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Amos Oz

Amos Oz

Overview
Amos Oz (born May 4, 1939, birth name Amos Klausner) is an Israeli writer, novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

ist, and journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

. He is also a professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva.

Since 1967, he has been a prominent advocate and major cultural voice of a two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

. Oz's work has been published in some 30 languages, including Arabic in 35 countries.
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Quotations

The minute we leave south Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the State of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly no longer will be relevant when Israel returns to her internationally recognized northern border.

"Try a Little Tenderness" (interview) in Ha'aretz, March 17, 2000.

The [political] left are people with an imagination and the right are those without an imagination.

"Between Oz and Ayalon" (interview), the Supplement to Shabbat, 21 November 2008, :w:Yedioth Ahronoth|Yedioth Ahronoth, p. 2.
Encyclopedia
Amos Oz (born May 4, 1939, birth name Amos Klausner) is an Israeli writer, novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

ist, and journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

. He is also a professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva.

Since 1967, he has been a prominent advocate and major cultural voice of a two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

 to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

. Oz's work has been published in some 30 languages, including Arabic in 35 countries. He has received many honours and awards, among them the French National Order of the Legion of Honour and the Israel Prize
Israel Prize
The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

. In 2007, a selection from the Chinese translation of A Tale of Love and Darkness was the first work of modern Hebrew literature to appear in an official Chinese textbook.

Biography


Oz was born in Jerusalem, where he grew up at No. 18 Amos Street in the Kerem Avraham
Kerem Avraham
Kerem Avraham is a neighbourhood near Geula in central Jerusalem, Israel, founded in 1855. It is bounded by Malchei Yisrael St, Yechezkel St, Tsefanya St and the Schneller Compound.-History:...

 neighborhood. Roughly half of his fiction is set within a mile of his boyhood home.

His parents, Yehuda Arieh Klausner and Fania Mussman, were Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 immigrants from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. His father studied history and literature in Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and after immigrating, worked as a librarian and writer. His maternal grandfather had owned a mill in Rovno, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, but moved with the family to Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 in 1934. Many of Klausner's family members were right-wing
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 Revisionist Zionists
Revisionist Zionism
Revisionist Zionism is a nationalist faction within the Zionist movement. It is the founding ideology of the non-religious right in Israel, and was the chief ideological competitor to the dominant socialist Labor Zionism...

. His great uncle Joseph Klausner
Joseph Klausner
Joseph Gedaliah Klausner , , was a Jewish historian and professor of Hebrew Literature. He was the chief redactor of The Hebrew Encyclopedia...

 was the Herut
Herut
Herut was the major right-wing political party in Israel from the 1940s until its formal merger into Likud in 1988, and an adherent of Revisionist Zionism.-History:...

 party candidate for the presidency against Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann, , was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952....

 and was chair of the Hebrew literary society at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

.

He and his family were distant from religion, disdaining what they perceived to be its irrationality. Yet he attended the community religious school Tachkemoni as the alternative was the socialist school affiliated with the labor movement, to which his family was decidedly opposed in their political values. The noted poet Zelda
Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky
Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky , widely known as Zelda, was an Israeli poet. She received three awards for her published works.-Biography:...

 was one of his teachers. After Tachkemoni he attended Gymnasia Rehavia
Gymnasia Rehavia
Gymnasia Rehavia is a high school in the Rehavia neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel.-History:Gymnasia Rehavia was the country’s second modern high school, after Gymnasia Herzliya in Tel Aviv. The school was first established in Jerusalem's Bukharan Quarter in 1909. The building on Keren Kayemet...

.

His mother who had suffered from depression, committed suicide when he was 12, repercussions of which he would explore in his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness
A Tale of Love and Darkness
A Tale of Love and Darkness is an autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz, first published in Hebrew in 2002.The book has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide. In 2011, a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq...

. Soon after at the age of 15, he became a Labor Zionist
Labor Zionism
Labor Zionism can be described as the major stream of the left wing of the Zionist movement. It was, for many years, the most significant tendency among Zionists and Zionist organizational structure...

