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A spoken-word poem for Jerusalem Day

Today Israel marks Jerusalem Day, what the state considers to be the “reunification” of the city following the war in 1967 and what the world considers to be the illegitimate annexation of East Jerusalem and its environs.

The “Greater Jerusalem” area we see today has 800,000 residents, 38% of which are Palestinian. The city suffers from high levels of segregation in all walks of life between religious and secular and between Palestinians and Israelis, a 78% poverty rate among Palestinians; and the separation wall cutting through its villages and landscapes.

While the government, mainstream media and many Israelis celebrate this day, others of us lament the city’s state. 


Poem by Moriel Rothman, a Jerusalem activist

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    1. “I will send them to a Bilingual preschool
      where they will learn both Arabic
      and Yiddish”

      Hmmm. What’s wrong with Hebrew?

      Reply to Comment
    2. That’s quite nice, but the lines about the absurdity of comparing the city to a woman are a little unfair. Although he makes it sound like a matter of sexual appropriation, it also has an aspect of mother symbolism. The mother provides the child with shelter and protection against a hostile world, and in addition is prized by the child for her beauty, whether real or imagined. She provides love. Some people may imagine that the city loves them, in some sense.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Moriel Rothman

      Thanks for posting this, Mairav!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Inetersting, made me smile in parts. I don’t think Joe86pw and Rowan quite get the idea of a piece of art, a poem – it is not to be analysed too literally and it is the artist’s choice to use whatever imagery and even absurd contrasts and unexpected turns of language.

      When a poem/spoken piece challenges conventional perceptions, asking why the wirter doesn’t stick to the normal conventions misses the point!

      Reply to Comment
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Illustrations: Eran Mendel