An Underground View of Oslo

The Oslo Years: A Mother’s Journey, by Ellen Horowitz, I.I. Creations (distributed by Gefen Publishing), 2005,

Reviewed by Rivkah Duker Fishman

The 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, symbolized by the handshake of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, clearly marks a turning point in the history of the state of Israel and of the Jewish people. Many in Israel, certainly those on the Left, believed that the long-awaited peace had arrived and a “New Middle East” would be born. Others, largely identified with the Right, held opposite views.

According to activist, artist, and syndicated columnist Ellen W. Horowitz, an immigrant from the United States who lived in Jerusalem and later settled on the Golan Heights, “for traditional Zionists, our world was turned upside down” and the handshake was a “trauma.” Horowitz recounts the effect of that trauma and her and others’ reactions in The Oslo Years, an anthology of her newspaper and Internet columns from the Jerusalem Post,, other journals, and her own website; photographs of her original artwork; and a large selection of press photographs spanning over a decade. These are interspersed with passages from the Bible, the Jewish prayer book, rabbinic literature, and the occasional photograph of newspaper headlines or automobile stickers.

The collection takes the form of an album, reminiscent of those commemorating the founding of a kibbutz or an educational institution or even of those that appeared in Israel after the Six Day War of June 1967. Horowitz’s work, however, is far superior technically, artistically, and aesthetically to those creations, and she is extremely articulate. CONTINUE

September 5, 2007 | Comments Off on An Underground View of Oslo

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