Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Comparing Nazis to Jews? Leon Rosselson explains ‘The Ballad of Rivka & Mohammed’

It’s shocking.

But that’s the point.

You’re not supposed to do this. But he has.

Songwriters have creative licence but has Leon Rosselson gone too far?

A Nazi soldier smashes the head of Rivka, a seven year old girl wearing her new red dress in the Vilna ghetto in 1942. An Israeli soldier fires a shell onto a Gaza beach and kills Mohammed, an eleven year old boy playing football with his cousins in 2014. In the songwriter’s dream, Mohammed and Rivka take each other’s hand and “leave this world of war” – together.

The Polish ghetto has been twinned with the Gaza Strip.

Nazis are on a parallel with Israelis.

And in life and in death, Rivka and Mohammed are together and equal.

Leon Rosselson has given us a new song that will outrage some but bring many more to tears.

But is the comparison of Rivka and Mohammed fair? Isn’t such a coupling of victims a dishonest slur against the state of Israel, a gross exaggeration, and an offence to the memory of the six million?

Hold those questions in your head while I introduce you to Leon Rosselson, England’s finest radical songwriter.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

My poetic response to Facebook 'Friends' and Foes

Sometimes it's easier to say it in verse.

Here's my poetic response to Facebook Friends and Foes who've taken exception to my views on Israel/Palestine.

It's called 'Other Ways of Being Jewish are available' and you can read it over at my Patheos blog page.