, left home, and joined kibbutz Hulda
Hulda, Israel
Hulda is a kibbutz in central Israel. Located in the Shephelah near the Hulda forest and the Burma Road, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gezer Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 332...

.

There he was adopted by the Huldai family (whose firstborn son Ron
Ron Huldai
Ron Huldai is an Israeli politician, academic administrator, former fighter pilot and current mayor of Tel Aviv. He was born in 1944 in Hulda to Polish parents from Łódź. He is a history graduate of Tel Aviv University, Auburn University Montgomery , the U.S...

 now serves as mayor of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

) and lived a full kibbutz life. He also changed his surname to "Oz", Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 for "strength". Asked why he did not leave Jerusalem for Tel Aviv, he later said, “Tel Aviv was not radical enough – only the kibbutz was radical enough.” However by his own account he was “a disaster as a laborer... the joke of the kibbutz.” When Oz first began to write, the kibbutz gave him one day a week to write, when his book “My Michael” became a best-seller, and he had become “a branch of the farm”, three days, and in the eighties he had four days for writing, while teaching for two days and taking turns as a waiter in the kibbutz dining hall on Saturdays.”

Like most Israeli Jews, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces. In the late 1950s he served in the kibbutz-oriented Nahal
Nahal
Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

 unit and was involved in border skirmishes with Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

; during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 (1967) he was with a tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

 unit in Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

; during the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 (1973) he served in the Golan Heights. After Nahal, Oz studied philosophy and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he was sent by the General Assembly of the kibbutz. After graduating in 1963, he worked as a teacher of literature and philosophy.

His earliest publications were a few short articles in the kibbutz newsletter and the newspaper Davar. His first book Where the Jackals Howl, a collection of short stories, was published in 1965. His first novel Elsewhere, Perhaps was published in 1966. Following this, he began to write prolifically, publishing an average of one book per year on the Labor Party press, Am Oved. He ultimately left Am Oved, despite his political affiliation, and went to Keter Publishing House
Keter Publishing House
Keter Publishing House is one of the largest publishers in Israel. It was formed in 2005 through a merger of Keter Publishing and Steimatzky. Keter has a large book marketing and distribution network, as well print services and book production for the Israeli domestic and export market. Keter is...

 and signed an exclusive contract that granted him a fixed monthly salary regardless of frequency of publication.

Oz married Nily Oz-Zuckerman in 1960. The couple has three children. They remained in kibbutz Hulda until they moved to Arad in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

 desert in 1986, due to their son Daniel's asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

. Their oldest daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, teaches history at the University of Haifa
University of Haifa
The University of Haifa is a university in Haifa, Israel.The University of Haifa was founded in 1963 by Haifa mayor Abba Hushi, to operate under the academic auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

.

Oz has written 18 books in Hebrew, and about 450 articles and essays. His works have been translated into some 30 languages, including Arabic. In 2008 he was Nr. 72 on the Foreign Policy/Prospect list of 100 top public intellectuals.

Awards and honours


  • In 1976, Oz was awarded the Brenner Prize
    Brenner Prize
    The Brenner Prize is an Israeli literary prize awarded annually by the Hebrew Writers Association in Israel and the Haft Family Foundation.It was founded in the name of the author Yosef Haim Brenner and was first awarded in 1945....

    .
  • In 1983, he was awarded the Bernstein Prize
    Bernstein Prize
    The Bernstein Prize is an annual Israeli literary award for writers 50 years of age and younger. The prize is awarded by the Bernstein Foundation, named after Mordechai Bernstein, who left money in his estate to establish a foundation in order to encourage young Hebrew writers...

