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THE ISRAEL REPORT

July/August 2000
Jerusalem

Author Aharon Megged on pressure to support Left

"In the intellectual milieu of writers and artists and journalists, there's an atmosphere of 'You're either with us or against us.' They don't recognize any in-between area. There was a time when every entertainer - every budding actress or model - who wanted to be identified with the left would say, 'I admire Yishayahu Leibowitz,' as if they'd ever bothered to read one book of his. Because admiring Leibowitz marked you as part of the tribe, it signified your entrance into the in-group. Later on, the test became the degree of hatred toward Netanyahu. If you dared to say something positive about Netanyahu you were finished. If you say something good about the settlers and don't go along with the accepted view that they're just fascists, they'd immediately scream that you've gone over to the right, that you're an idiot, that you're evil. This I cannot accept. The situation in Israel is so complicated that no one really knows what the right solution is."

"I relate to politics the way I relate to people - I look at each issue on its own merits. I want to find in politics what I look for in people - I want to find honest and integrity, but I find only hatred and demagoguery. When I hear Barak flattering Syria on the same day that Ha'aretz publishes an article about the anti-Semitic things that are published by the Syrian regime, it disgusts me."

Author Aharon Megged - Ha'aretz June 30, 2000


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