A. B. Yehoshua Quotes

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.
The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.
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.
I admit I think it is immoral for Jews to live in the Diaspora.
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 have to rethink the two-state solution.
We’re living with the Arabs; we have to understand them… Through knowing the Arabs, you know yourself better.
We must see what in the Israeli identity – in the Israeli – we can give to other people rather than speaking so often of taking, expanding territory.
In a time of crisis, there is rational tendency to turn to the writer.
It’s not what the rabbis say that defines Jewishness but what we Israelis do every day – our actions and our values.
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.
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?
I am a serious reader, and I read slowly.
Let us not forget: The Palestinians in Gaza are our permanent neighbors, and we are theirs.
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.
This is why I am a Zionist: because Diaspora leads to hatred and the Holocaust.
I come from two parts of the oriental community – Jerusalemite and North African Jews.
Traveling is one expression of the desire to cross boundaries.
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.
In my DNA, the Zionist gene is extremely strong.
I only published my first novel at the age of 40. Till then, I wrote short stories.
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.
Intimate relationships are a gold mine for literature to explore, to understand, to describe.
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.
The malady of the Jews is that they don’t see territory as part of their identity.
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.
The literary trappings and moralizing of science fiction I find insufficiently compelling.
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.
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.
World War II was a trauma that paralysed writers. It was something metaphysical, diabolical.
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.
Jerusalem doesn’t belong only to Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews, but to the world.
Israelis are the total Jews.
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.
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.
Jews outside Israel live in permanent contradiction. I think they should come home.

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