Book group discussion on Dear Zealots, by Amos Oz was held on Sunday, November 3rd. The book is about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. Both the Riverdale and Westchester libraries have copies and it also can be obtained through amazon.
Oz begins by describing Judaism as a culture rather than a religion or nationality. He speaks about the ability of the Jews through the ages to argue about the texts – to interpret and reinterpret and counter – interpret as opposed to being authoritarian.
Oz refers to Israel as the country he loves, but of whose politics he is ashamed. He feels that the occupation and the settlements are not irreversible. He cites one example, among others, of the angry French settlers leaving Algeria after DeGaul gave the Algerians their independence. Oz feels strongly that the chance for peace and a two state solution are possible.
From the incomparable Amos Oz comes a series of three essays: on the universal nature of fanaticism and its possible cures, on the Jewish roots of humanism and the need for a secular pride in Israel, and on the geopolitical standing of Israel in the wider Middle East and internationally.
Dear Zealots is classic Amos Oz—fluid, rich, masterly, and perfectly timed for a world in which polarization and extremism are rising everywhere. The essays were written, Oz states, “first and foremost” for his grandchildren: they are a patient, learned telling of history, religion, and politics, to be thumbed through and studied, clung to even, as we march toward an uncertain future.