Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rabbi Aviner's Gaza Operation Poem

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner

A slow line enters Gaza

The brigade commander owns a factory.
The regiment commander is an engineer.
The company commander is a science teacher.
The platoon commander is in the standing army.
The company sergeant sells holy books.
The sergeant is something of a carpenter.
The squad commander is presently unemployed.
The private is a retiree.

But they’re all excellent soldiers
Marching in the tranquil night in a slow line
Entering enemy territory
Without fear or trembling
To fight for their nation
Like their parents did for them.

The brigade commander's back aches.
The regiment commander has high cholesterol.
The company commander has indigestion.
The platoon commander has foot sores.
The company sergeant has eye problems.
The sergeant has insomnia.
The squad commander has the itchies.
The private just doesn't look good.

But they’re all excellent soldiers.
Sneaking through the darkness in a slow line.
Entering enemy territory.
Forgetting that they are spoiled and sensitive.
Bombarded each day with drops, creams and tablets.
Suddenly they’re healthy.

The same people who fear medical shots and dentists.
Are suddenly brave.
They know longer fear anything.
They just do what needs to be done.
On behalf of the Jewish People.
Because what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to do.

They’re no longer thinking about themselves.
But about the national mission.
Because we’ve shown more than enough restraint
And now we will act in our self-defense.
And this is just the first round.

The brigade commander is a Leftist who opposes settlements.
The regiment commander is a settler who favors settlements.
The company commander votes for a centrist party.
The platoon commander is national religious –
Torn between two and a half parties.
The company sergeant is very Ultra-orthodox.
The sergeant is a socialist.
The squad commander has voted for everyone.
The private hasn't as yet decided.

But they’re all excellent soldiers.
Marching in silence, in the dark of night.
Under the smiling moon.
With tense fortitude for their people.

Those same persons
Who on politics and religion
Can never agree on a single thing
Suddenly become brothers in battle
Devoted to each other
With all their heart and soul.

Suddenly all agree
That the best thing we have
Is our state
And our Defense Forces.
And they’re all ready
To smite the enemy hard
Once and for all
To leave us in peace.

Translation: R. Blumberg with my corrections

1 comment:

g said...

Sadly, Israel has been forced to defend itself
An American Jew said as she
Listed the sins of Hamas while failing
To take the rod out of her own eye

She castigated those who throw around
Words like "genocide" while failing
To note the three hospitals Israel
Bombed and the United Nations warehouse

Up in flames
As the people starve
While scant food and fuel and medicine
Trucked in as Israel killed and injured UN drivers

Is consumed by flames
Israeli hatred of Palestinians ignited

She mentioned her cousin in the Israeli army
When settlements were forced to evacuate
But that did not bring peace she lamented

She forgot the crossings were closed
Fruits and vegetables Gazans raised
Rotted at the border closed while economic
Distress and basics were denied the over-stressed
Population festering in the many wounds
Israel inflicts.

She was filled with shock
Dismayed when Palestinians voted for Hamas
How could they spit in the face of Israeli
Largess imagine giving up settlements
On the seashore with gardens and swimming
Pools filled to the brim as Gazans were denied
Water to drink and bathe imagine the gall

Israel remains committed to the peace process
While Hamas rains missiles down
Unprovoked except for Israeli gunships
Incinerating a family enjoying a day
At the beach while they blockaded
Medicines, food, fuel and any hope

The Gaza War is not meant to be an attack
On civilians – far from it – but an effort
To help Gazans rid themselves of resistance
Until Palestine comes to its senses

Accepts the enclosures and Wall
Meant only for their good
And surrenders all rights to us
The rightful owners of their land

We can honestly say
They have brought this upon
Themselves Israel is blameless
In the eyes of g-d and man
And the thousands who have died
So Israeli might live