Sunday, March 04, 2018

On Haim Hanegbi

I learned from Peggy Cidor that someone I knew has passed away.

Haim Hanegbi.

If you clicked on that link above, you are going to be asking yourself 'what has Medad and a Matzpen activist doing being friends?'

Well, it's a bit complicated.

Haim was much older. Already in 1962, for example, he was demonstrating on the Cuba missile issue - against the United States.  

My first demo was May 1, 1964, on behalf of the freedom of Soviet Jews in New York.

He was extremely pro-Arab Palestinian despite being a descendent of an esteemed Jewish Hebron family.  He even requested to be buried in Hebron's Muslim cemetery as an act of protest against the renewed Jewish community in the city.

I met Haim and saw him regularly three days a week for a few years in the Knesset. We worked both on the fifth floor where the factions' office rooms were. Me in Techiya as Geula Cohen's parliamentary aide; he the spokesperson for the Progressive List for Peace.

I remember him telling me that he finally realized that all his politics weren't worth more than the crap he had to dispose of after changing his son's diaper (he married quite late in his life).  I wasn't that amazed years later when he wrote he'd be voting for Ariel Sharon and Kadima. In his Marxist radicalism, the means always were serving the goals.

But if opposites attract, then that must be the explanation.

In middle age, the girls ran after him. His Hebrew was exquisite. His humor biting. He did not avoid me. We seriously discussed issues. I couldn't, however, stand the smell of cigarettes which enveloped him.

I learned of his death from Peggy Cidor but I have no details (so I don't know where he was buried).

In any case, he was a Jew from Eretz-Yisrael and as a Jew typically is, unique and quirksome in his own invigorating but irritable way.


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