Anatoly Vorobey (avva) wrote,
Anatoly Vorobey
avva

кафка на пляже, мир на земле

В Израиле написали, что Харуки Мураками, заезжавший сюда месяц назад для получения литературной премии, теперь после возвращения в Японию всячески Израиль и израильтян разругал. В израильских журналах об этом пишут и возмущаются.

При этом израильская заметка мне показалась подозрительной. В других СМИ, в том числе заграничных, об этом ни слова. Цитаты в израильской статье такие, что некоторые из них кажутся, возможно, выдернутыми из контекста. Можно вполне себе представить, что из в целом дружелюбно написанной статьи надергали все отрицательное, что могли (но может, конечно, это и не так). В общем, лучше проверить по первоисточнику:







В общем, я на этом застрял; английского перевода нет, упоминаний по-английски тоже, google translate может перевести только текст, а не картинки, возиться специально ради этого с поиском и установкой японского OCR мне не хватает мазохизма. Я даже не знаю, эти две страницы (я их нашел на сайте журнала, вооруженный google translate) - это вся статья, или только часть.

Update: текст английского перевода статьи Мураками, сделанного в израильском посольстве в Японии вследствие реакций на статью в израильской прессе. Спасибо ya_ponka за текст!

Haruki Murakami

The reason why I went to Israel

Bungei Shunjū
(April 2009)


It was after the announcement that this year’s Jerusalem prize would be awarded to me that the online movement to persuade me to voluntarily decline the reception began in a large scale.

I had predicted that movement because I myself had taken a long time whether or not to receive it. But eventually I did decide to go to Jerusalem to receive the award in the capacity of individual after considering various factors around myself.

Even some of my long-time friends would not understand my decision, and when I left for Jerusalem from Tokyo, I felt like I was Gary Cooper in the film “High Noon.”

It was November 25th that the Israeli side sounded out whether I had intention to receive the Jerusalem Prize. I had been following the Israeli-Palestinian news since the era of the Israeli Defense Minister Dayan, and I had a certain amount of historical background over this problem.

Israel has taken a policy of confining Palestinians into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and a policy of denying their refugees rights to return to their homelands in order to protect the interest of the Jewish people, which I don’t think is right, and my first reaction to the reception was negative.

But after learning that Susan Sontag and Arthur Miller and other famous writers had received the award and made a speech critical of Israeli policy, I came to think that if I was given the same opportunity to speak freely before the Israeli audience, it might be worth visiting Israel. Declining the reception might send a negative message, but receiving it and speaking to them might be a positive message. Also it was the prize awarded by the Jerusalem Bookfair organization, not from the state of Israel.

Then the Gaza air strikes on December 27 stared, giving me another headache in my decision-making. Israel used the state-of-the-art weapons against the people cooped up in the small and closed city of Gaza. And although they had said that the announcement of my reception would be made in last December, it was not made. My office staff contacted the Bookfair organization, but they would not give us a clear answer about it until the ceasefire on January 18th. There may have been some confusion on their side, too, I presume.

When Haaretz reported my reception on January 21, it had been reported that more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed by the offensive, and I started to write my reception speech then. A novelist like me could have said something that politicians or diplomats could not say at that timing. At the same time I had decided to speak from the viewpoint of a novelist, and it took me three days to finish my speech.

I sent the speech draft to the secretariat of the Bookfair, deciding that if the Israeli side requested me to change even a single word of my speech I would decline the reception right away, but eventually all I got was the message of “Thank you for the draft,” and I made my decision.

In my speech I did not criticize Israel directly, although I made my speech so that my critical opinion about the Israeli policy might reach their minds. A novelist has his own works and contexts, and if I criticized them in direct words, the psychological defense mechanism might start to work, and their ears might shut out my words. That’s the last thing I hoped for and , after all, the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not a black-and –white, or right-or-wrong problem, but a very complicated problem, and my stay in Israel brought home to me that fact.

