Sartre and de Beauvoir Divided By Palestine

Shalom Goldman at Marginalia:

By the time that Sartre and de Beauvoir arrived in Tel Aviv, Israeli leaders and readers were wary of how Sartre would respond to Israel. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, Sartre affirmed Israel’s right to exist, but his support did not go beyond that affirmation. Clearly his sympathies were with the Palestinians – both with the refuges he met in Gaza and with the Palestinians living in the state of Israel as “Israeli Arabs.”

Israeli fears were realized when Sartre, in his talks with Jewish intellectuals, opened each conversation with the request that his hosts acknowledge that the Palestinian refugees are entitled to return to their land. “You must understand,” said Sartre, “that it is impossible to justify the Jewish right of return after two thousand years and to deny the same rights to the Arabs after only twenty years.”

more here.