In many ways, I regard Sharon and Arafat as birds of a feather.

Amos Oz

Amos Oz

Profession: Author
Nationality: Israeli

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The actual gap between Labor, Likud and the new central party is microscopic.

I find the family the most mysterious and fascinating institution in the world.

I was born and bred in a tiny, low-ceilinged ground-floor apartment.

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.

I wrote a novel about Israelis who live their own lives on the slope of a volcano. Near a volcano one still falls in love, one still gets jealous, one still wants a promotion, one still gossips.

Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right.

On my parents' scale of values, the more Western something was, the more cultured it was considered.

One of the things I wanted to introduce in The Same Sea beyond transcending the conflict, is the fact that deep down below all our secrets are the same.

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.

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.

Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time. Reading is not an exception.

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 for 30 years, Orthodox leaders have tipped the balance between hawks and doves, and have been in a position to determine who forms a coalition and who runs the country.

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.