Israeli author Amos Oz awarded German prize

December 13th, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Dusseldorf, Dec 13 (DPA) Israeli author Amos Oz was presented Saturday with a top German award for his political and literary work.Oz, 69, was honoured by the city of Dusseldorf with the Heinrich Heine Prize for combining “literary creativity with political sensibility and humanistic commitment.”

The award, worth 50,000 euros ($66,000), is named after the 19th century German poet. It has been presented every two years since 1972 to personalities who share Heine’s values of tolerance, human rights and mutual understanding of peoples.

Oz, who was born in Jerusalem in 1939, is one of Israel’s best-known authors and political voices. He is a co-founder of the Israeli peace movement and a prominent champion of Palestinian rights.

In his acceptance speech, Oz said the Arab-Israeli conflict could only be resolved in the context of European values of tolerance, rationality and pragmatism. However, it “is being kept alive by fanatics on both sides.”

Last month, Oz joined other Israeli intellectuals and dovish politicians to establish a new political party that aims to unite the Israeli peace camp.

A former professor of literature at Ben-Gurion university, he won the Israel Prize for literature in 1998, the Goethe Prize in 2005 and Spain’s Prince of Asturias Prize in 2007.

Among his best known works are A Tale of Love and Darkness, which appeared in 2003, Don’t Call It Night (1994), and Rhyming Life and Death (2007).

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