Saturday, June 26, 2004

Okay, a serious apology is in order.
I agree with Anonymous on the Head Heeb's comments. The translation of the song is far too loose and pulls the song too far to the right. I thought about it when I posted it, I even started to write a comment, but then I thought - if you can't do anything better, Imshin, then don't write anything, so I deleted the comment. Now I've removed the links to the translation. Anonymous suggests a different translation. This is poetry though, and I don’t even like his translation much. But still Anonymous's understanding of the words is more accurate and compassionate, in my view than that of another Israeli commenter on Jonathan's blog, Danny, who misses the point of the song completely and, in doing so and in continuing chanting the usual stuff, totally proves Rotblit's point.

We have become blind to the settlers. We have dehumanized them. We care less when we hear on the radio that settlers were killed. We say to ourselves ‘They shouldn’t have been there in the first place’. But we put them there, not just the Likud, not just Arik.

And now they are there. I know a lot of people who were born there. Not babies, not children, but young adults, married with children of their own. They’ve never lived anywhere else. They are people, human beings, not sacks of potatos to be shifted around as it suits the establishment.

To paraphrase Ami Ayalon, if left wing people in this country, who claim to seek peace more than others, cannot feel the pain and anguish of people who are going to be torn from their homes, justified as this may be, they are every much as cruel and inhumane as they accuse the settlers of being.

Besides, ‘They shouldn’t have been there in the first place’ is exactly what everyone else says about us. I’ve been trying to explain us to myself for a while now, and explaining this particular paradox is getting increasingly difficult for me.

So I’m going to try to translate it myself. I’ve tried this before and always stopped in the middle because I never feel I can do the original any justice, but it’s important enough to make the effort. And as Anonymous says – it won’t rhyme but maybe it will be more honest.

In the meantime, I’ll put the original Hebrew version here as soon as I can work out how. I think I’ll have to wait till Bish wakes up (Shabbat morning, this might take a while).