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We smell the fish of state rotting from the Prime Minister. He says he desires to throw fists against the protestors who march for democracy; he falsely accuses them of his own crime, this thief who fears his own guilt. Theocrats, fascists, racists, misogynists, homophobes at his side, pushing down the pillars that get in their way, bulldozing the framework that holds the ceiling above our heads, believing the columns are enemies and that their beliefs alone can hold up the roof stones with fear and hate. But the stones of justice will fall, and we will all struggle to survive the unholy earthquake this evil will bring. Yet they call us the enemies of democracy, we who cry out to stop the bulldozers. They call us the inciters of violence, while they remain blind to the repercussions of their rage, the ground groaning in Huwara. We smell the smoke rising from violent waves unleashed by the unholy desire to rule over. Who will stop them? Who will turn this page before history buries our book in rubble? Who will turn the page? Who…?
Huwara photos from YNet, “Palestinians wake up to mass
damage after settler riot in Huwara,” 27 Feb. 2023 ©2023 YNet
Photos of Jerusalem protests 13 Feb, 18 Feb, and 20 Feb 2023 ©2023 Michael Dickel
For 15 weeks now, Israeli’s have mounted regular protests against the government’s proposed “judicial reforms,” which many call a “judicial coup,” meaning an attempt to overthrow judicial oversight of the government. Rather than accept the tension of checks and balances, the government wants to appoint the judges by assuring they have a default majority membership on the appointments committee. They want to be able to overturn a High Court ruling (the equivalent of the Supreme Court) with a 50% plus one vote—less than 51% of the Knesset (legislature). They want to change the Basic Laws (the closest thing Israel has to a Constitution) so that the High Court cannot make rulings about government appointments or policies. With these and other proposals, the administration (which is not separate from the Knesset) would would be able to do as it pleases, even if it violated the Basic Laws or other laws. I took the photos that I took accompanying this poem at a few of these protests, which I have been participating in regularly. And I read this poem as part of the protests at a “poetry protest” organized by the Democratic Cultural Forum. We were at a sidewalk café near Prime Minister Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, 1 March, 2023. Most of the other poets read in Hebrew, their own or other's work. A few read other's poems in English. I read my English-language poem. The poster to the right gives the title of the event, “The Writers Read Resistance Literature in the Public Sphere.” The event was held simultaneously in the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Be'er Sheva.
Read Resistance Literature
in the Public Space
The Day of Struggle | Wednesday | 1.3 | 11:00
Jerusalem Sigmund | Haifa 1 19 HaNasi St.
Tel Aviv Kaplan St. 6 | Be’er Sheva Writers Park
©2023 Michael Dickel (except where otherwise noted for news photos)
All rights reserved
Originally appeared on The BeZine blog.