Amos Oz: the novelist prophet who never lost hope for Israel

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To critics at home, Oz was a bleeding-heart liberal – but to audiences around the world he was a literary giant, steadfast in his belief for a two-state solution

On Friday afternoon, a text arrived from Israel letting me know of the death of Amos Oz, hailed for decades as that country’s greatest novelist. “The last, best voice of an Israel that is all but gone,” it read.

Oz himself would doubtless have found a way to wave aside such talk, dismissing it as melodramatic. But there’s truth in it. For he was indeed the embodiment of a particular Israel, one that dominated in the first years of the state’s life but which has steadily receded to the margins.

Related: Amos Oz obituary

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