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September Books 21) In the Land of Israel

21) In The Land Of Israel, by Amos Oz

I'd been putting off reading this since I work on enough conflicts professionally, and don't rush to fill my leisure time with more. It is, however, a very interesting account of attitudes in Israel in the winter of 1982, just after the first invasion of Lebanon; the leftish author mainly reports on right-wing voters who disagree with him, though he has a couple of short chapters with Palestinians in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

I must say that my main reaction, having read this en route from Switzerland to Belgium after giving a conference presentation on the Balkans and the Caucasus, is that actually the Israel / Palestine conflict is a lot less special than its protagonists like to think it is. Certainly a lot of the attitudes expressed by Oz's interlocutors could be found also among Ulster Loyalists, fairly mainstream Serbs, and among various sides in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and perhaps especially Russia.

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