Amos Oz, author who chronicled Israel's struggles, dead at 79

By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Amos Oz, Israel's best-known author and an outspoken supporter of a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians, died of cancer at the age of 79 on Friday, his daughter said.

Reuters December 29, 2018 00:06:50 IST
Amos Oz, author who chronicled Israel's struggles, dead at 79

Amos Oz author who chronicled Israels struggles dead at 79

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Amos Oz, Israel's best-known author and an outspoken supporter of a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians, died of cancer at the age of 79 on Friday, his daughter said.

Over a 50-year career, Oz chronicled his country's rise from the ashes of the Holocaust and its struggles - among Jews and Arabs, secularists and zealots, conservatives and liberals.

His writing - witty, scholarly, and often moody and erotic - won international plaudits, and he was a frequent bookies' favourite for the Nobel Prize for Literature. But his political views sometimes stirred up rancour at home.

"To those who loved him, thank you," his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger said in a Twitter post announcing his death.

Born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem to Eastern European immigrants, Oz moved to a kibbutz at 15 after his mother's suicide. He changed his surname to the Hebrew for "might".

Oz fought in the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars, experiences that tinged his advocacy for territorial compromise with the Palestinians - though he was more circumspect about prospects for accommodation with Islamist group Hamas ruling Gaza.

"We cannot become one happy family because we are not one, we are not happy, we are not family. We are two unhappy families. We have to divide the house into two smaller next-door apartments," he told Deutsche Welle in an interview marking Israel's 70th anniversary this year.

"There is no point in even fantasising that after 100 years of bloodshed and anger and conflict Jews and Arabs will jump into a honeymoon bed and start making love not war."

Oz studied philosophy and Hebrew literature at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. "Elsewhere, Perhaps", his first novel and an examination of relationships on a fictional kibbutz, was published in 1966.

In his later years, he taught Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev while living in the nearby desert town of Arad, where he had moved to salve his son's asthma.

Among his dozens of books, widely translated abroad from Hebrew, was "A Tale of Love and Darkness," a memoir that actress and director Natalie Portman adapted for the screen in 2016.

"It was a tale of love and light, and now, a great darkness," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement eulogising Oz. "Rest in peace, dear Amos. You gave us great pleasure."

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.