A vital voice against Israeli denial
In response to Nir Baram’s “Walking the Green Line” series
At a time when artists and writers are worried about possible government censorship and loss of funding, writer Nir Baram is doing something of tremendous importance. Following in the tradition of Amos Oz’s “In the Land of Israel” and David Grossman’s “The Yellow Wind,” he is taking up the mantle of the documenting writer, the writer who wanders the most difficult places in Israel – places we’ve grown weary of reading and hearing about. He again crosses the Green Line that long ago became a black line interspersed with the cruel and deceptive walls of the binational reality, one that is being bolstered daily by thousands of actions great and small, from which there is no way back.
And even though Baram has firm political and ideological views to which, with civic courage, he voices in every public platform, in these articles he consistently quiets the political and ideological passion within him so as to become a most attentive listener, one who, with noteworthy patience and moderation, records things that under other circumstances would surely make his blood boil. As a writer, he brings a richness and linguistic precision to these articles, which make it impossible to avoid contemplating the absurd situation that we continue to fashion with our own hands.
Yes, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass also do holy work presenting the reality that we keep increasing our capacity to ignore. But their righteous fury sometimes keeps the reader at arm’s length. At the stage we have now reached, Nir Baram’s effort is of particular importance, as he puts his great literary talent to use in an attempt to break through Israeli denial.
A. B. Yehoshua
Supervise gas prices
Predictably, the Haaretz editorial did not call for government supervision of natural gas prices in Israel. Evidently, the newspaper, which ever since its founding has advocated for competitive markets and a free economy, is incapable of deviating from its strict dogma. The problem is, the conditions necessary for a competitive market worthy of the name do not exist and never will exist in the natural gas industry. For this reason, anyone who wants to see an improvement in the natural gas deal must support government price controls. The price set by the state will give investors a fair and just return on their investment, leave them with a reasonable profit and be rationally linked to changes in input costs. There is no better way to improve the gas deal.
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