The Curious Case of Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Laureate 2010
10/07/2010 - 17:37

Mario Vargos Llosa, the Peruvian writer who today won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was not Jewish. But he nevertheless often wrote about them: in "The Storyteller," (1989), about a Jewish anthropoligist in Lima who shacks up with a  tribe deep in the Amazon; as a contributer to the Commentary; and, recently, as an outspoken critic of Israel.

Given his not infrequent association with Jews, it is worth asking what he actually thinks of them. 

Turns out his opinions are much like his prose: richly detailed, complicated, and full of pithy insights. Yet almost none of it devolves into caricature, and certainly not bigotry.  The fact that Commentary's John Podheretz published a letter today lionizing Vargas Llosa--mainly for his devotion to free markets and small government--says something. After all, in 2006, he told Ha'aretz's Gideon Levy: "Israel had become a powerful and arrogant country, and it is the role of its friends to be highly critical of its policies." 

So from one friend to another, Mr. Vargas Llosa, Mazel tov!

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What garbage: "Israel a powerful and arrogant country". Israel is a tiny country size of. Israel's only "arrogance" is its desire to survive against the wishes of the genocidal neighbors. Apparently it is "arrogant" for a Jew to not be in a concentration camp.