I wrote The Same Sea not as a political allegory about Israelis and Palestinians. I wrote it about something much more gutsy and immediate. I wrote it as a piece of chamber music.
And in this respect, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a tragedy, a clash between one very powerful, very convincing, very painful claim over this land and another no less powerful, no less convincing claim.
But The Same Sea is set precisely in this Israel, which never makes it to the news headlines anywhere. It is a novel about everyday people far removed from fundamentalism, fanaticism nationalism, or militancy of any sort.
Israel of the coastal plain, where eight out of ten Israeli Jews live far removed from the occupied territories, from the fiery Jerusalem, from the religious and nationalistic conflicts, is unknown to the outside world, almost unknown to itself.
It is crystal clear to me that if Arabs put down a draft resolution blaming Israel for the recent earthquake in Iran it would probably have a majority, the U.S. would veto it and Britain and France would abstain.
Two children of same cruel parent look at one another and see in each other the image of the cruel parent or the image of their past oppressor. This is very much the case between Jew and Arab: It's a conflict between two victims.