Amos Oz - Israeli WriterBefore all attention is deflected to President George W. Bush’s visit to Jerusalem today, the capital is hosting its annual Writers’ Conference, one of Israel’s leading literary events, which attracts internationally-renowned novelists and poets. One of the guests is Nadine Gordimer, South African writer, political activist and Nobel Prize laureate, who has long written about racial issues in her home country.

The authors have discussed political issues as well as literature:

“Israel is the country of immigrants and refugees, survivors and displaced people from all over the world. We weren’t occupiers, and we didn’t want to be occupiers”, said Eli Amir, the famous Israeli writer, “We were thrown into a historic situation that we have not managed to get out of. We are a torn nation. The occupation is destroying us. We have no right to control another nation. Our leaders and the leaders of the Palestinian people must do everything to get out of this situation.”

Amos Oz, winner of the prestigious Goethe Prize in 2005 spoke about his love-hate relationship with Israel, “I must personally admit that I love Israel even when I can’t stand it. It’s no coincidence that during a year when it’s tough to love Israel, it’s easier to love its literature. Israeli literature delivers the bill to the Israeli people – for the subjugation of the Palestinians, the occupation, the wars, the internal social injustices, book after book, creation after creation.”

We hope that authors will succeed where politicians have failed so far, and will help to bring a touch of normality to this conflicted area.

Source: Haaretz ; Picture by Princeton University Press