The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

LAST Thurs­day, Ger­man ra­dio sta­tion Deutsche Welle posted the tran­script of an in­ter­view with the Is­raeli nov­el­ist Amos Oz, from which the fol­low­ing are ex­tracts:

I would like to be­gin the in­ter­view in a very un­usual way: by pre­sent­ing one or two ques­tions to your read­ers and lis­ten­ers. May I do that?

Go ahead!

What would you do if your neigh­bour across the street sits down on the bal­cony, puts his lit­tle boy on

his lap and starts shoot­ing ma­chine-gun fire into your nurs­ery? And what would you do if your neigh­bour across the street digs a tun­nel from his nurs­ery to your nurs­ery in order to blow up your home or in order to kid­nap your fam­ily? With these two ques­tions, I pass the in­ter­view to you. [Later in the in­ter­view]

Are you among the 85 per cent of Is­raelis who want the of­fen­sive to con­tinue un­til the strate­gic goals of de­stroy­ing the tun­nels and rock­ets are reached?

The only al­ter­na­tive to con­tin­u­ing the Is­raeli mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion is sim­ply to fol­low Je­sus Christ and turn the other cheek. I never agreed with Je­sus Christ about the need to turn the other cheek to an en­emy. Un­like Euro­pean paci­fists, I never be­lieved the ul­ti­mate evil in the world is war. In my view, the ul­ti­mate evil in the world is ag­gres­sion, and the only way to re­pel ag­gres­sion is un­for­tu­nately by force. That is where the dif­fer­ence lies be­tween a Euro­pean paci­fist and an Is­raeli peacenik like my­self. And, if I may add a lit­tle anec­dote: A rel­a­tive of mine who sur­vived the Nazi Holo­caust in There­sien­stadt al­ways re­minded her chil­dren and her grand­chil­dren that her life was saved in 1945 not by peace demon­stra­tors with plac­ards and flow­ers but by Soviet soldiers and sub­ma­chine guns.

Amos Oz

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