     (original Hebrew novel category), for A Perfect Peace.
  • In 1984, he received the Officier des Arts et Lettres in France.
  • In 1986, he was a co-recipient (jointly with Yitzhak Auerbuch-Orpaz) of the Bialik Prize
    Bialik Prize
    The Bialik Prize is an annual literary award given by the municipality of Tel Aviv, Israel for significant accomplishments in Hebrew literature. The prize is named in memory of Hayyim Nahman Bialik. There are two separate prizes, one specifically for "Literature", which is in the field of fiction,...

     for literature.
  • In 1988, he received the French Prix Femina Etranger.
  • In 1992, he was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade
    Peace Prize of the German Book Trade
    The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade is an international peace prize given yearly at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt am Main, Germany...

    .
  • In 1997, President Jacques Chirac presented him with the Légion d'honneur.
  • In 1998, he was awarded the Israel Prize
    Israel Prize
    The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

    , for literature.
  • In 2004, he was awarded the Ovid Prize
    Ovid Prize
    The Ovid Prize, established in 2002, is a literary prize awarded annually to an author from any country, in recognition of a body of work. Past recipients include Orhan Pamuk, Andrei Codrescu, Amoz Oz, Jorge Semprún and António Lobo Antunes. It is named in honour of the Roman poet Ovid, who died in...

     from the city of Neptun
    Neptun
    Neptun may refer to:*Neptun, Romania, resort town on the southeast Black Sea coast of Romania*Neptun , educational administration system used by universities and colleges in Hungary*SK Neptun, Swedish swim team...

    , Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

  • In 2005, he was awarded the Goethe Prize
    Goethe Prize
    The Goethe Prize of Frankfurt-am-Main is a German literary award of high prestige named after Johann Wolfgang Goethe. It was initially an annual award, but became triennial...

     from the city of Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

    , Germany for his life's work, a prize which was awarded in the past to the likes of Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

     and Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

    .
  • In 2005, he received the JQ Wingate Prize (nonfiction) for A Tale of Love and Darkness
  • In 2006, he received the Jerusalem-Agnon Prize.
  • In 2006, he received the Corine Prize (Germany).
  • In 2007, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (Spain).
  • In 2007, his book "A Tale of Love and Darkness" was nominated one of the ten most important books since the creation of the State of Israel.
  • In 2008, he received the German President's High Honor Award.
  • In 2008, he was awarded the Primo Levi
    Primo Levi
    Primo Michele Levi was an Italian Jewish chemist and writer. He was the author of two novels and several collections of short stories, essays, and poems, but is best known for If This Is a Man, his account of the year he spent as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland...

     Prize (Italy).
  • In 2008, he received the Heinrich Heine Prize
    Heinrich Heine Prize
    Heinrich Heine Prize refers to two different awards named after the 19th century German poet Christian Johann Heinrich Heine:* Heinrich Heine prize of Düsseldorf...

     of Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

    , Germany.
  • In 2008, he received an Honorary Degree
    Honorary degree
    An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

     from the University of Antwerp
    University of Antwerp
    The University of Antwerp is one of the major Belgian universities located in the city of Antwerp. The name is sometimes abbreviated as UA.-History:...

    .
  • In 2008, he also received Tel Aviv University's
    Tel Aviv University
    Tel Aviv University is a public university located in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. With nearly 30,000 students, TAU is Israel's largest university.-History:...

     Dan David Prize
    Dan David Prize
    The Dan David Prize annually awards 3 prizes of $1 million each awarded by the Dan David Foundation and Tel Aviv University to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, culture or social welfare. There are three prize categories - past, present and...

     ("Past Category"), jointly with Atom Egoyan
    Atom Egoyan
    Atom Egoyan, OC is a critically acclaimed Armenian-Canadian stage director and film director. Egoyan made his career breakthrough with Exotica...

     and Tom Stoppard
    Tom Stoppard
    Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and...

    , for "Creative Rendering of the Past".
  • In 2010, he received the honorary fellowship from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.


Oz has been considered in recent years as a serious candidate to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

.

In 2005, he was voted the 41st-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet
Ynet
Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.

