Uri Avnery, born in Beckum, near Münster in Westphalia, as Helmut Ostermann (1923) is an Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. 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. Avnery is the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including 1948: A Soldier’s Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem (2008); Israel’s Vicious Circle (2008); and My Friend, the Enemy (1986).
Uri Avnery died on 20 August 2018 in Tel Aviv.