Curing Fanaticism: Amos Oz on Hamas

Jon Wiener in The Nation:

Oz20portraitAmos Oz is Israel’s leading novelist, a founder and the best-known voice of Peace Now. He is a bellwether for Israeli doves, for opponents of the occupation who favor Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a negotiated two-state solution. In a recent conversation, he assessed the political and diplomatic implications of the Hamas electoral victory.

A week after your book How to Cure a Fanatic was published, Hamas won a historic victory in elections for the Palestinian parliament. Do you regard Hamas as an organization of fanatics?

Fanatics are those people of any faith, color, persuasion or political belief who maintain that the end, whatever end, justifies all the means, including the bloody means. By this criterion I am afraid Hamas is a fanatic organization par excellence.

And if Hamas doesn’t change?

If they don’t change, I think it would be wise for Israel to take the conflict upstairs, to neighboring Arab nations, perhaps to the Arab League, and talk about a solution that will then be presented to the Palestinian people in a referendum.

More here.