Remembering Amos Oz

"Everything that enhances tolerance, civil rights, the recognition of rights of minorities, has a direct implication on the efforts for peace, because the opposite of progress, open-mindedness, and pluralism is, always and everywhere, fanaticism, fundamentalism, and extremism." – Amos Oz

Amos Oz, one of Israel’s greatest authors and a beacon for peace and tolerance, passed away this weekend at 79.

For many decades, people around the world, who sought peace and a moral compass, turned to him for insight and a lucid perspective.

Over his long career, his books and essays were both a resource and an inspiration. We were grateful for and proud of his long association with NIF, both in Israel and Australia.

A number of years ago, he recorded this interview to celebrate NIF’s 25th anniversary.

Just a few months ago, we had the honour to publish an essay written by Amos in the Australian Jewish News:

“The truth is that one of the few reasons that Israelis can still feel a bit good about themselves abroad sometimes, is that we have Breaking the Silence, and we have B’Tselem, and we have Peace Now, and we have an ongoing struggle for social justice… These are the things that lend Israel its pretty face. These are the things that cause Israel to retain supporters throughout the world, who still gaze at it with hope and even admiration.”

For those of us who share Amos’s dedication to a two-state solution in what he calls ‘a question of life and death for the State of Israel’, and his commitment to a pluralist and inclusive nation, we have lost our shining light.

Be sure to watch our Facebook feed over the next few days as we post tributes to him from around the world.

May his memory be a blessing.