The Swedish educational system has decided to distribute a book by Israeli author Amos Oz to 115,000 eleventh graders throughout the country. The purpose is to instill tolerance, to stamp out radicalism and to introduce Swedish youth to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a different angle.
The booklet, 'How to cure a fanatic' (which was not published in Hebrew, but publicized within the framework of Oz's articles) was translated into Swedish by the Bonnier publishing house, the largest publisher in Scandinavia and the publisher of Amos Oz's books in Swedish.
The publishing house has also compiled a teachers' guide which is attached to the booklet. Both the guide and the booklet will be distributed to every eleventh grade student aged 17-18 in the Swedish educational system.
In light of the importance of the subject matter, Amos Oz has decided to waiver royalties from the project, and the Swedish authority's have decided to partake in its funding along with the publishing house and a Swedish Organization known as March of the Spoons, established following an interview given by Oz in the Swedish media.
In the interview, Oz was asked how an ordinary person could impact tragedies such as the genocide in Darfur or hunger in Africa and he responded with a parable about a house that goes up in flames: One possibility is to escape and let everyone burn, another option is to write an angry letter to the authorities the next day, the third option is to pour a bucket of water over the fire and extinguish it. And if a person says he does not have a bucket, let him use a cup, and if he doesn't have a cup then let him use a spoon. If there are lots of people with spoons, said Oz, they will ultimately be able to put out the fire.
Following the interview, the organization began selling a spoon shaped pin for $40, in order to finance voluntary projects. Part of the money will also pay for purchase of the booklets.
The Swedish government has contacted the European Union and proposed distributing the booklet throughout EU member states as well.
Amos Oz told Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday evening that the project came as a surprise, "because no one discussed it with me in advance, I think it is important that young kids at high schools read about fanaticism. It will help them better understand our conflict."