Sunday, August 27, 2006

Maybe we should try some other language, like Arabic?

"Pen Ultimate / May the 'force' be with them - or not

By Michael Handelzalts


Barbaric poetry

Sheinfeld- who says he was one of the first to write poems against the first war in Lebanon - paraphrases a poem by Haim Nahman Bialik, who cheered on the pioneers who were building the foundations of the Jewish state-to-be. His version of the poem is addressed to the soldiers fighting in Lebanon, and is one of the most bloodthirsty, barbaric texts I have ever read. A quote or two (in my translation, which does not convey the brutally raw hatred of the original) should suffice:

"Demolish not only the roof, but the foundations as well, you have come far indeed, your toil has not been in vain
Storm on Lebanon and Gaza, and plow it and sow it with salt, raze it down, let no human being remain
Turn them into a desert, rubble, a valley of mess, unpopulated
As we did want peace, we did yearn for peace, and our own houses we had desecrated ... Save your nation and drop bombs
On villages and cities, their collapsing houses do shell
Kill them, shed their blood, turn their lives into living hell
Till they will never try again to destroy us, until we will hear mountains explode
Bulldozed by your heels, and their wails and shrieks, and their graves corrode"

This poem goes on in the same vein, and I quote from it only in the hope that those lines will haunt the poet whenever he writes something else.


This reminds me of a play by Slawomir Mrozek, in which a servant is sent by his master to retrieve something from a crowd of demonstrators, at all cost. When he comes back empty-handed, the master asks him, "Did you use force?" And he answers, pointing to his wounds: "I did. They did not understand."

Which makes me wonder: Maybe "force" is the only language the Arabs do not understand? We speak various dialects of force around here, and yet they don't get it. Maybe we should try some other language, like Arabic?

[snip] "

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