The renowned Israeli author and visionary peace activist Amos Oz died on Friday, Dec. 28, after a brief bout of cancer. Canadian Friends of Peace Now joins Israelis, Diaspora Jews and his admirers worldwide in paying tribute to this great man.

Oz was one of Israel’s best known and mostly widely read writers. Translated into 45 languages, his books won dozens of prestigious awards both at home and abroad. He was also a stalwart and eloquent proponent of the two-state solution and a pioneer of Israel’s Zionist left. He helped found Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) and supported the movement since its inception.

In a statement made shortly after his passing, Peace Now said: “Amos Oz worked throughout his life to advance peace and to establish an exemplary society in Israel. He was one of our founding fathers and will always be remembered as having charted a way, with his sharp words, for a large peace camp yearning for a liberal Israel that pursues peace with its neighbours.”

Amos Oz was an official spokesperson of Shalom Achshav, and later continued to be a clear, articulate, sober voice articulating the worldview of Israel’s peace movement. He recently said that Israel and the Palestinians “cannot become one happy family because we are not one, we are not happy, we are not family. We are two unhappy families. We have to divide the house into two smaller next-door apartments.”

Oz was a prophet of moderation and political pragmatism. His latest book, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land, sounds the alarm at the rise of ideological extremism in Israel and worldwide.

May Amos Oz’s memory be a blessing, and an inspiration for Israel in pursuit of peace.

Canadian Friends of Peace Now