A. B. Yehoshua quotes and sayings
December 19, 1936
So with truth - there is a certain moment when one can say, this is the truth and here I put a dot, a stop, and I go to another thing. A judge has to put an end to a deliberation. But for a historian, there's never an end to the past. It can go on and on and on.
It's not what the rabbis say that defines Jewishness but what we Israelis do every day - our actions and our values.
I come from two parts of the oriental community - Jerusalemite and North African Jews.
This is why I am a Zionist: because Diaspora leads to hatred and the Holocaust.
One of the dreams of Zionism was to be a bridge. Instead, we are creating exclusion between the East and the West instead of creating bridges; we are contributing to the conflict between East and West by our stupid desire to have more.
We always knew how to honor fallen soldiers. They were killed for our sake, they went out on our mission. But how are we to mourn a random man killed in a terrorist attack while sitting in a cafe? How do you mourn a housewife who got on a bus and never returned?
At the heart of anti-Semitism lies Moses. He made a catastrophic error, a terrible mistake, and all anti-Semitism for two thousand years stems from his misjudgement. Moses said we Jews could remain a people without having a land. He said we don't need territory to hold onto our Jewish identity. This was a disaster.
Our synagogues are spread all over the world, and we want people to respect them and look after them. And we have to respect the places of prayer of others.
In my own view, Hamas's frustration derives from a lack of legitimization by Israel and by much of the world. It is this frustration that leads them to such destructive desperation. That's why we need to grant them status as a legitimate enemy - before we talk about an agreement or, alternatively, about a frontal war.
Let us not forget: The Palestinians in Gaza are our permanent neighbors, and we are theirs.
And this is one of the major questions of our lives: how we keep boundaries, what permission we have to cross boundaries, and how we do so.
In my DNA, the Zionist gene is extremely strong.
I think about the Arabs not as enemies but as cousins. Even when we are in a fierce conflict with them, they are more of a kind of family - with all the problems of a family. We have to live with them.
The question of boundaries is a major question of the Jewish people because the Jews are the great experts of crossing boundaries. They have a sense of identity inside themselves that doesn't permit them to cross boundaries with other people.
I admit I think it is immoral for Jews to live in the Diaspora.
For 50 years - that is, for most of my adult life - I worked tirelessly for the two-state solution in the face of countless frustrations, both on the part of the Israeli governments and the Palestinian Authority.
I am a serious reader, and I read slowly.
I deeply respect literature and expect to gain insight from a book and to identify emotionally with its characters. I therefore avoid reading suspense novels or science fiction.
Traveling is one expression of the desire to cross boundaries.
Israel is too attached to America, too influenced by America. It should be connected to Europe. America is based on mythology - the free man, the individual, the open frontier. Europe is more conscious of history. Take Britain and Shakespeare. You shape your identity through history.
I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
The weapon of suicide bombing is so desperate that you aren't even left with the possibility of taking revenge or punishing anyone; the terrorist is killed along with his victims, his blood mixing with theirs.
Since ideology is part of the human personality, it deserves a place in the kingdom of eternal truths.
I only published my first novel at the age of 40. Till then, I wrote short stories.
The literary trappings and moralizing of science fiction I find insufficiently compelling.
The malady of the Jews is that they don't see territory as part of their identity.
World War II was a trauma that paralysed writers. It was something metaphysical, diabolical.
I don't think that when Zionism began there was a claim that we were losing - even in part - our capacity to contribute to other peoples.
Israelis are the total Jews.
Intimate relationships are a gold mine for literature to explore, to understand, to describe.
Jews outside Israel live in permanent contradiction. I think they should come home.
Jerusalem doesn't belong only to Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews, but to the world.
J. R. R. Tolkien
Honore de Balzac
Miguel de Cervantes
Joyce Carol Oates
G. Campbell Morgan
Dick Van Patten
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