Bomb damage, Gaza City: image by Banksy, 2015
I wrote this right after the election in Israel for Passover coming soon. Add your own words to the Haggadah:
This year I am observing a Treyf Pesach.
Help me sweep the chometz back into the house, for we need to get dirty.
Help me replace the wine with whiskey, lots of it, so we can forget the horror.
Once we were slaves, and now we are slaves again.
Instead of matzo symbolizing the haste in which we fled slavery, stack up slices of white bread, any kind of leavened bread because now Pharaoh Bibi holds our people in thrall.
Chop up the apples and nuts to represent all the Palestinian houses blown up.
Eat the bitter herbs to remember how the beauty of our culture has been infused with hate.
Slap down a pork chop rib to remember how all of the hopes and dreams of freedom have turned ugly, have turned to blood, have become a vile joke.
Eat the slimy kale to recall all the olive trees torn out of the ground.
Dip the leafy slime into the salt water to cry over how young kids are lording over old men at checkpoints.
Eat the horseradish to recall the bitterness of lies in our name. Shove spoonfuls of horseradish down each other’s throats so we can never forget what we have done.
Put the egg in the center to recall that once we were a people rich with variety and joy and now we are a cartoon of ourselves -– but even then spring will come, maybe, if the warming earth allows.
Why is this night different from all other nights? It’s not, it’s the same old story of using our own pain to cause the pain of others.
The foolish child is the only wise one around. He says, I want to get out of here, I’d rather live in Berlin or LA than stomp on other people and call that democracy.
The wise child is a fool, asking why he can’t get lower rent and doesn’t notice the bloated settlements.
Let the girls sing the new Dayenu.
We build walls to choke another people –- Enough Already.
We in America and Europe are told to come and be ruled by Pharaoh Bibi –- Enough Already.
Bombs and more bombs will make us safe -– Enough Already.
Once we were slaves and now we are slaves again -– Enough Already.
Beat up the stranger in our midst –- Enough Already.
And American Jews look on and say nothing, as they have said nothing for decades -– Enough Already.
Let us feast on our bitterness and loss. Let us gulp down the whiskey so we can forget.
Next year leave Jerusalem alone.
20 March 2015
Hilton Obenzinger was born in Brooklyn in 1947. He is the author of eight books, including This Passover Or The Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem (1980), "a poetic interrogation of the Zionist nation of Israel".
Netanyahu advancing one thousand #housingunits in #East Jerusalem #HarHoma: image via Israel Trending News @Israelolizer, 27 October 2014
An Israeli soldier casts his ballot for the election behind a mobile voting booth in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Migdalim, near Ariel. Binyamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party scored a dramatic election victory, surging past its main rival, the centre-left Zionist Union, to win the most seats in the Knesset: photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters via the Guardian, 22 March 2015
Israelis gathered at a rally to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on March 15, two days before voters gave his Likud party a resounding victory: photo by. Amir Cohen/Reuters via The New York Times, 20 March 2015
Today #Netanyahu expressed how proud he is about splitting Bethlehem from Jerusalem #HarHoma: image via Palestine PLO - NAD Politolizer @nadplo, 16 March 2015
An ultra Orthodox Jewish man pauses in front of the al-Aqsa mosque in the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex: photo by Bernat Armangue/Associated Press via The Guardian, 20 March 2015
Israeli police at the al-Aqsa mosque in 2014. Tension over access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound is highlighted in the EU report: photo by Peter Beaumont for the Guardian, 20 March 2015
Sasson Sara, a shopkeeper in Sderot of Iraqi descent, voted for Likud. Many Mizrahim have viewed Ashkenazis as elitist: photo by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times, 20 March 2015
A Palestinian man is reflected on a damaged television amid the ruins of homes destroyed during the 50-day Israeli assault in Gaza. A total of 30 aid agencies said last week that they were alarmed by the limited progress that had been made to rebuild devastated lives and tackle the root causes of the conflict.: photo by Said Khatib/AFP via The Guardian, 28 February 2015
In Sderot, a border town in southern Israel, there was wide support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-line Likud Party: photo by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times, 20 March 2015
Children played in Eli, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Eli sprawls across six hilltops amid Palestinian villages and farmland: photo by Tomas Munita for the New York Times, 12 March 2015
#fotos de las 10 de @elmundo_orbyt de la Tarde (2) #Cisjordania #Efrat #M16 #Israel: image via Jesus Larena @JMLarena, 6 May 2014
Young Palestinians throw stones at Israeli security forces at Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem in 2014, a year characterised by an EU report as the most ‘violent and polarised’ in the city in recent memory: photo by Peter Beaumont for the Guardian, 20 March 2015
Eli, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Eli sprawls across six hilltops amid Palestinian villages and farmland: photo by Tomas Munita for the New York Times, 12 March 2015
#BeitJala, #Bethlehem and the illegal colony of #HarHoma: image via Xavier Abu Eid @xabueid, 20 February 2015
A mural of a kitten, presumably by street artist Banksy, on the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the 50-day war last summer in Beit Hanoun. Banksy has posted a mini-documentary on his website showing the squalid conditions in Gaza six months after the end of the Israeli assault: photo by Suhaib Salem/Reuters via The Guardian, 28 February 2015
Spain and Italy Warn Against Investing in Israeli #Settlements via @RT_com #BDS #HarHoma: image via #NoJusticeNoPeace @PalsJustice, 28 June 2014
Soldiers patrolled in Nahal Oz, a kibbutz founded by European Jews and where most members voted for the left-leaning Zionist Union, which did well in secular Tel Aviv and suburban areas: photo by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times, 20 March 2015
#@emilyhauser A pic of #HarHoma in 2011. Perhaps the (distant) trees now new apartments #Palestine #Israel: image via Jeremy Pressman @djpressman, 24 March 2014
Bomb damage, Gaza City (detail): image by Banksy, 2015
Ultra-orthodox Jews attend an election rally in Jerusalem. Assuming Binyamin Netanyahu can form a government before the beginning of next month, he will face an immediate crisis, with Palestinians determined to present claims of war crimes against Israel over its 48-year occupation of the West Bank and last year’s war in Gaza: photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters via the Guardian, 22 March 2015