Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amos Oz's Emptiness - He Can't Feel Jewish

As Ethan Bronner notes in his report on Amos Oz's new novel,

...in a 1990 newspaper interview in Haaretz, [Oz] made this point about himself: “There’s always a part of me that’s uninvolved, that sits on the sidelines and observes. Sometimes it looks on from the distance, almost hostile. Very chilly.”

With that in mind, consider the photograph accompanying the story:



Oz sees Israel not as the reality of Zionist realization but he requires the emptiness of the desert (he resides in Arad), with the primal view of no one there. And that characterises his political approach - while people populate his literary output, his politics are people-lacking or, specifically, Jewish-empty.

And Bronner writes:

Although he was a native of West Jerusalem, and his parents, who had fled Europe, were right-wing nationalists, he could not rejoice because he kept asking himself how he would feel in the place of the Palestinians living there.
“I tried my hardest to feel in East Jerusalem like a man who has driven out his enemies and recovered his ancestral inheritance,” he wrote in a 1968 essay included in the new collection. “But I couldn’t.”


He just can't feel Jewish.

8 comments:

galia said...

Does "Feeling Jewish" means to you as Zionist to be proud of driving out your enemies and recovering your ancestral inheritance? Is that what it is ?
Is that all? Don't you think there is more to being Jewish than this, and don't you think that the "driving out" part destroys other aspects of what "feeling Jewish" truely means?

YMedad said...

Galia, you keep getting things backwards. It were the Arabs who tried to kick the Jews out, not let them in, subjugate them ever since the 13th century after conquering a land foreign to them in the 7th century, attempt ethnic cleansing early on in the Mandate era (Tel Hai, Jaffa, Hadera, then Hebron, Shcehm and Gaza).

galia said...

I was only citing Oz. And wondering why he couldn't and you can.

YMedad said...

I could guess that he's a psychological cripple. That he is too embarrassed. That he's ashamed of his family. That's he's a universalist or a cosmopolitan. We've had loads of those.

galia said...

Wow!
What makes you think that the problem is with what he is and not with what you are?

YMedad said...

a Jewish nationalist's intuition

galia said...

Haha, Israel ├╝ber alles!

And it's not intuition, it sounds much more like brainwashed mixed with ego.

YMedad said...

Last warning. None of that Nazi-shit.