Daughter of Amos Oz accuses father of ‘sadistic abuse’

Galia made the accusation in a new memoir published on Sunday


FRANKFURT/MAIN, Germany: Israeli writer and peace activist Amos Oz listens to a speech before he receives the prestigious Goethe cultural prize from the German city of Frankfurt for his life's work, 28 August 2005 at St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt. The prize committee said they had selected the 66-year-old for his "thematic variety and stylistic virtuosity, making him one of the most important contemporary authors". The award carries a 50,000-euro (61,400-dollar) cash prize. AFP PHOTO DDP/THOMAS LOHNES GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read THOMAS LOHNES/DDP/AFP via Getty Images)

 Amos Oz’s daughter Galia has accused her late father of "routine sadistic abuse”, an account of the novelist disputed by her siblings.
Ms Oz, 56, a children’s writer and filmmaker, levelled the allegations against her father, who died of cancer in 2018, in a new memoir, “Something Disguised As Love”, published on Sunday.
“In my childhood, my father beat me, swore and humiliated me. The violence was creative: He dragged me from inside the house and threw me outside. He called me trash. Not a passing loss of control and not a slap in the face here or there, but a routine of sadistic abuse.
“My crime was me myself, so the punishment had no end. He had a need to make sure I would break,” she wrote in a passage translated from Hebrew by Haaretz.
The writer Yehuda Atlas discussed the claims during an interview with Army Radio.
He reportedly told the broadcaster: “It’s difficult for us leftists, Amos Oz was our golden prince, but it seems even the moon has a dark side.”
But Ms Oz’s siblings and mother challenged her account in a statement tweeted on Sunday by her sister, Fania. 
“Today, Galia Oz launched a new book hurling serious allegations against her father, Amos. Also against us, her mother and siblings.
"We have known all our lives a very different Amos, a warm and affectionate man who loved his family deeply and gently. He devoted heart and soul to us. The vast majority of Galia’s accusations against Amos squarely contradict our three lifetimes of loving memories of him,” they wrote. 
They also said that Ms Oz had “cut all ties” with the family seven years ago. 
“To his deathbed, Amos tried and hoped to talk with Galia again, to listen, to understand, to grasp even the claims that contradicted reality as he and we saw it. Galia’s pain is palpable and heartbreaking. But we remember differently. Astoundingly differently,” they added.
In a separate statement on Facebook, the author’s son, Daniel, said that his father had not been “an angel, only a human being, but he was the best human being that I know.”
“Galia remembers that she experienced severe and abusive parenting at our father’s hands. I’m sure — I know — that there is a kernel of truth to her words. Do not erase her. But do not erase us either,” he said, writing in Hebrew.
Mr Oz published 35 books and hundreds of essays in a career spanning nearly 50 years. His works were published in more than 40 languages. 
His 2002 memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, which recounts his mother’s suicide when he was 12, was adapted into a 2015 film starring actress and director Natalie Portman. 
Mr Oz received a flurry of accolades, including France’s Legion D’Honneur - the country’s top honour - and the Israeli Prize for literature.
A co-founder of Peace Now and proponent of a two-state solution, he emerged as a progressive voice in Israeli politics.

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