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Smadar Elhanan

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In depicting the agony and pain of his Jewish and Palestinian subjects in his novel, Colum McCann does not appoint himself as judge or arbiter; rather, he is quite clear that the deaths of Abir and Smadar, and the ensuing agonies of their parents, are products of colonialism. In the colonial unreality that is Israel/Palestine in Colum McCann’s novel “Apeirogon,” Palestinians are objects to be feared, confesses Rami Elhanan.

Irish novelist Colum McCann says that he was “cracked wide open” when he met West Bank Palestinian Bassam Aramin and his Israeli Jewish colleague Rami Elhanan one evening in Bethlehem. But his novel “Apeirogon” that elevates the two runs the risk of normalizing the occupation by treating reconciliation as the answer to political oppression.