Israeli-American poet Morani Kornberg-Weiss breaks with conventional poetics and mainstream politics. But who, exactly, is Dear Darwish for? Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss’s first collection of poetry, opens with a prose poem that that doubles as an indictment of Israeli society. Cleverly disguised as a letter, it is addressed to the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Like the poems that follow it, “Dear Mahmoud” does many things at once. It captures the violence inherent in establishing and maintaining the Jewish state. It accurately depicts Israelis’ objectifying and dehumanizing view of Palestinians. It shows how the state’s violence against Palestinians has seeped…Read More... | 9 Comments
Gaza-based poet Manal Miqdad wrote the following poem after a particularly violent and sleepless night in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge. Israeli poet Almog Behar penned a response, dedicated to Miqdad. After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light By Manal Miqdad (translated from Arabic by Sam Carlshamre and Chana Morgenstern) I speak my words unto God, O Gaza! After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light. But how can we wish you good morning,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Lately I’ve been looking at Israelis closely. I’ve been looking them straight in the eye, to see if they know. If they have a clue. Any clue. About what’s in their future. The not too distant future. Most probably in the lifetimes of many of them. I look at them closely. And in particular places. Places that are theirs, and theirs alone. At least, what they think are theirs. What they believe are theirs. And I wonder to myself: do they know that soon they will have to share all this? All this wealth, this land, these resources? These rights?…Read More... | 42 Comments
This is a story about poetry, but like many Israeli stories, it too begins with Netanyahu. When Netanyahu was minister of the treasury, in the mid aughts, Israel's anti-monopoly laws became less than tightly enforced. One sector to suffer the implications was the publishing business. Israel's two major retail book chains merged at the time with two major publishing houses. The combined force of these leviathans wrecked the smaller book chains, the private bookstores and every other publishing house around. Today we have here a duopoly of two book chains: Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim. They make the rules. They have…Read More... | 1 Comment
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