Amos Oz: the novelist prophet who never lost hope for Israel

To critics at home, Oz was a bleeding-heart liberal – but to audiences around the world he was a literary giant, steadfast in his belief for a two-state solution

On Friday afternoon, a text arrived from Israel letting me know of the death of Amos Oz, hailed for decades as that country’s greatest novelist. “The last, best voice of an Israel that is all but gone,” it read.

Oz himself would doubtless have found a way to wave aside such talk, dismissing it as melodramatic. But there’s truth in it. For he was indeed the embodiment of a particular Israel, one that dominated in the first years of the state’s life but which has steadily receded to the margins.

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Amos Oz: the novelist prophet who never lost hope for Israel

To critics at home, Oz was a bleeding-heart liberal – but to audiences around the world he was a literary giant, steadfast in his belief for a two-state solution

On Friday afternoon, a text arrived from Israel letting me know of the death of Amos Oz, hailed for decades as that country’s greatest novelist. “The last, best voice of an Israel that is all but gone,” it read.

Oz himself would doubtless have found a way to wave aside such talk, dismissing it as melodramatic. But there’s truth in it. For he was indeed the embodiment of a particular Israel, one that dominated in the first years of the state’s life but which has steadily receded to the margins.

Related: Amos Oz obituary

Continue reading...

Winning a second Brexit referendum is possible – with Europe’s help

If it’s not Jacob Rees-Mogg, it’s Jean-Claude Juncker, the double-barrelled duo giving Theresa May both barrels within 24 hours of each other. No sooner had the monocled mutineer called for May to resign after she had seen off his motion of no confidence than the head of the EU commission was accusing the prime minister of being “nebulous”, as Europe’s heads of government refused to give her even a few crumbs of political comfort to take back home for Christmas. Rebuffed in both Westminster and Brussels, May is coming to resemble a figure from a medieval morality play, scorned and rejected wherever she turns.

This is a national crisis – not the time for a pointless Tory feud

So begins an epic waste of time and a monumental exercise in displacement activity. The Conservatives have taken a look at the scale of the crisis facing the country and decided their best response is to turn inwards and talk about themselves. With the Brexit clock ticking ever louder, they have retreated into the comfort zone to engage in their favourite pastime – a round of navel-gazing and internecine bloodletting.

This is a national crisis – not the time for a pointless Tory feud

So begins an epic waste of time and a monumental exercise in displacement activity. The Conservatives have taken a look at the scale of the crisis facing the country and decided their best response is to turn inwards and talk about themselves. With the Brexit clock ticking ever louder, they have retreated into the comfort zone to engage in their favourite pastime – a round of navel-gazing and internecine bloodletting.