Yehoshua v. Roth

Johann Hari interviews Israeli novelist AB Yehoshua in the weekend’s Independent. Yehoshua, a Zionist, lays the blame for anti-Semitism on Moses:

Moses said we Jews could remain a people without having a land. He said we don’t need territory to hold onto our Jewish identity. This was a disaster. It placed us in constant conflict with the world. It led directly to the pogroms and the Shoah. This is why I am a Zionist: because Diaspora leads to hatred and the Holocaust.

Philip Roth, a leading Jewish-American novelist, has attacked Yehoshua’s Zionism:

In his 1993 novel “Operation Shylock”, a Palestinian character – voicing views similar to Roth’s own in interviews – rants, “These victorious Jews are terrible people. I don’t just mean the Kahanes and the Sharons. I mean them all, the Yehoshuas and the Ozes included. The good ones against the occupation of the West Bank but not he occupation of my father’s house [in Israel proper], the ‘beautiful Israelis’ who want their Zionist theivery and their clean conscience too. What do they know about ‘Jewish’, these ‘healthy, confident’ Jews who look down their noses at you Diaspora ‘neurotics’?”

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