Nitza spoke to me so interestingly & with such warmth & appreciation about Natalia Ginzburg, whom she’s been reading in Hebrew translation, that I just had to do some extensive googling. & then I found these quotations in an article in Italian, Claudia Nocentini, “Ebraismo e Cristianesimo in Natalia Ginzburg”, & felt I had to translate them into both English & Hebrew. (& to make this meme & publish it).
Here are the texts again in larger print:
I’m Jewish. Anything relating to Jews always, it always seems to me that it involves me directly. I’m Jewish only on my father’s side, but I’ve always thought that that my Jewish side has to be more weighty and encumbering than the other side.
When someone speaks about Israel with admiration, I feel that I’m on the other side. At a certain point, perhaps late, I understood that the Arabs are poor peasants and shepherds. I know very few things about myself, but I know with absolute certainty that I don’t want to remain on the side of those who use arms, money and culture to oppress peasants and shepherds.
Our instinct urges us either from one side or the other. But in truth it is perhaps impossible today to remain on one side or the other. People and peoples are undergoing rapid and horrible transformations. The only choice possible for us is to be on the side of those who die or suffer unjustly.