Oy, Saramago

While the literary world and the world of far left European politics are mourning Jose Saramago’s death, others are unearthing things about the great novelist they don’t like much. I don’t have time now, but David Frum wrote a summary of Saramago’s visceral dislike of Jews and Israel. It makes for uncomfortable reading.

Saramago won his prize in 1998. He put his new global fame to the service of a new cause: denunciations of Israel. But unlike other European anti-Zionists, Saramago explicitly connected his dislike of Israel to his feelings about Jews.

In a speech in Brazil on Oct. 13, 2003, Saramago reportedly unburdened himself of this thought about the world’s Jews: “Living under the shadows of the Holocaust and expecting to be forgiven for anything they do on behalf of what they have suffered seems abusive to me. They didn’t learn anything from the suffering of their parents and grandparents.”

That last phrase is so myopic I have to keep reading it to believe he really said it. These things, too, must be remembered.

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