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January 16, 2009

Israeli Novelist Criticizes Ha'aretz's Gideon Levy

A. B. Yehoshua

It might not be scathing, but it's certainly telling. Even the ultra-dovish Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua, a frequent critic of Israel, is publicly questioning the moral stance of Ha'aretz's radical columnist Gideon Levy.

After pointing out that he has agreed with Levy in the past, Yehoshua suggests that the journalist's stance on the current fighting in Gaza — as usual, Levy's columns about the fighting contain little more than shrill attacks on Israel — is morally flawed.

The doleful thought sometimes crosses my mind that it is not the children of Gaza or of Israel that you are pining for, but only for your own private conscience. Because if you are truly concerned about the death of our children and theirs, you would understand the present war ...

The war is meant to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israel, Yehoshua writes, after expressing disappointment with Levy's seeming indifference to these attacks.

All we are trying to do is get their leaders to stop this senseless and wicked aggression, and it is only because of the tragic and deliberate mingling between Hamas fighters and the civilian population that children, too, are unfortunately being killed. The fact is that since the disengagement, Hamas has fired only at civilians. Even in this war, to my astonishment, I see that they are not aiming at the army concentrations along the border but time and again at civilian communities.

The open letter is understated. But it is no small matter that A.B. Yehoshua, who notes that he has in the past spoken on the phone with Levy, felt moved to embarrass the Ha'aretz columnist with this open letter questioning his moral authority.

Posted by GI at January 16, 2009 11:03 AM


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