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Friday, March 3, 2017

Judas by Amos Oz

In Israel Today Amos Oz is referred to as a Zionist - someone who believes the Jews should have a country of their own. While a few Jews lived in the Palestine area, it wasn't until after WWII that, with so many European Jews having nowhere to go, there was a great influx into the area and the State of Israel formed, producing an ongoing conflict with Israel and Palestine. But some believed that Israel should co-habit and integrate with the Palestinians, others wanted a separate state. Meanwhile, the Arabs were fearful that the Jews would eventually take over and wipe them out and wanted to defend themselves.
In his book, Judas,  Amos Oz isn't only referring to Judas Iscariot, but to all people perceived as traitors and often given the synonymous name of Judas.
In 1959 Shmuel, a University student, finds himself without funds to pursue his studies and takes a job looking after a disabled man within a family of differing views. He continues his thesis with a view that Judas wasn't a traitor, but a devout follower of Jesus. Judas was from a wealthy family and didn't need the money given to him to betray Jesus and Jesus was already well known so he wasn't needed to point him out. Schmel points out that Judas was following Jesus' orders so that he could fulfill the prophecy.
Meanwhile Shmuel has many long conversations with Gershom Wald whose son had been brutally murdered by the Palestinians and ironically lives in a house once owned by his son's father-in-law (a Zionist) who, although agreed that the displaced European Jews needed somewhere to live, he felt to create a Jewish state with the relocation of millions of Jews was a mistake.

My thoughts:
I've always thought that all the Jews wanted a separate state, but not unlike the U.S. today, the Jews were divided on what they wanted. Amos Oz brings up many points that would be great discussion points in a book group and gives the reader food for thought. He also gives a view of what it's like to live in Jerusalem.

1 comment:

K9friend said...

Sounds like an interesting and timely subject.