Literary career


Besides his fiction, Oz regularly publishes essays on the subjects of politics, literature, and peace. He has written extensively for the Israeli Labor newspaper Davar
Davar
Davar was a Hebrew-language daily newspaper published in the Mandate Palestine and Israel between 1925 and May 1996.-History:Davar was established by Moshe Beilinson and Berl Katznelson, with Katznelson as its first editor. The first edition was published on 1 June 1925 under the name Davar - Iton...

and (since the demise of Davar in the 1990s) for Yedioth Ahronoth
Yedioth Ahronoth
Yedioth Ahronoth is a daily newspaper published in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since the 1970s, it has been the most widely circulated paper in Israel. In a TGI survey comparing the last half of 2009 with the same period in 2008, Yedioth Ahronoth retained the title of most widely read newspaper in Israel...

. In English, his non-fiction has appeared in various places, including the New York Review of Books. Oz is one of the writers whose works literary researchers study from a fundamental approach. At Ben-Gurion University a special collection was established dealing with him and his works.

In his works, Oz tends to present protagonists in a realistic light with an ironic touch while his treatment of the life in the kibbutz is accompanied by a somewhat critical tone. Oz credits a 1959 translation of American writer Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson was an American novelist and short story writer. His most enduring work is the short story sequence Winesburg, Ohio. Writers he has influenced include Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, and Amos Oz.-Early life:Anderson was born in Clyde, Ohio,...

’s short story collection Winesburg, Ohio
Winesburg, Ohio (novel)
Winesburg, Ohio is a 1919 short story cycle by the American author Sherwood Anderson. The work is structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man...

with his decision to “write about what was around me.” In A Tale of Love and Darkness, his memoir of coming of age in the midst of Israel’s violent birth pangs, Oz credits Anderson’s “modest book” with his own realization that "the written world … always revolves around the hand that is writing, wherever it happens to be writing: where you are is the center of the universe." In his 2004 essay "How to Cure a Fanatic" (later the title essay of a 2006 collection), Oz argues that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a war of religion or cultures or traditions, but rather a real estate dispute — one that will be resolved not by greater understanding, but by painful compromise.

Political views


Oz is among the most influential and well-regarded intellectuals in Israel. This regard is also evident in the societal realm where he regularly speaks out, although not as frequently as he did in the mid-1990s. Oz was one of the first Israelis to advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 after the Six-Day War. He did so in a 1967 article "Land of our Forefathers" in the Labor newspaper Davar. "Even unavoidable occupation is a corrupting occupation," he wrote. In 1978, he was one of the founders of Peace Now. Unlike some others in the Israeli peace movement, he does not oppose the construction of an Israeli West Bank barrier
Israeli West Bank barrier
The Israeli West Bank barrier is a separation barrier being constructed by the State of Israel along and within the West Bank. Upon completion, the barrier’s total length will be approximately...

, but believes that it should be roughly along the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

, the pre-1967 border.

He has opposed settlement activity from the beginning and was among the first to praise the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 and talks with the PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

. In his speeches and essays he frequently attacks the non-Zionist
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 left and always emphasizes his Zionist identity. He is identified by many right-wing observers as the most eloquent spokesperson of the Zionist left. His views can be encapsulated as follows:

Two Palestinian-Israeli wars have erupted in this region. One is the Palestinian nation's war for its freedom from occupation and for its right to independent statehood. Any decent person ought to support this cause. The second war is waged by fanatical Islam, from Iran to Gaza and from Lebanon to Ramallah, to destroy Israel and drive the Jews out of their land. Any decent person ought to abhor this cause." (April 7, 2002)


(Unofficial translation from Hebrew) Our biggest problem is the disappearance of social solidarity. A gross egotism is developing here, that isn't even ashamed of itself. Twenty years ago a girl from Bet Shean said on television "I'm hungry", and the doorposts shook (Isaiah 6:4). Yes, partly it was just lip service, but at least there was lip service. Today, even if she died of hunger on a live broadcast, nothing would happen, apart from high ratings and copywriters using the incident for their purposes. Anyone who once naively thought that the engine of the entrepreneurs and the rich would pull behind it a long train in which the rear cars would also go forward, was mistaken. That didn't happen. The engines are moving, and the rear cars are left behind on the rusting tracks. (September 6, 2002)


For many years Oz was identified with the Israeli Labor Party and was close to its leader Shimon Peres. When Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 retired from party leadership, he is said to have named Oz as one of three possible successors, along with Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 (later Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

) and Shlomo Ben-Ami
Shlomo Ben-Ami
Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami is a former Israeli diplomat, politician and historian.-Biography:Ben-Ami was born in Tangiers, Morocco, and immigrated to Israel in 1955....

