German peace prize awarded to Israeli author


Frankfurt : Israeli author David Grossman was chosen for one of Europe’s most prestigious annual culture prizes on Thursday, the German Book Trade Peace Prize.

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The 56-year-old writer and journalist is to be awarded the 25,000-euro ($30,000) prize for his efforts at Israeli and Palestinian reconciliation, the award panel said.

“In his novels, essays and reports he tries to understand and describe not only his own position, but also that of those who think otherwise,” the panel said of Grossman.

“His books show that the spiral of violence, hatred and displacement in the Middle East can only be ended through listening, restraint and the power of the word,” they added.

The panellists said that Grossman’s novel, To The End Of The Land, showed the importance of language for identity, warning about the extent to which it was being shaped by military notions.

“In a reality consisting of randomness, force and alienation, he offers ways out of the current state of a society caught between war and peace,” the judges added.

Grossman’s writings, translated into more than 30 languages, address issues around Israeli identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also participates in the political debate over peaceful solutions to the Middle East conflict.

The father-of-two, who lives on the outskirts of Jerusalem, has received numerous literary awards.

The German Book Trade Peace Prize is habitually awarded at the end of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.