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To Jerusalem and Back

Saul Bellow

Top 10 Best Quotes

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

“unshaven storekeeper in Arab headdress and busted shoes who deals in chipped green glassware. He lights up at our question. Yes, of course, he knows. Engaging us in conversation, he offers us coffee.”

“makes his day to greet the aged Greek Patriarch. It does a lot for me, too, I must say. The Patriarch is ancient, densely bearded up to the eye sockets, faltering a little as he walks toward us. He kisses Kollek on both cheeks, and with warmth. He sits in a comfortable chair to the left of his throne. We are served coffee and seven-star Greek brandy. The conversation, in French and English, is lively.”

“joined Kibbutz Sdot Yam, married, and had two children. His first wife died of cancer about ten years ago and he has married again. He says, “I ask myself in what ways my life has not been typical. For a Jew from Eastern Europe it has been completely typical—war, death of mother, death of father, death of sister, four years in disguise among the Germans, death of wife, death of son. Thirty years of hard work, planting and harvesting in the kibbutz. Nothing exceptional.”

“and he defends Israel against the charge that it is the instrument of American imperialism”

“Zionism, Professor Lamm argues, is different from other kinds of nineteenth-century nationalism in that it did not originate in order to bring people back to a national homeland. “It arose in order to establish sovereignty, and hence a national home, for Jews without a home … it was a rescue movement to save a people in a critical situation by concentrating it within one territory, and allowing it to take its political fate in its own hands.”

“You shop in supermarkets, you say good morning to friends on the telephone, you hear symphony orchestras on the radio. But suddenly the music stops and a terrorist bomb is reported. A new explosion outside a coffee shop on the Jaffa Road: six young people killed and thirty-eight more wounded. Pained, you put down your civilized drink.”

“Y is convinced that Israel has sinned too much, that it has become too corrupt, and that it has lost its moral capital and has nothing to fight with.”

“Why is it that Alsop is writing such a letter, warning Israel that it stands in danger of destruction and reminding it that it has only one protector? It is because “bad trouble has begun between Israel and America.” For one thing, Alsop is shocked by Israel’s ingratitude to Secretary of State Kissinger.”

“While Israel fought for life, debaters weighed her sins and especially the problem of the Palestinians. In this disorderly century refugees have fled from many countries. In India, in Africa, in Europe, millions of human beings have been put to flight, transported, enslaved, stampeded over the borders, left to starve, but only the case of the Palestinians is held permanently open.”

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Book Keywords:

illusion, avoidance, intelligence, ignorance, self-deception

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