The new Jew
Der neue Jude
Rises at night
Puts his uniform on,
Kisses his wife and child,
And, in two or three hours, destroys
A quarter in one of Gaza’s ghettos.
He manages to make it back
In time for coffee and rolls.
In the paper,
The fresh picture of women and children
Picking through islands of rubble,
Like frightened hens,
The shuttle within
That professional gesture.
All the while, above, a helicopter
Observes the grounded humanity
Of those who laugh
When they are tickled,
And bleed when they
Are shot by snipers,
And, in memory’s skies–
Packed with cliches
And plays on words–
It outlines a lazy spiral,
Enclosing once and for all
Identity within parenthesis.
Whether it be a barbed-wire fence
Or with a ring of outposts:
Identity becomes the ghetto,
And the ghetto becomes identity
-Aharon Shabtai, from The Verso Book of Dissent
Technorati Tags: Aharon Shabtai, Israel, Palestine, Zionism
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