In new memoir, Amos Oz’s daughter alleges lifetime of abuse by ‘sadistic’ father

February 24, 2021 by JNS
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Israeli author Galia Oz, daughter of world-renowned literary icon Amos Oz, alleged in interviews on Sunday that her “sadistic” father “serially abused” her physically and emotionally, until his death in 2018.

Author Amos Oz speaks at the 85th birthday celebration of Israeli artist Dani Caravan, at the Tzavta Theater in Tel Aviv on Dec.18, 2015. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

The alleged abuse is detailed in her new autobiography, Something Disguised as Love, which has shaken the public image of her father, considered one the country’s greatest writers.

In his 50-year career as a novelist, journalist and intellectual, Oz authored nearly 40 books, in addition to countless articles and essays, published in as many languages. Among them are “My Michael,” “Black Box” and “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”

In his daughter’s book, Oz describes her childhood as steeped in “terrorist behavior [by both parents] … [T]he threat of violence was always in the air.”

Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin touted Oz as one of the greatest writers in the history of the Jewish nation.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

(Israel Hayom via JNS)


4 Responses to “In new memoir, Amos Oz’s daughter alleges lifetime of abuse by ‘sadistic’ father”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    Much of what you say is true, Stephanie. And I have no truck with the kind of men you speak of, nor do I believe in heroes. In my comments I was careful to separate Oz’s writing from the alleged abuse of Galia Oz, and I believe strongly that this is a necessary thing to do – the writing speaks for itself and must not be sullied with judgement of other issues. Neither you nor I,nor the world at large, can assume anything insofar as his guilt or otherwise is concerned.

    I still maintain that it is better to speak out before a man dies rather than after. I acknowledge the courage it takes to do this, which is why so many women (and men who have been abused in their childhood, sexually or otherwise) take so long to voice what has happened to them.

    Being human is a very complex thing indeed and all of us are made up of better and poorer qualities. We should not, therefore, strip away the good, or the proved talent, of a man or a woman because of bad behaviour. Each person must take the consequences of their actions, however, and be in a position hopefully to own them or deny them. Death disallows that.

    It must be remembered, too, that women sometimes abuse emotionally and physically. I myself have been on the receiving end of that.

  2. Stephanie Watson says:

    Amos Oz’s family have much to lose in acknowledging the abuse (there are many privileges living in his towering shadow) and Galia has much to lose and will likely experience even more abuse for speaking her truth. The world needs to stop dismissing and ignoring the truth about so-called “great” men. Whether it be politicians, military generals, brilliant artists or captains of industry, their paths to greatness is often littered with abused and damaged women, dismissed and discarded as they ascend to the top. It has taken too long for the undeniable damage so many have caused and I am inspired and impressed with the bravery of the women who are finally coming forward and speaking the truth about these men.

  3. Liat Kirby says:

    That Galia Oz suffered physical and emotional violence by her father and/or mother throughout her life is not something anyone could or should argue with. It is indeed a most terrible thing for a parent to abuse their daughter. It is though perhaps something that would have been better aired before the death of Oz in 2018, for he can neither speak out, apologise, or seek redemption of any kind now.

    We can judge him poorly for the alleged treatment of his daughter, however, it makes no difference to acknowledging his brilliance as a writer. We cannot, and should not, take that away from him.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      It IS something that would have been better aired before the death of Oz in 2018.
      For more reasonS than one.

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