AMOS OZ EXPLAINS ISRAEL’S DILEMMA TO THE GERMANS
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?
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.