Thursday, March 19, 2009

Amos Oz, Israel's voice of reason: I'm a peacenik, not a pacifist

Some highlights from an impressive interview with Israeli writer Amoz Oz at The Independent: about his own life and the tragedy between Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Arab.

"It's a tragedy, because it is a clash between right and right. The Israelis are in Israel because they have nowhere else to go. The Palestinians are in Palestine because they have nowhere else to go. This is a conflict between victims, and between people who both have a just claim to the land." "The tragedy is that these people believe they are motivated by the best in human nature."

"I think a two-state solution is inevitable. The Israeli Jews are not going anywhere. There are five and a half million of us, and we're not going anywhere – we don't have anywhere to go. The Palestinian Arabs are not going anywhere, either – they don't have anywhere to go. "

"Hamas fired some 10,000 rockets on southern Israel, where I live. And I don't think any country in the world would simply turn the other cheek to that. I don't think England would restrain if anybody showered Yorkshire with 10,000 rockets. So, an Israeli response was understandable and acceptable, in my view. The dimensions of the response, the disproportion of the response, is something which I severely criticise."

"Using the same logic, you can ask from the Palestinian perspective – what country could tolerate being violently occupied for 40 years, then having part of its territory blockaded and semi-starved, just to punish it for how it voted in a democratic election?"

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