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The sins of the fathers

Want some exciting literature during the Christmas tree this year? Forget Jo Nesbø and Jeffery Deaver. Wish you rather Odd Karsten Tveit and Robert Fisk.

"But he does not let the guilty go unpunished; he haunts the iniquities of the fathers on children, on them in the third and the fourth paragraphs." This ominous quote from the Bible's Fourth Exodus quickly comes to mind as I read political contemporary Middle Eastern history. Not just because God, as we know him, has its roots in the Middle East, but because this part of the world is like a black hole, a political black nova, a centrifugal force that sucks wit and sense, historical and political sobriety out of us all.

Everything is politics in this part of the world – not least history. Naturally. Because when violence breeds violence and suffering breeds fear and distrust, it is because politics does not arise in a vacuum. In the Middle East, every stone, every word and every thought is literally loaded with history, to a trembling and crackling level where conduction can quickly occur. The tragedy for people living in the region is that their history unfortunately too. . .

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