 (later Barak's foreign minister). In the 1990s, Oz withdrew his support from Labor and went further left to the Meretz Party, where he had close connections with the leader, Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni is an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.-Biography:...

. In the elections to the sixteenth Knesset that took place in 2003, Oz appeared in the Meretz television campaign, calling upon the public to vote for Meretz.

In July 2006, Oz supported the Israeli army in its war with Lebanon
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

, writing in the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

"Many times in the past, the Israeli peace movement has criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. This time, the battle is not over Israeli expansion and colonization. There is no Lebanese territory occupied by Israel. There are no territorial claims from either side… The Israeli peace movement should support Israel's attempt at self-defense, pure and simple, as long as this operation targets mostly Hezbollah and spares, as much as possible, the lives of Lebanese civilians.
Like fellow Israeli novelists David Grossman
David Grossman
David Grossman is an Israeli author. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have won numerous prizes.He is also a noted activist and critic of Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The Yellow Wind, his non-fiction study of the life of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied...

 and A.B. Yehoshua, Oz changed his position (of unequivocal support for a military act of "self-defense" at the outbreak of the war) in the face of the cabinet's later decision to expand operations in Lebanon. Grossman shared their view at a press conference as he argued that Israel already exhausted its self-defense right.

On December 26, 2008, a day before the Israeli offensive into Gaza
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world, was a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel, and hundreds of rocket attacks on south of Israel which...

 commenced, Oz signed a statement published as an ad in Yediot Aharonot supporting military action against Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 in Gaza
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Two weeks later in a Yediot Aharonot article he advocated a ceasefire with Hamas and called attention to the harsh conditions there. He was also quoted in the Italian paper Corriere della Sera
Corriere della Sera
The Corriere della Sera is an Italian daily newspaper, published in Milan.It is among the oldest and most reputable Italian newspapers. Its main rivals are Rome's La Repubblica and Turin's La Stampa.- History :...

as saying "Hamas is responsible" for the outbreak of violence, but "the time has come to seek a cease-fire." He called for a "complete cease-fire, in which they don't fire at us, in exchange for us easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip." Oz also condemned some of the actions taken by the Israeli defence forces and called them war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s.

In an editorial in the New York Times of June 1, 2010, criticizing aspects of Israel's policy towards Gaza and its interception of the Marmara boat, Oz wrote: “Hamas is not just a terrorist organization. Hamas is an idea, a desperate and fanatical idea that grew out of the desolation and frustration of many Palestinians. No idea has ever been defeated by force ... To defeat an idea, you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one. Thus, the only way for Israel to edge out Hamas would be to quickly reach an agreement with the Palestinians on the establishment of an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as defined by the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. Israel has to sign a peace agreement with President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah government in the West Bank — and by doing so, reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip. That latter conflict, in turn, can be resolved only by negotiating with Hamas or, more reasonably, by the integration of Fatah with Hamas.”

