Read for Peace
The Los Angeles Times have published an adaptation from Amos Oz’s acceptance speech in Spain last week for the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.
I believe in literature as a bridge between peoples. I believe curiosity can be a moral quality. I believe imagining the other can be an antidote to fanaticism. Imagining the other will make you not only a better businessperson or a better lover but even a better person.
While the Arabs regard Israelis as latter-day Crusaders, an extension of the white, colonizing Europe, many Israelis, for their part, regard the Arabs as the new incarnation of our past oppressors, pogrom makers and Nazis.
This situation charges Europe with a particular responsibility for the solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict: Instead of wagging their fingers at either side, Europeans should extend empathy, understanding and help to both sides. You no longer have to choose between being pro-Israel and being pro-Palestine. You have to be pro-peace.
The woman in the window might be a Palestinian woman in Nablus. She might be a Jewish Israeli woman in Tel Aviv. If you want to help make peace between these two women in the two windows, you had better read more about them.
Read novels, dear friends. They will tell you much.