Monday, 13 September 2010

Israel’s Foremost Writer Has to Assure Israelis of His Allegiance

In his interview with the BBC, Israeli author David Grossman was asked whether he had ever considered leaving Israel. The question was asked in the context of Grossman’s book To the End of the Land. His response was: “I considered it and there are always temptations for it and I know when I will leave Israel – this is when Israel will stop being a democracy.”

Asked whether that was possible, Grossman said “It’s possible everywhere and as long as we are stuck in this war situation, it is a growing temptation for fundamentalism, fanaticism, and all the bad things that can bring about the stopping of democracy. But, I hope that I will stay in Israel because I deeply believe that for a Jewish person Israel is the most significant place to be and to implement our culture and our history and I think that part of the tragedy of the Jewish individual and the Jewish collective is that we have never really felt at home in the world and now we have Israel for 62 years and yet it is not the home it was meant to be. I want a home, I want Israel as a home, I want to have something, …a solidity of existence, we never felt the solidity of existence.”

It did not take long and Israel’s foremost writer had to defend himself on Israeli television. Grossman found himself explaining that he had been quoted out of context and that leaving Israel is anathema to everything he believes in.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Yehuda Amichai said it more eloquently:

    "Spilled blood is not the roots of trees/but it's the closest thing to roots we have."