Where would we be without Islit? Just imagine having to make do with Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Zola and the rest!
An extract from Jonathan Freedland's promo of David Grossman (David Grossman: 'You have to act against the gravity of grief - to decide you won't fail' Guardian, 26/11/16), annotated:
"The turning point was the 1967 war, when Israel gained the territories it has occupied ever since."
Gained? Just fell into Israel's lap! As these things do.
"He sees that as a kind of navigational error, when Israel strayed off course..."
Israel as babe in the woods. See also, 'We live in a tough neighborhood.'
"I suggest to him that plenty, especially on the European left, would dispute the notion that all was fine until 1967: their disagreement would go further back, to the circumstances of Israel's founding in 1948."
Well they would, wouldn't they? Only a leftie could possibly believe such things!
"'I do not want to idealise the Israel before 1967,' he replies. 'Of course there are terrible things that happened in '48'."
Of course, but,
"'... before '67, there was still a hope that things can be corrected, that we are not doomed to continue to fight with our neighbours for another 50 years'."
Yeah, we thought then that all those bloody Palestinians we'd taken such time and trouble to drive out in '48 would just get up off their bums and somehow blend in with the Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqis and Lebanese, and let them know just how wonderful we are so they'd all be banging on our door, wanting to open embassies.
"'To live by the sword and to die by the sword'."
Or rather, us living by the sword, and them dying by it.
"'What we have now is the belief that this is the only option open to us. That there is a kind of divine decree... It was not like that before 67'."
Yep, us living by the sword, and them dying by it. You know how it goes: "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations... and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy."
"It is this fatalism, this defeatist sense among his fellow Israelis that the situation with the Palestinians is immutable, an act of God or nature that cannot be reversed, that incenses Grossman most. It turns the Israelis into a nation of victims, he says, helpless before their fate."
But not quite so helpless that they can't blame their victims!