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Amos Oz

  • Israeli writer
  • Born May 4, 1939

Amos Oz (Hebrew: עמוס עוז; born Amos Klausner; 4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018) was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual. He was also a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 1967 onwards, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He was the author of 40 books, including novels, short story collections, children's books, and essays, and his work has been published in 45 languages, more than that of any other Israeli writer.


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.




I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.




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.




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.




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.




I was born and bred in a tiny, low-ceilinged ground-floor apartment.




Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right.




I have seen for the first time in 100 years of conflict, the two peoples - the Israeli people and the Palestinian people - are ahead of their leaderships.




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.




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.




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.




In many ways, I regard Sharon and Arafat as birds of a feather.




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.




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.




I wrote a novel about Israelis who live their own lives on the slope of a volcano. Near a volcano one still falls in love, one still gets jealous, one still wants a promotion, one still gossips.




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.




I recommend the art of slow reading.

I recommend the art of slow reading.




The actual gap between Labor, Likud and the new central party is microscopic.




A conflict begins and ends in the hearts and minds of people, not in the hilltops.

A conflict begins and ends in the hearts and minds of people, not in the hilltops.




All of my novels are democracies.



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