Monday, April 23, 2012

The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson

‘And is that all they stand for – being ashamed of being Jewish?’ ‘Whoa!’ She laid a hand on his arm. ‘You’re not allowed to say that. It’s not Jews they’re ashamed of being. It’s Israel. Palestine. Whatever.’ ‘So are they Israelis?’ ‘You know Sam is not an Israeli. He won’t even go there.’ ‘I meant the others.’ ‘I don’t know about all of them, but they’re actors and comedians and those I’ve heard of certainly aren’t Israelis.’

‘So how can they be ashamed? How can you be ashamed of a country that’s not yours?’ Treslove truly was puzzled. ‘It’s because they’re Jewish.’ ‘But you said they’re not ashamed of being Jewish.’ ‘Exactly. But they’re ashamed as Jews.’ ‘Ashamed as Jews of a country of which they are not citizens . . .?’ Tyler laid a hand on his arm again. ‘Look,’ she said, ‘what do we know? I think you’ve got to be one to get it.’ ‘Be one what? One of the ASHamed?’ ‘A Jew. You’ve got to be a Jew to get why you’re ashamed of being a Jew.’

No comments: