Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Amir Benayoun "Ahmed" Song and Lyrics

The song

The words

Salaam Aleikum, my name is Ahmed.
I reside in Jerusalem, I study at the University a thing or two.
There's no one like me that enjoys both worlds
Today I am moderate and smiling
Tomorrow I'll fly up to Heaven
Sending a Jew or two to Hell.

It's true I'm just a plain slimy ingrate
It is true but I'm not guilty as my childhood was loveless
It's true that moment you turn your back to me
Then I'll bring down on it a sharpened hatchet.

My name is Ahmed
I live in the country's center.
I work right next to a kindergarten
And behind it some cooking gas balloons.
There's no one like me that enjoys both worlds
Today I'll be me
And tomorrow they'll be not,
Many many of them will not be.

It's true I'm just a plain slimy ingrate
It is true but I'm not guilty as my childhood was loveless
It's true that moment you turn your back to me
Then I'll shoot straight into it.

The reaction as communicated by the President’s Spokesperson:

Tuesday, 25 November, 2014 / 3 Kislev 5775President's Residence Cancels Invitation to Israeli Singer Amir Benayoun The office of the President of Israel has announced that following the release of his song this week, it would not be possible for Israeli singer Amir Benayoun to perform as planned as part of events scheduled to mark the exile and expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands and Iran, due to take place at the President's Residence this coming. Director General of the President's Residence Harel Tubi stated in a letter to the event organizers, "Against the background of the release of Amir Benayoun's latest song yesterday, I wish to notify you that we will not be able to allow him to perform at the President's Residence.  Amir Benayoun is a renowned and exceptional artist, and his talent has greatly contributed to Israeli music.  However, his statements made at this time of conflict and tension, even if uttered out of frustration and pain, do not, to say the least, help bring calm to the streets, and are inconsistent with the responsibility required of the President's Residence, and of all institutions with influence over the public discourse, to work to alleviate tensions, and promote cooperation rather than division in Israeli society." 



Minister for Senior Citizens, Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) issued a response to the move shortly after the announcement was made, saying that he would cancel his own appearance at the upcoming event out of deference for Benayoun's rights."The cancellation of singer Amir Benayoun's concert at the President's house, marking the expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands and Iran, contradicts our position," Orbach stated. Orbach added that while he respects Rivlin, he views the cancellation as an infringement on freedom of expression. "Punishing artists due to their opinions is an impermissible act, so unfortunately I cannot attend," he said. "If Benayoun isn't singing, I won't speak." 

And over at Ayelet Shaked's FB (Hebrew).

This reaction

In an interview Benayoun gave to Army Radio, he lashed out at host Yael Dan and at legal scholar Prof. Kremnitzer from the Israeli Democracy Institute, after the latter stated that this song could lead to charges of incitement against Benayoun. Benayoun refused to apologize for his lyrics, adding that “according to your criteria you are a murderer yourself since you just incited people against me. Your words have consequences and I don’t buy your stories.” When the host tried to restrain him, Benayoun asked: “If someone commits a murder near my house will you take responsibility? Enough with this hypocrisy, I get my inspiration from the latest murders. You’re murderers yourselves, your words lead to murder - you should be ashamed of yourselves!”


My translation of  the lyrics:

To the Memory of those Murdered in the Lethal Attack in Jerusalem


Another day, yet another sorrowful day in Jerusalem,
Another day in which Jewish blood has been spilled like water
In a synagogue of yours, Father.
Until when?
They only wished to pray to You
That all should be well.  That if only it would be.

A day of sorrow in the Holy City
Another day that Jewish blood has come to be spilled
Before your very eyes, Father.
In front of the Holy Ark.
In front of the Holy Ark - until when?

More unfortunate orphans, additional weeping widows,
More young children whose dreams have beem cut short
More suffering orphans who again wait for the Devil to burst out in dance.

Is to be Jewish to die every day anew,
To renew death every day again?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The leftwing fascist professor Mordecai Kremnitzer is jihading against the freedom of speech of the song writer