profile of Israeli author David Grossman

“A child radio star-turned news anchor, David Grossman lost his job on Israel’s version of the Today programme in 1988 for quarrelling with the official line. He refused to bury news that the Palestinian leadership had declared its own state and, for the first time, conceded Israel’s right to exist. (…) Next day he read in the newspapers that he had been sacked. Grossman had already published a children’s book, a short story collection, a novel and The Yellow Wind, a non-fiction work condemning 20 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But the sacking, he says with satisfaction, “doomed me to be a writer”. ”
Read the rest of the Guardian’s profile of Grossman.


4 Responses to “profile of Israeli author David Grossman”

  1. freddie Says:

    Leave it to the Guardian to publish a piece that makes Israel look bad. In fact, the “occupied” lands are called by the UN “contested lands,” and they belonged to Jordan and to Egypt, not to a group identifying theselves as Palestinians. That said, name a country that gives back to anyone land taken during war (a war to survive I might add) without having either a tactical reason of A PEACE TREATY–safe and secure borders–in place. Why fight, die, get wounded, suffer–and then hand over what you went to war for with nothing in return?

  2. moorishgirl Says:

    Why do you say that the article makes Israel look bad? Is it bad that Israel has produced novelists like Grossman and Oz and countless others? Is it bad that these people continue to write despite their dissenting views? It’s something to be proud of, if anything.
    As for the rest of your comment, it brought back to mind why I stopped blogging on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a long time ago. The 1967 war was a pre-emptive attack on the part of Israel (it bombed Egyptian planes on the ground, sparking the conflict.) So, the fact remains that it still holds territories as a result of aggression, and therefore it is incumbent upon it to return them. I know we will not agree on this, and that’s fine. The key question is: There are millions of Israelis on one side and millions of Palestinians on the other. What can be done to bring about peace? Fighting hasn’t done any good, as far as I can see. And that’s as much as I will say about this.
    I find the Israeli-Palestinian conflict utterly aggravating, and there are other blogs where people fight about this stuff, and do a much better job of it. Let’s keep that kind of fighting out of my blog, shall we? Please feel free to comment on anything else you wish.

  3. Jonathan Edelstein Says:

    Grossman is an interesting writer, and it’s intriguing to compare him to another Israeli journalist-turned-author, Amos Kenan. Kenan is a generation older, also leftist but without the same ability to write from the Palestinian point of view. Maybe that’s a trait that is more common in younger Israelis who, after all, grew up with the occupation and had much closer proximity to Palestinians on a daily basis.

    I think Grossman overdramatizes a bit – not unusual in a writer – when he says that Israelis face vilification for merely seeing the Palestinian side. In my experience, that hasn’t been the case for the great majority of Israelis; there’s quite a bit of journalism, film and literature over there with sympathetic Palestinian characters, and it hasn’t been controversial except on the extreme right. Grossman’s cri de coeur, however, raises a question I’ve wondered about for some time: why aren’t there more right-wing Israeli authors? Nationalist movements in other countries – Serbia and Russia, for instance – have made deep inroads into the intellectual community and have inspired prose and poetry, and Zionism did so once upon a time. During the 19th and the first two-thirds of the 20th centuries, there was a fair amount of Zionist utopian literature, but that genre seems to have died out in the past thirty or forty years. The reason may be that Israeli intellectuals have become a largely post-nationalist community, which may be why so many of them feel isolated in a country in which liberal-nationalist politics are still strong.

    I’ll respect your desire to stay away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, except to say that (1) I disagree with both of you, and (2) Palestinians are, unquestionably, a national group. All nationalities are created; regardless of whether there was a Palestinian nation in 1900, there is one now, and we all have to live with it.

  4. eldan Says:

    I can’t speak with any authority about how it is in Israel, but as a diaspora Jew I am vilified by other diaspora Jews (including members of my own family) for trying to identify with the Palestinians. I have also been accused of anti-semitism (ie self-hate) for criticising things that Israel does….

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