In March 2011, Israeli media reported that Oz had sent imprisoned former Tanzim
Tanzim
Tanzim is a militant faction of the Palestinian Fatah movement.-Overview:The Tanzim militia, founded in 1995 to counter Palestinian Islamism, is widely considered to be an armed offshoot of Fatah with its own leadership structure...

 leader Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Hasib Ibrahim Barghouti is a Palestinian political figure. He is regarded as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas. Barghouti at one time supported the peace process, but later became disillusioned, and after 2000 went on to become the main figure behind the Al-Aqsa Intifada in the...

 a copy of his book A Tale of Love and Darkness
A Tale of Love and Darkness
A Tale of Love and Darkness is an autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz, first published in Hebrew in 2002.The book has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide. In 2011, a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq...

in Arabic translation with his personal dedication in Hebrew: “This story is our story, I hope you read it and understand us as we understand you, hoping to see you outside and in peace, yours, Amos Oz”. The gesture was criticized by members of rightist political parties. He was singled out for published criticism by the Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely
Tzipi Hotovely
Tzipi Hotovely is an Israeli politician, lawyer, and a doctorate student at the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv University. She practises Orthodox Judaism and is a member of the Knesset as a self-described "religious rightwinger" for the Likud party. When first elected at the age of 30, she was the...

. The incident led Assaf Harofeh Hospital to cancel Oz's invitation to give the keynote speech at an awards ceremony for outstanding physicians.

Non-fiction


  • In the Land of Israel (essays on political issues) ISBN 015144644X
  • Israel, Palestine and Peace: Essays (1995) (Previously published: Whose Holy Land? (1994).)
  • Under This Blazing Light (1995) ISBN 0521443679
  • Israeli Literature: a Case of Reality Reflecting Fiction (1985) ISBN 0935052127



  • The Slopes of Lebanon (1989) ISBN 0151830908
  • The Story Begins: Essays on Literature (1999) ISBN 0151002975
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness
    A Tale of Love and Darkness
    A Tale of Love and Darkness is an autobiographical novel by Israeli author Amos Oz, first published in Hebrew in 2002.The book has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide. In 2011, a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq...

    (2003) ISBN 0151008787
  • How to Cure a Fanatic (2006) ISBN 9780691126692


Fiction


  • Where the Jackals Howl (1965) ISBN 0151960380
  • Elsewhere, Perhaps (1966) ISBN 0151837465
  • My Michael  (1968) ISBN 0394471466
  • Unto Death (1971) ISBN 0151930953
  • Touch the Water, Touch the Wind (1973) ISBN 0151908737
  • The Hill of Evil Counsel (1976) ISBN 070112248X ; ISBN 0151402345
  • Soumchi (1978) ISBN 0060246219 ; ISBN 0156001934
  • A Perfect Peace (1982) ISBN 015171696X
  • Black Box
    Black Box (book)
    Black Box is a book by Israeli writer Amos Oz. It was first published in Israel in 1986 by Am Oved, and in the US by Harcourt in 1988.The book's plot deals with the tensions resulting from a destroyed marriage...

     
    (1987) ISBN 015112888X
  • To Know a Woman (1989) ISBN 0701135727 ; ISBN 0151904995
  • Fima (1991) ISBN 0151898510
  • Don't Call It Night (1994) ISBN 0151001529
  • A Panther in the Basement
    A Panther in the Basement
    -Plot:Amos Oz's reminiscent novel describes the doings of a twelve-year-old boy in 1947, the last year of the British Mandate of Palestine, during the British–Zionist conflict. Young Proffy has organized a pro-Israel underground cell that proposes to blow up Buckingham Palace or perhaps 10 Downing...

    (1995) ISBN 0151002878
  • The Same Sea (1999) ISBN 0151005729
  • The Silence of Heaven: Agnon’s Fear of God (2000) ISBN 0691036926
  • Suddenly in the Depth of the Forest (A Fable for all ages) (2005)
  • Rhyming Life and Death (2007) ISBN 978-0701182281
  • Scenes from Village Life (2009)


External links



/ Amos Oz Archive

Articles


See also


  • List of Israel Prize recipients
  • List of Bialik Prize recipients
    Bialik Prize
    The Bialik Prize is an annual literary award given by the municipality of Tel Aviv, Israel for significant accomplishments in Hebrew literature. The prize is named in memory of Hayyim Nahman Bialik. There are two separate prizes, one specifically for "Literature", which is in the field of fiction,...