Support indie blogging--and keep it ad-free--by purchasing a G.M. book, below right.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Oz: Middle East Wizardry Still Possible

New Roger Cohen column online only at NYT, a chat with Israeli novelist and famed peace backer Amos Oz, now 73, on last week's elections.
First and foremost, these elections were about internal affairs, the middle class, state and synagogue, the draft, with a silent consensus that the occupied territories do not matter that much. Israelis are no longer interested. They vote with their feet. They don’t go there, except for the settlers and right-wing extremists. This means that if Israelis can be reassured that by renouncing the West Bank they are not going to get a lousy deal — not going to be ‘fraiers’ — they are quietly ready to do it.”  ...
Among the cowards, would he include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? “Yes I think Netanyahu is a coward,” he declared. But the victory of the center in the election could alter the equation. “It means,” Oz said, “that there will be more pressure on Netanyahu from the dovish side in Israel and from the outside world, so that his cowardice may work the other way.”...
Lapid, in effect a political vessel awaiting content, is a character in search of meaning and, as such, of interest to Oz. “He is a phenomenon, a manifestation of the desire of the middle class for normalization. Israelis want to be like Holland,” Oz told me. “It is a legitimate desire even if it tends to ignore fundamental issues, like the conflict with the Arabs. I don’t know if Lapid has ideas and I’m not sure he knows. What Lapid will do is a mystery not just to me — it is probably a mystery to him!”

No comments:

My anti-death penalty e-book

My anti-death penalty e-book
Click cover to read more on history, and current debate, in America.