We die over trivialities. The leaders of both Israel and Hamas refuse to make the faithful concessions that would allow peace talks to begin, because each side has labeled the other side beyond the moral pale, inhuman. This principled refusal to begin the process of peacemaking only provides a disgraceful excuse with which to continue to oppress the people of Israel and Palestine (all of whom are suffering under circumstances they didn’t choose).
Let the talking begin, and it doesn’t matter on what terms. Six and a half months ago, I posted on LitKicks about the controversy over whether the cease-fire that began this summer should be allowed to begin. Many “pro-Israelis” (I’m not so sure about this) said that Israel should never negotiate with Hamas, because Hamas will eventually break any truce. I wrote: “if it lasts one week with no rockets and no tanks, then that’s one week with no rockets and no tanks”. It turned out to be six months with no rockets and no tanks.
Meanwhile on American television news, from CBS to ABC to NBC to CNN to MSNBC to Fox, I look for news of Israel and Gaza, and here’s what I get: Obama, Roland Burris, Sarah Palin, and Joe the Plumber. Mostly Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama. Enough already. I’m as excited as anybody else about Obama, but there are serious events occurring right now. The refusal of mainstream American news to cover international news is even worse than the refusal of mainstream American publishing to print translated books.
Okay, anyway, some literary links for today …
1. Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt rehires an important editor after Gunter Grass, Umberto Eco and others intervene.
3. Gandhi’s now in the public domain. His autobiography, which includes a lot of wisdom, fruits and nuts, is the best place to start.
4. Chasing Ray seems to like A Mystery for Thoreau by Kin Platt.
5. The Written Nerd seems to like Scrooge McDuck.
9. Ectric on Irving.
10. Richard Nash on The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.