Amos Oz: A humanist in the darkness

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The article examines Amos Oz’s political and social outlook through four topoi that constitute his books, articles and correspondence: The first concerns his dialectics with Israel’s Mediterranean character, from his affinity to Albert Camus to his treatment of Ashdod as a metaphor for Mediterraneanism; the second is the Zionist-crusader analogy in the literature and poetry of his contemporaries, and particularly A. B. Yehoshua and Dahlia Ravikovitch; the third topic is Oz’s oppositionality to the political actualization of messianism on the gamut from Ben-Gurion to “Gush Emunim”; and the fourth issue relates to Oz’s controversy with what I have branded as “Canaanite Messianism,” namely those who promote expansionism toward Greater Israel. Together, these combined perspectives unfold Oz’s humanist vision on the future of the State of Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-348
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Amos Oz
  • Can’anites
  • Mediterraneanism
  • Zionism
  • crusaders
  • messianism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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