An Israeli Patriot’s Perspective on the Fate of the Palestinians

Gideon Levy talks to Kholod Saghir and Mikael Olsson Al Safandi

Humanistiska teatern
Thursday March 21, 19.00
Language: English
Duration: 60 minutes
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A threat to the country’s security. This is how the government of Israel describes journalist and author Gideon Levy. Virtually every week for three decades, he has visited the Palestinian territories, and in newspaper columns, reports and books he has described what he witnessed there.

Despite the fact that Gideon Levy has not been able to visit Gaza since 2006 when it was forbidden for Israelis to enter the area, he has still managed to testify to Israel’s deadly violence in Gaza. In his book The Punishment of Gaza, he describes how between the years 2005 and 2010 Israel’s government went from handing Gaza over to Palestinian rule to blockades and raw military power where arbitrary violence and political murder replaced diplomacy. Israeli right-wing nationalists named him a ”Hamas propagandist” after the book was published.

Gideon Levy works tirelessly on what he calls the necessity to operate in the Israeli public sphere in order to “re-humanize” the Palestinians, who have been demonized, stripped of their culture, their properties and even their names in some cases. The underlying purpose of the Israeli government’s actions is to make impossible any attempt at an independent Palestinian state, Levy claims.

In column after column, opinion piece after opinion piece in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, Levy depicts individual destinies and everyday life in the occupied territories. In the book Gaza, my beloved: a chronicle 2006-2011, he tells the story of Najweh Khalif, who is killed when the minibus carrying her preschool children is hit by a missile. Other characters are Hamdi Aman whose son, wife and mother are killed when they get in the way of a rocket, and Yasser Temeizi who is arrested by Israeli military at his olive grove and then killed by a bullet in the stomach. ”Palestinians are not abstract victims, they are individuals, fellow human beings,” repeats Levy.

Concerning the latest Israeli invasion of Gaza, he doesn’t mince his words. He writes, ”Evil can no longer be hidden by propaganda. Even the winning Israeli combination of victimhood, Yiddishkeit, chosen people and the Holocaust can no longer blur the picture. The horrific events of October 7 have not been forgotten by anyone, but they cannot justify the spectacle in Gaza.”

At this year’s festival, the two colleagues meet in a conversation led by Kholod Saghir, founder and artistic director of Uppsala Literary Festival and Mikael Olsson Al Safandi cooperator and the festival’s writer. The conversation takes place in collaboration with the program Democracy and Higher Education at Uppsala University.

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Kholod Saghir
Kholod Saghir
Mikael Olsson Al safandi
Mikael Olsson Al safandi