Israeli author comes to MSU and discusses Israeli-Palestinian conflict
MSU students and staff joined David Grossman in a roundtable discussion about his work and life on March 22 at Wells Hall.
Grossman is an Israeli author whose books have been translated into 30 different languages, and have won numerous awards, according to the MSU events calendar.
Yuval Benziman, a visiting professor in the Jewish Studies Program in James Madison College at MSU, spoke highly of Grossman’s work. Benziman said Grossman does an excellent job portraying how an author thinks and displays his or her point of view.
“I just think he’s a great writer, both in fiction and nonfiction, and therefore I think it’s very interesting to hear him, read him. … It’s both to be balanced but also be a great writer altogether, whether he is an Israeli or Palestinian or an American,” Benziman said.
In early December, Grossman's’ book-turned-movie, "The Zigzag Kid," was shown in the MSU Main Library Green Room. This event was the first of two events hosted by the Jewish Studies Program at MSU.
Grossman is known for his fiction novels that are based on real events. "To the End of the Land" addresses the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict while "Falling Out of Time" discusses the grief parents face during the aftermath of the death of a child.
Grossman used the event to discuss his personal history and opinions on a number of different situations. He has lived in Israel for the entirety of his life and has seen the occupation or liberation, as some might argue, take over the country of Israel not only politically but militarily.
Some scholars argue that Israel is not occupying the Palestinian territory, but Grossman is not content with that argument.
Grossman said Israel needs to stop the occupation of the Palestinian territory for the violence to subdue. Grossman said the current occupation only leads to danger and doesn’t alleviate the problem.
“There is a collective reluctance to look into the (Palestinian conflict),” Grossman said.
Grossman said hatred and ongoing bloodshed has existed in the land currently known as Israel for more than 100 years.
“After 100 years of war and killing no one is innocent," Grossman said. "All of us have blood on our hands.”
Grossman’s novel "Falling Out of Time," which celebrates the life of his deceased son Uri Grossman, was also discussed at the event. Uri was a tank-commander in the Israeli army and in 2006 he was killed in Lebanon during the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Grossman said he was extremely torn on whether or not to write a novel in memory of his son.
“I struggled to understand life after such a loss, and nothing in life can be taken for granted anymore,” Grossman said.
Grossman said his objective is to give the people of the Palestine territory a voice in the world from an Israeli perspective. Grossman said he wants to begin a conversation that forces the world to see that this conflict involves human beings and not stereotypes.