Henri Curiel

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Henri D. Curiel (1914-1978) was gunned down at his Paris home; some have pointed the finger at Mossad involvement. The mode of Curiel's death was similar to that of such people as Issam Sartawi (who was gunned down in his Lisbon hotel foyer as he was about to set out to address the Socialist International, the assassin reportedly working for Abu Nidal, under Mossad directions). Curiel fits the pattern, as he was a pioneer of Arab-Jewish contacts and unofficial diplomacy. But Curiel, target for character assassination by the hacks on the CIA payroll who called him a "terrorist", was probably killed by South African agents (he had helped underground movements against Apartheid too) pointed at him by Mossad. (Incidentally, he was also under surveillence by the French DST, but this did not extend to stopping a gunman shooting Curiel in the entrance to his own home, on a quiet one-way street, then making a getaway and never being caught), It is believed that, at the time he was killed Curiel had been arranging a clandestine meeting between Uri Avneri and Issam Sartawi. In July 1976 the first meeting between the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (whose members included Adam Keller, Uri Avnery, Mattityahu Peled, Yaakov Arnon, Haim Baram, Yael Lotan and Yosi Amitai) and the PLO took place in Paris, through the mediation of a group of dedicated people led by Henri Curiel.

Born to a Jewish banking family in Egypt, Curiel helped to found the Egyptian communist movement. He set up the Egyptian Movement for National Liberation (EMNL) in 1943. (Hillel Schwartz, from a similar background to Curiel, set up Iskra, a largely propagandist group which attracted a following of hundreds of intellectuals and students. Youssef Darwish, a Jewish lawyer, became involved in the trade union movement in Shubra al-Khayma in Cairo and organised a cell which included the leading activists in the textile workers' union which had several thousand members. In 1945, this group began publishing a weekly magazine, New Dawn.) Exiled by King Farouk in 1950, Curiel came to France, where he devoted his life to helping third-world liberation movements and furthering the cause of peace between Israel, the Arab countries and the Palestinians. His lasting achievement was to have invented a new form of internationalism suited to the momentous anticolonial struggles that have marked the second half of the twentieth century. See Henri Curiel, citizen of the third world and A Man Apart: The Life of Henri Curiel. See, also, this rather unsympathetic piece about his family.

It turns out that he was the biological father of Alain Gresh, the journalist and editor of Le monde diplomatique. George Blake is his cousin.

See the Inventory of the papers of the EGYPTIAN COMMUNISTS IN EXILE (ROME GROUP) including the papers of HENRI CURIEL (1914-1978) 1945-1979 (-1984) which is maintained by the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.

See this Wikipedia (English) article

Other entities whose entries refer to Henri Curiel

Alain Gresh   • George Blake   • Israeli Committee for a Free Algeria   • Daniel Curiel   • Rome Group

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