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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Haim Hanegbi – Founder of Matzpen - An Appreciation

Obituary in today's Ha'aretz from Matzpen

Hebrew translation of Ha'aretz advert
Haim Hanegbi, a founder of the Israeli Socialist Organisation (Matzpen) died on March 2nd 2018.  Below is the paid advert and the translations thereof in Ha’aretz newspaper.  Also I copy below an obituary of Haim by Ahmad Jaradat of the Alternative Information Centre and a film by Eran Torbiner, a socialist Israeli filmmaker.
Arabic translation of the obituary in Ha'aretz
I first came across the name Haim Hanegbi when I was about 16 and just becoming acquainted with the reasons for opposing Zionism.  I was in the International Socialist group (forerunner of the SWP) and I came across the first coherent analysis of why Zionism was a reactionary, racist and class collaborationist movement.  This was a pamphlet, The Class Nature of Zionism which had been written by Akiva Orr, Haim Hanegbi and Moshe Machover.  Of the three only Moshe is still alive.

I suspect that if I had known Haim that I would have disagreed on many things not least his illusions in the Oslo Accords and his belief that a 2 state solution was ever possible.  But he was as he said a true Palestinian Jew and a Hebronite Jew.  His assessment of the Israeli Left cannot be disputed.  ‘what was known as the ‘left’ the Jewish left, is disappearing, gone.’ In a vivid phrase he described it as  a corpse lying in the street and no one is burying it.’  
Likewise Hanegbi was correct to say that Zionism and its expulsion and massacres of the Palestinians didn’t begin with Begin and Likud but the so-called Zionist left:  ‘Begin didn’t do bad anything that hadn’t been done before him.’

Rest in peace Haim and may you be buried, as you wished, in a Muslim grave in Hebron.

Tony Greenstein

Haim Hanegbi Bajayo, the Palestinian Hebronite Jew

A native of the Jewish community of Hebron and founder of Matzpen, Haim Hanegbi Bajayo passes away on March 2nd, 2018.

The Palestinian and Hebronite Jew, as he liked to say.

The man who formed a committee of Hebronite Jews after 1967 to stand against the settlement project and settlers in Hebron.

The man who in 1967 published a strong statement to the Hebron municipality, asking it to take full sponsorship of Jewish properties and homes in the city, emphasizing that the Hebronite Jews would not return to their homes until the Palestinian refugees return to their land and cities and homes.

The man who wished his body could be buried in Hebron.
The man who met most Palestinian leaders, including Arafat.

The man who said I am against the Zionists, who fought not only in solidarity with the Palestinians, but as a leftist against this state and its nature.

The man known by the Palestinians in Hebron as Haim Bajayo, who is respected there as a true fighter for justice.

The man who said Hebron is in my heart.

Years ago Haim and I walked the streets of Hebron. I asked why he looked so sad and he said for two reasons. One, I am seeing the settlers occupying my home. And two, I am remembering my life here.
He said to me, I am Palestinian. My nationality is Palestinian. The settlers occupied my home like the rest of the Palestinians. Because of this I fight the occupation.
Haim Hanegbi, Haim Bajayo passes away today. This is a sad moment.

Ahmad Jaradat is the Senior Project Coordinator of the Alternative Information Center (AIC).

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