Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ari Shavit – the unique voice of sanity of Israel’s all too silent majority

Ari Shavit is one of Israel’s most well-known and respected journalists, yet his voice is different. He might be termed a moderate left-winger, but the division between left and right does in many ways injustice to the spectrum of views among Israelis, which is infinitely more varied, nuanced and complex than one would think, considering the governments over the last several decades.
Ari Shavit

Shavit expresses what he himself calls “the third approach that internalizes both intimidation and occupation… triumph and tragedy,” the tension between fear and uncertainty, on the one hand, creativity, assertiveness and hope on the other. Among journalists and political commentators, he has the unusual integrity of looking into the many problems and shortcomings of a troubled country without dismissing it, and its many achievements and its vitality, without being carried away by arrogance and denial.

Order Ari Shavit's My Promised Land at Amazon.

For the many who love Israel, and are open to the pain without falling into depression, and to the joy without flying too near the sun, and who want to learn in depth about Israel and be touched by its complexity, I highly recommend this wonderful and important book. Erel Shalit, Author of Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return; and The Hero and His Shadow: Psychopolitical Aspects of Myth and Reality in Israel.

This ever-timely and powerful book [The Hero and His Shadow] delineates a psychological view of the collective processes that underlie the creation and development of the State of Israel and the relationship between the individual and collective processes up to the present time. (From Journal Of Analytical Psychology )

The title of this meditative book, REQUIEM: A Tale of Exile and Return', seems inappropriate when the reader begins Erel Shalit's story: if these are the thought patterns that are seething through the mind of our narrator Professor Eliezer Shimeoni as he prepares a lecture on the fate of Israel and the fate of the Jews, why then open with a 'Christian' mass for the dead? But then we are reminded that this is yet another work by the author of Enemy, Cripple and Beggar, and his life's work is not only as a Jungian Pyschoanalyst in Israel but he is also a man consumed with the great literature and the important writers of the world.

He begins this story simply enough as Professor Shimeoni reflects on the history of the Jews post WW II, ... 'That very moment he understood why the passionate longing for home had anchored in the Jewish soul, and why the sense of the soul's exile wandered like a shadow behind every Jew.' He quotes the words of Chaim Potok 'To be a Jew in this century is to understand fully the possibility of the end of mankind, while at the same time believing with certain faith that we will survive.' ...

... what Erel Shalit has accomplished in this very brief but intoxicating book is to provide a path for each of us to follow, wisely using the plight of the Jews during the last century as a matrix from which to judge our own individual exile and return. He is an accomplished thinker and he is also a very brilliant writer. —Grady Harp

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