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In the Land of Israel

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  22 reviews
“An exemplary instance of a writer using his craft to come to grips with what is happening politically and to illuminate certain aspects of Israeli society that have generally been concealed by polemical formulas.” —The New York Times

Notebook in hand, Amos Oz traveled throughout Israel and the West Bank in the early 1980s to talk with workers, soldiers, religious zealots,
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 31st 1993 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1983)
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The book is composed of a series of interviews Oz has conducted with Israelis from different walks of life. All of them are insightfully presented and illuminating of certain aspects of Israel's political and social turmoil; a few of them are frightening to read for the stark and brutal world view the interviewees hold -- and I do mean frightening.

Another thing that was really impressive about this book was that the author did not make any attempt to explain Israel's complicated political scene
This book is full of Story, some parts more challenging to read than others, particularly because of the intermingled Israeli and Palestinian political and historical references that I'm beginning to grasp. I know I'll re-read it someday, both to savor my favorite sections -- Oz in a cafe in Ramallah speaking with two young Arab men while a third older man sits quietly until the end, with writers for an Arab newspaper in East Jerusalem, and bearing witness to the story of an old pioneer who grew ...more
I was by no means excited about having to read this for a class in college, but i found it to be a phenomenal, page-turning piece of non-fiction. Though it is dated (over 25 years old now!) it still has a lot to offer readers. More than any textbook, Oz describes the people and places of Israel so vividly you begin to feel as if you are visiting yourself. It was undeniably helpful to me, an American Christian who never really studied Israel, in understanding the complex world of Israeli politics ...more
Jim Leffert
This book from 1983 presents a series of interviews and discussions that Oz conducted with people with various points of view, including Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and even a Christian cleric, regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future of the State of Israel.

Other excellent books, such as My Promised Land by Arie Shavit (see also Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein-Halevi) provide a more up-to-date perspective on these questions. Oz’s book is nonetheless worth reading for three reasons: 1
A good read if, like me, you're fascinated by listening to the polemics of the Arab-Israeli conflict (ie: the New York Times jocks it). Otherwise, nothing amazing - just an extremely skilled journalist trotting around Israel interviewing people about their beliefs. I could have lived with a bit more editorializing, because presumably it's just the author paraphrasing discussion, and Amos Oz is my boy... my dovish Jew boy... uh... yeah this book is pretty good.
In this break from fiction, Oz travels Israel and the occupied territories allowing the people he encounters to talk about their feelings on "the situation." Oz hardly speaks at all and lets his interviewees rant and rave as much as the please and its refreshing because we are hearing the opinions from all over the socio-political spectrum here. The setting is 1982, so while those speaking are still raw from the first war with Lebanon.
Back in 1982, Israeli premier Menachem Begin had launched his ill-fated Lebanon adventure. This led (among other things) to the Phalangist massacre of Palestinian refugess, for which an Israeli board of inquiry found the Israeli army indirectly responsible. This was perhaps the moment when poor-little-Israel became the aggressor in the eyes of the world, never mind the rockets that had rained down on northern Israel for years, and never mind that no other mid-Eastern country would even stage an ...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]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 tha ...more
Dillon Tatum
Excellent book, written around the time of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982...
Oz is a journalist who travels throughout the West Bank talking to Israeli settlers about life, Zionism, the Arabs, and War.
It demonstrates just how divided the Israeli's themselves are, and reminds us that no nation is truly cohesive, and that the "Israeli View" is non-existent in those terms.
Hegel said 'The march of God in the world, that is what the state is.' In the Land of Israel is an exploration of a state created self-consciously, with the aim of being the march of God in the world. Amos Oz drifts and wanders to/through different communities, institutions and neighbourhoods, finding anger and fear and prejudice, and also deep felt conviction and humanity.
If you are looking to learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book, along with I Saw Ramallah is a great start. This book takes you through the Israeli's perspective on the situation and how people's opinions differ in why this is a problem and what should be done. A must-read to understand these cultural and political differences.
Jeffrey Cohan
Jan 04, 2011 Jeffrey Cohan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who cares about Israel or Judaism
Shelves: israel, judaism
Amoz Oz wrote "In the Land of Israel" 25 years ago, but 90 percent of his observations and the observations of his interviewees are still highly relevant today.

Even if only 50 percent were relevant, this book would still be an important read for anyone who cares about Israel and/or Judaism.
Seriously one of the best books I've ever read. Mr. Oz paints a fascinating picture of the most extreme points of view present in Israeli society and along the way, makes some excellent points about nation building, what it means to be Jewish and the responsibility that both entail.
Nancy Rubin
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for years, and I finally read it in preparation for a trip to Israel. It presents portraits of Israelis with wildly varying points of view--from settlers to kibbutzniks, from Arab intellectuals to French priests. What an eye-opener!
To tak na maksa aktualne, że wystarczyłoby wskrzesić Begina i dać bohaterom internet , żeby uwierzyć, że ta ksiażka powstała wczoraj.
Oz travels through Israel interviewing Israelis and Palistineans. Good introduction to the complex environment. Easy read.
fantastic insight into what people are thinking about and how they view themselves and the other they live with.
People living in Israel interviewed by Oz about the state of Israel. Enlightening.
You learn a lot about Israel and the region
Catherine Schneider
May 15, 2008 Catherine Schneider marked it as to-read
Daniel Sokatch suggested this book.
Really Israel.
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Amos Oz (עמוס עוז) is an Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist. He is also a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. Since 1967, he has been a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2008 he received an Honorary Degree from the University of Antwerp. He also received the Dan David prize in 2008 for "Creative Rendering of the Pa ...more
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