So with truth - there is a certain moment when one can say, this is the truth and here I put a dot, a stop, and I go to another thing. A judge has to put an end to a deliberation. But for a historian, there's never an end to the past. It can go on and on and on.
World War II was a trauma that paralysed writers. It was something metaphysical, diabolical.
I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
Israel is too attached to America, too influenced by America. It should be connected to Europe. America is based on mythology - the free man, the individual, the open frontier. Europe is more conscious of history. Take Britain and Shakespeare. You shape your identity through history.
The malady of the Jews is that they don't see territory as part of their identity.
I come from two parts of the oriental community - Jerusalemite and North African Jews.
We always knew how to honor fallen soldiers. They were killed for our sake, they went out on our mission. But how are we to mourn a random man killed in a terrorist attack while sitting in a cafe? How do you mourn a housewife who got on a bus and never returned?
For 50 years - that is, for most of my adult life - I worked tirelessly for the two-state solution in the face of countless frustrations, both on the part of the Israeli governments and the Palestinian Authority.
The literary trappings and moralizing of science fiction I find insufficiently compelling.
This is why I am a Zionist: because Diaspora leads to hatred and the Holocaust.
In my DNA, the Zionist gene is extremely strong.