?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


50bookchallenge: #3: Teddy Kollek with Dov Goldstein, Jerusalem und Ich

I picked this one up at work and honestly didn't expect to actually finish it, because 400+ pages of political memoir is usually not exactly my kind of thing. But once I started I found the style and personal voice compelling; it's unpretentious, direct, very passionate and balanced as far as I can tell - equally critical of arab and jewish narrow-mindedness and fanaticism. Rather then dwell on generalisations, the book offers a detailed insight into life in Jerusalem from the perspective of communal politics, the uneasy coexistence of the different ethnic and religious groups, but also more 'mundane' matters like communal building projects, budget problems, struggles with the Israeli government. It's also - maybe most of all - a plea for democracy, tolerance and mutual respect in order to make it possible for everyone to live in this city Kollek loves so much.

But one can't quite help reading it with a melancholy feeling, because sadly I think much of his vision is lost on today's world, and I'm not only talking about Israel. It's too complex, too much relying on 'old-fashioned' concepts like patience and compromises; mutual respect. The tragic irony is of course that personally I believe that this would indeed be the only way to assure a lasting peace of any kind.

A dying breed of politician in today's world - a firm belief in personal responsibility, politics of long-term aims and small steps rather than flashy catch-phrases and easy pseudo-solutions, the conviction that a democratic state owes it to itself to treat all its citizens according to its principles.

Tags:

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
un_crayon_rouge
Jan. 15th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC)
ah well
>>But one can't quite help reading it with a melancholy feeling, because sadly I think much of his vision is lost on today's world, and I'm not only talking about Israel. It's too complex, too much relying on 'old-fashioned' concepts like patience and compromises; mutual respect. The tragic irony is of course that personally I believe that this would indeed be the only way to assure a lasting peace of any kind.<<

I so agree with that. Wisdom against information, is how I usually think about it. No one knows what wisdom is anymore, or what it would be good for. Information is power, and it's nothing - just like money.
solitary_summer
Jan. 15th, 2004 10:47 pm (UTC)
Re: ah well
Good point. We are being fed all those bits & pieces of information, facts and factoids - Informationsgesellschaft & such - but how to process it, make sense of it, to go a step beyond mere accumulating...

[ Which reminds me, I think there is a passage in one of Mary Renault's novels, where (roughly paraphrased) her Plato criticises Aristotle for being forever obsessed with the 'how' of things and never progressing to the 'why''. Now for some reason she doesn't seem to like Aristotle, and so that's maybe neither here nor there, but the sad thing is, I believe today we've regressed from the 'how' to the 'what'... and 'how much'. ]
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

schnecke
solitary_summer
solitary summer

Latest Month

January 2016
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow