Home > Middle East > Interview: Ari Shavit, Author Of ‘My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel’ | NPR

Interview: Ari Shavit, Author Of ‘My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel’ | NPR

In his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Israeli journalist Ari Shavit tackles several basic questions: Why was Israel created? What has it achieved? What went wrong? Where is it heading? Will it survive?

my-promised-land-shavitThe book is based on interviews with hundreds of Israelis — Jews and Arabs — as well as his own story and family history (two of Shavit’s great-grandfathers became Zionists in the late 1800s).

Shavit, a columnist for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, was born in 1957. He says serving in the Israeli army in the occupied territories left him “morally outraged” and turned him into a peace and human rights activist. But he writes that there are no simple answers in the Middle East, which is why he prides himself on challenging “both right-wing and left-wing dogmas.”

“The great challenge for Israel is that there’s an inherent contradiction between our values — which are basically democratic, liberal, humane values — and the brutal reality we live in,” Shavit tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “And the challenge is to find a way to reconcile them [in] the best way possible, not to lose our soul and not to lose our values while we defend our [lives] and protect our future.”

For more on this story, visit: Interview: Ari Shavit, Author Of ‘My Promised Land’ : NPR.

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