April 04, 2008

Haiku Schmaiku

I must say it's very nice of the Jewish Chronicle to publish some haiku, actually quite a few haiku, criticising Israel.
How our Haiku contest attracted Israel’s detractors

An unintended consequence of the JC’s competition was its hijacking by anti-Israel websites which urged readers, particularly Jewish ones, to blitz us with entries. This provided a dilemma: while flattered by the attention, we knew that these views were not representative of the wider JC readership, yet we were not minded to set ourselves up as censors. So, without endorsement, we offer you a flavour of the debate.

The Just Peace UK forum asked people “to write haikus critical of Israel”. Suggestions included:

Israel was founded
To solve the Jewish Problem.
Now Israel is it.
(By Deborah Maccoby)

Bog-off all natives
Arabs are spoiling our myth’s [sic]
Narrative with truths
(By Joe Kane [with his grocer's apostrophe])

The Satanic State
S****y little country, oh
Israel, I’m ashamed!
(By Deborah Fink)
They had one criticising the Jewish Chronicle, but who would be so peverse a self-hater as to do that? Take a bow Levi9909:
Meanwhile, on the Jews sans Frontieres blog, “Levi9909” posted no fewer than 12 haikus. Typical examples were

“Democratic” isle
Amid dictatorships vile
Corpses in a pile

Israel’s day, great do!
JNF meets Lizzie Two
Hacks at JC coo
And there are more:
Whether a campaign was being orchestrated is unclear, but Just Peacenik Deborah Fink sent in:

60 years of hate.
Israel means nothing to me
Other than boycott!

Deborah Maccoby emailed:

Smooth West Bank highway;
We can drive without seeing
A single Arab

Sue Blackwell, an academic backing the boycott movement, offered:

Victims we were then;
Persecutors we’ve become.
Haven’t we done well?

This by Charlotte Eatwell:

Happy day for the
People with no land. Black day
For that land’s people

Mike Heiser offered:

Olive trees uprooted
Checkpoints sprout up everywhere
Sixty years waiting

A number made crude comparisons of the type sent in by Arthur Neslen, a Tel Aviv-based Jewish journalist:

Hitler’s final dues,
Hebrew headlines make the news:
“Shoah called by Jews”

We deplore such wrong-headed and offensive analogies. But they serve to remind Israel’s friends that not all the Jewish people will be united next month...
But of course it was an Israeli minister who raised the spectre of the shoah, as the collective punishment the Palestinians rumbles on. Trust the JC to forget that.

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