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“I’ve been looking at [Keret’s] Substack and it’s so witty and enjoyable, and he’s clearly having a wonderful time doing it, I thought, ‘maybe I could do that’” — Salman Rushdie, The Guardian

Lost in the Middle East

It’s a peculiar experience to watch your country being judged in the International Court of Justice. In the three quarters of a century since its founding, Israel has been subjected to many different threats, but none of its citizens thought the day would come when it finds itself standing trial on charges of genocide, a dubious status retained almost exclusively for widely loathed tyrannical regimes. Many people insist – justifiably – that the accusations are exaggerated and unfounded, and yet even they must acknowledge that Israel’s political and military conduct in the past seven months has demolished the international support it earned on October 7, and is what ultimately led to its appearing on the stand at The Hague. The charges of genocide can be disputed and the world can be reminded, again, of Hamas’s unimaginable brutality, but few can genuinely claim that Israel under Netanyahu’s extremist rule is the same country the world has known for its 76 years of existence.

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"Intention"

Deep in his heart, Yechiel-Nachman had made peace with his prayers going unanswered. Because prayer was the pure yearning for compassion and justice, whereas life was life: cruel, dispiriting, insulting. It was therefore only natural that two such contrasting worlds could never converge. But on October 7, 2023 – the 22nd day of Tishrei in the year 5784 – something in Yechiel-Nachman broke.

Photograph: Bumble Dee/Alamy

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“What About Me?“

Written by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen for “Short Stories on Human Rights“ (2008).

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Random quote

A conversation is like a tunnel dug under the prison floor that you patiently and painstakingly scoop out with a spoon. It has one purpose: to get you away from where you are right now.

"Car Concentrate"

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Third Temple: Israel’s Occupation Is Coming Home

Netanyahu’s government is not here to debate—it’s here to rule, and any resistance is an intifada.

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Words Without Borders, 2010

I believe that there is a truth. I believe it is very difficult to articulate that truth. I try to go in that direction, but I don’t pretend I will get there.

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New York Times, 2012

For Keret, the creative impulse resides not in a conscious devotion to the classic armature of fiction (character, plot, theme, etc.) but in an allegiance to the anarchic instigations of the subconscious. His best stories display a kind of irrepressible dream logic

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