist religious groups to sabotage and destroy it.
Uri Avnery’s ashes will be scattered at sea, again according to his wishes, as were those of his wife Rachel who died seven years ago. Avnery’s close friends will carry scatter the ashes privately, without the presence of the public or media.