May 05, 2009

Questions for Shomrim

Following the previous post, and because Freedland's memory failed him as he was cataloguing the Jewish references in Leonard Cohen lyrics, I thought it useful to reprint the full poem. The name refers to Shomrim, Hebrew word for "guards", possibly a reference to a socialist-Zionist youth movement in Israel or a biblical reference to the guards on the walls of Jerusalem.

One interesting thing about this poem is that it doesn't pass the "Comment is Free" comments policy about things you are not allow to say about Israel and Jews. So all of you who do comment there, I recommend you submit it on every opportunity you have.

And will my people build a new Dachau
And call it love,
Jewish culture
For dark-eyed children
Burning in the stars
Will all our songs screech
Like the maddened eagles of the night
Until Yiddish, Arabic, Hebrew, and Vietnamese
Are a thin thread of blood clawing up the side of
Unspeaking steel chambers
I know you, Chaverim
The lost young summer nights of our childhood
We spent on street corners looking for life
In our scanty drops of Marx and Borochov.
You taught me the Italian Symphony

And the New World
And gave a skit about blowing up Arab children.
You taught me many songs
But none so sad
As napalm falling slowly in the dark
You were our singing heroes in '48
Do you dare ask yourselves what you are now
We, you and I, were lovers once
As only wild nights of wrestling in golden snow
Can make one love
We hiked by moonlight
And you asked me to lead the Internationale
And now my son must die
For he's an Arab
And my mother, too, for she's a Jew
And you and I
Can only cry and wonder
Must Jewish people
Build our Dachaus, too?

-- Leonard Cohen, poem from 1970's

And here is the boycott letter that refers to it. Send your own letter to Cohen, through his manager Robert Kory

RK Management, LLC
9300 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 200
Beverly Hills,CA 90212

There is also an email address, but I'm not sure what the value of it:


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