Words matter. These are the best Amos Oz Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
And in this respect, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a tragedy, a clash between one very powerful, very convincing, very painful claim over this land and another no less powerful, no less convincing claim.
Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right.
I wrote The Same Sea not as a political allegory about Israelis and Palestinians. I wrote it about something much more gutsy and immediate. I wrote it as a piece of chamber music.
The idea that all Israelis are villains is a childish idea. Israel is the most deeply divided, argumentative society. You’ll never find two Israelis that agree with one another – it’s hard to find even one who agrees with himself or herself.
One of the things I wanted to introduce in The Same Sea beyond transcending the conflict, is the fact that deep down below all our secrets are the same.
All of my novels are democracies.
Every country in the world should follow the example of President Trump and move the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But simultaneously, there should be an embassy of all countries in the world in East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine.
‘Oz’ means strength – and it also means courage.
There is a difference between myself and some of the peace people in Europe: whereas they think that the ultimate evil in the world is war, I think the ultimate evil in the world is aggression, and aggression sometimes must be repelled by force.
Throughout my childhood, a heavy cloud of pain and disappointment and insecurity hovered over my home, my little street, my neighborhood, Jewish Jerusalem, Jewish Israel.
Israel should aspire to be a decent country. That’s good enough for me.
Two children of same cruel parent look at one another and see in each other the image of the cruel parent or the image of their past oppressor. This is very much the case between Jew and Arab: It’s a conflict between two victims.
I am not a pacifist in terms of turning the other cheek.
Very often, fanaticism begins at home. It begins inside the family. It begins with the urge to change our kin, to change our beloved ones for their own good because we think we know better than them what is good and what is bad for them, what is right and what is wrong in their thinking.
I think loathing begets fanaticism, and in the end, loathing begets hatred and violence.
In many ways, I regard Sharon and Arafat as birds of a feather.
Israel of the coastal plain, where eight out of ten Israeli Jews live far removed from the occupied territories, from the fiery Jerusalem, from the religious and nationalistic conflicts, is unknown to the outside world, almost unknown to itself.
I was born and bred in a tiny, low-ceilinged ground-floor apartment.
I was born in a tiny little enclave of terrified Jewish refugees, less than half a million of them, with no clear perspective of a future – hopes, yes, but no clear perspective.
I realised at the age of 16 that unless I read the gospels, I would never have access to Renaissance art, to the music of Bach or the novels of Dostoevsky. So in the evenings, when the other boys went to play basketball or chase girls – I had no chance in either – I found my comfort in Jesus.
I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.
I love Israel, but I don’t like it very much.
I’ve been called a traitor a few times in my life by some of my countrymen.
Jesus was born a Jew, and he died a Jew. It never occurred to him to establish a new religion. He never crossed himself: he had no reason to. He never set one foot in a church. He went to synagogue.
Literature is always about bygone times. It’s always looking back in time with a certain perspective. I look at bygone life which no longer exists, and as I said, I look at it without nostalgia but without anger, either. I look at it with criticism and with compassion. I look at it with curiosity.
When you’re on the battlefield, you switch off your soul; otherwise, you would die of terror – you would die of fear. You switch off your soul, and you act like an animal or a machine.
On my parents’ scale of values, the more Western something was, the more cultured it was considered.
Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time. Reading is not an exception.
But for 30 years, Orthodox leaders have tipped the balance between hawks and doves, and have been in a position to determine who forms a coalition and who runs the country.
If we don’t stop somewhere, if we don’t accept an unhappy compromise, unhappy for both sides, if we don’t learn how to unhappily coexist and contain our burned sense of injustice – if we don’t learn how to do that, we end up in a doomed state.
But The Same Sea is set precisely in this Israel, which never makes it to the news headlines anywhere. It is a novel about everyday people far removed from fundamentalism, fanaticism nationalism, or militancy of any sort.
It is crystal clear to me that if Arabs put down a draft resolution blaming Israel for the recent earthquake in Iran it would probably have a majority, the U.S. would veto it and Britain and France would abstain.
I recommend the art of slow reading.
The actual gap between Labor, Likud and the new central party is microscopic.
My parents – they tried to become American, they tried to become British, they tried to become Scandinavian – nobody wanted them, anywhere.