There were around 700 audiences in the venue, and many people stood and gave me a big hand when I finished my speech, and it was exciting, and at least nobody threw me a shoe.

But it is to President Simon Peres that I cannot but feel sorry even now. Before the ceremony, the president told me that he had read my “Norwegian Woods,” and I knew that around 10 years ago he even quoted part of it in his political speech.

But half way through my speech, the president’s face stiffened, and unlike others he would not stand up when I finished my speech. And the warm atmosphere he had produced before the speech had gone. I presume that the president had his own position about the war and my speech.

But Jerusalem Mayor Bakarat looked me in the face and said that my speech was a very sincere expression of opinion as a novelist, and it excited me. Before the speech we talked about marathon as it had turned out that both are enthusiastic armature runners. There are many people and various opinions in Israel, of course, and it was great to get acquainted with those people in Israel.

Some people in Japan praised me for exercising my courage to criticize Israel in my speech, but I don’t think it was a right comment, as Israel is not a tyrannical country, and it is based upon the freedom of speech. I had to send a critical message to Israel, although I was invited and entertained there, and it was a psychological dilemma to me. I had wished that all I had to say was just “thank you.”

I did not go to either the West Bank or Gaza, but chose to stay in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to see how ordinary Israeli people live, and to speak to as many people as possible, and it was good that most of them spoke English.

A bookstore owner said that the sales of my novels are next to those of Harry Potter, although I was not so sure about that. Everybody was so friendly before and after the speech.

I sensed very patriotic attitudes of the Israeli people in talking with them, of course, compared with the Japanese. The schools instill them with official views on its history, and 3 years of military service is mandatory to every male, two years to every female, and one month of reservation service until they get 42 years old.

They also think that coping up the Palestinians in the Palestinian Territory is a right policy, as Palestinians are given the autonomy and live there, while Israelis live on this side according to their living standard, and what’s wrong with that?

But Palestinians have to go through strict military checkups wherever you go, and their economic activities are restricted, or they even cannot build their own houses of their own accord, or they had no sovereignty over their land, either. At the crossing in Jerusalem, I didn’t know why, a young Israeli soldier pulled out an entire family from a car, and he beat a father in front of his children. A pain ran through my spine to see that.

When I asked a tax driver about the good use of that high security wall that ran along the high way, he answered that it was to preve nt animals from trespassing, but I did not talk back to him, knowing that he himself was not 100% persuaded about the situations he was in.

Some said to me that 45% of the state budget is for military, and 50% of their incomes turn into tax, and that’s the cost of maintaining the state of Israel. Imagine how they would have been wealthy if the situation surrounding them had been different.

To listen to their opinions, I could not but think that there might have been a wiser option available to both Israel and Palestinians. If both had been a little more flexible, had had used a bit more of wisdom, the situation would not have been that worse. That’s what I realized in Israel. It was not a problem of black-and-white.

I visited the Holocaust museum, too. Israel is the state of the people who survived Holocaust. I sometimes lost my word when I listened to them talk their experiences. Some say that some of those survivors have strong sense of shame, as they could not stand against Nazi, and had their families and friends killed in the concentration camps.

I thought that the state of Israel is suffering some sort of trauma just like every individual. Their minds tell them that excessive self-defense is not good, but their bodies respond spontaneously at even a slight provocation, and the Japanese people should understand their psychological mechanism.

When I used a metaphor of “eggs and wall,” I had two systems in my mind.

Before the World War 2, there was in Japan a system of Imperialism and Militarism, under which many people were killed, and we had to kill many Asian people. This is the historical burden that the future Japanese should keep on carrying, and it should also be the starting point for the Japanese to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Another one is the confrontation of the two systems of Zionism and Islamic fundamentalism. Ordinary people were squeezed between the two walls and get killed. When individuals are taken into systems, they begin to lose a tender and most important part of their souls, losing their ability to feel and think of their own accord.

(His reference to Israel stops here, and he talks on about Japan’s ideological situarions.)
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