Phil, Thank you as always for your wonderful writing.
I am not a literary authority but my experience of a Tale of Love and Darkness is different to yours. The “maddeningly circular storytelling” is the charm of the book. Having lived in Jerusalem for many years, following the passages of his book brought back to me in vivid colors and emotions the experience of walking around Jerusalem.
Gideon Levy, in his obit for Amos Oz tells of one Yom Kippur that he took the book in hand and retraced Oz’s path thru Ge’ulah and other older neighborhoods of West Jerusalem.
“He believed that the Land of Israel was the only place where the Jews could be cured of their mental illnesses and prove to themselves and to the world that they had some good qualities too.””
There you have the anti-Semitic root of Zionism. Zionism didn’t invent it but they amplified it. It’s built on the mental insecurity of 19th C. German Jews: there’s something fundamentally wrong with us.