Sunday, January 11, 2009

Israeli Writer Amos Oz On Gaza And Two-State Solution

Amos Oz is an outstanding Israeli writer whose novels and essays I recommend without reservation. His autobiographical "A Tale of Love and Darkness," set in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties, features a breadth of remembered detail that I found astonishing. A longtime advocate of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, Oz is one of the founders of the Israeli group Peace Now. He should have received a Nobel Prize a long time ago.

Oz is always worth listening to. From a recent interview on National Public Radio:

Gaza War: "I object to the ground offensive; I think this went out of proportion. I thought after the aerial raid, Israel should have stopped the operation and waited to see the response from Hamas. If Hamas ceases the fire, then there would have been a cease fire."

Two-State Solution: "In the long term the only thing that will work for Israel and for the Palestinians is the unavoidable one and only political solution, which is the two-state solution. The Palestinians are in Palestine for the same reasons for which the Norwegians are in Norway. It is their homeland and they are not going away. The Israelis are in Israel for exactly the same reason and they are not going anywhere either. They cannot become one happy family because they are not one and because they are not happy and because they are not even a family. They are two unhappy families. ...the good news is that the majority of the Israeli Jews and the majority of the Palestinian Arabs know now in their heart of hearts that at the end of the day, there will be a partition and a two-state solution... We know the solution. We know the way out. We don't like this way out. It's like a patient who has to undergo a painful surgery, an amputation, and dividing the country into two nation states is going to be like an amputation both for the Israelis and for the Palestinians. But it has to be done and it's time for both leaderships on both sides to carry out this solution..."

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

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