Friday, April 28, 2006

Eli Amir brings the East to Jerusalem

Those who attended Eli Amir's lecture 'Longing and hope' in London, part of Harif Week last November, will be particularly interested in this lengthy interview in the Jerusalem Post. (With thanks: Albert)

"(...)Describing the meaning of Jerusalem, Eli Amir has, perhaps unwittingly, also described himself. Meeting with In Jerusalem in honor of Independence Day and upcoming Jerusalem Day, Amir, best-selling author, publicist, former adviser on Arab affairs, former head of the Youth Aliya Department in the Jewish Agency, and regular guest on the popular radio show (with former MK Geula Cohen), "From the Right and from the Left," reveals much about himself, yet hides at least as much.

Nearly 70 years old, married with three adult children, Amir seems both younger and older. He is both decisive and ambivalent, his language combining both the polemic and poetic, the elegant and the nearly-crude.

Almost like the walls he describes, he is both present and distant, engaged in the interview - but then suddenly making a list of errands and folding it carefully into his pocket. He is alternatively vain and attentive, with an otherworldly eastern quality, sensual and earthy, that is consistently charming and embracing. (...)

"They (the Arabs) know that I am from here, too, and so, in a moment of grace, a Palestinian will be able to say that he recognizes that I belong here, and that the countries of the region owe me a solution to my refugee-ness, too. But no one thinks in those directions today, and that is part of the tragedy, too.

"As a country and society, we must be from here. We must stop acting as a Western colonial conqueror. We must be part of the Middle East. Our children must learn Arabic as well as Hebrew."

That is why, he says, he is head of the board of the Abraham Fund - to help to make a change, to bring the message of peace and equality.

Read article in full


1 comment:

Albert said...

The story of a Muslim Iranian in Israel:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4947354.stm

I'm glad you enjoyed the articles I sent to you earlier.