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With Brothers Like This


This Memorial eve, culture in Israel took a turn to the right. Highly respected, mainstream crossover, “Mizrahi” artist, Amir Bennayun, has written a song that can only described as messianic hateful state incitement and propaganda. Here it is in all it’s disgusting glory [lyrics below limited by my translation]:

I Am Your Brother

I guard your identity
I protect your children
I give my life for your family
And you spit in my face

After they’ve failed to kill me from without
You come and kill me from within
I haven’t seen mom a whole month
Not my son not my daughter not my wife

I always charge ahead
With my back to you
And you sharpen the knife
More than anything, this thought burns my soul

And you, how is it that you don’t already understand
I am your brother, you are an enemy
You hate me I love
When I cry You laugh behind my back

You are killing me
Indeed you are my brother
Indeed you are my brother

I am future
You are past
And the present between us is crushed
I am hungry for you, you gorge and guzzle
When my throat is parched you drink liquor
My mouth is always sealed for your security
But you delate me to an outsider

I am your brother, you are an enemy
You hate me but I love
When I cry
You are always laughing behind my back

You are killing me
Indeed you are my brother
Indeed you are my brother

[spoken]
He who blessed our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
He will bless the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces,
Who stand and guard our country and the cities of our god
From Lebanon to the Egypt Desert
And from the vast sea to the coming of the Arava Desert and anywhere they may be on land
In the air and at sea.

I am your brother, you are an enemy
You hate me but I love
When I cry
You are always laughing behind my back

You are killing me
Indeed you are my brother
Indeed you are my brother

[spoken]
For the lord your god that walks with you
To fight for you with your enemies to salvage you and we say Amen

 

An Eye for an Eye a Word for a Word

Let’s take a look at those lyrics again, while “Fisking” seems to be all the rage nowadays:

I guard your identity [My brother has decided my identity for me and will guard this decition with his life. If I disagree to this imposed identity, I am- as I will find out soon enough- a traitor.]
I protect your children [Is this personal, or state propaganda that purports to protect my children and enlists them in Spartan fashion at the ripe age of 18?]
I give my life for your family [By killing other families.]
And you spit in my face [never have I spat in the face of anyone. Not even the ones that spat in mine.]

After they’ve failed to kill me from without [And of course, everybody's trying. Not to mention how this perpetuates the "them" and "us" warmongering scenario.]
You come and kill me from within [A clear cut reference to terms like “fifth column”]
I haven’t seen mom a whole month [This is a classic soldier-song line.]
Not my son not my daughter not my wife [As a result of your violence, many people don’t see their families for years, decades and even never.]

I always charge ahead [So do I]
With my back to you [with my face to you]
And you sharpen the knife [and all I see are the post-traumatic vacant eyes of men and women of “authority”.]
More than anything, this thought burns my soul [Yes, this bleeding heart can’t take how his beloved faceless brother is betraying him, but what aches most is not the betrayal itself, but the mere thought of it.]

And you, how is it that you don’t already understand [back at ya, bub]
I am your brother, you are an enemy [If you call me “enemy”, how can you be hypocritical enough to call me “brother”?]
You hate me I love [He just loves. He loves the sky, the trees, the unicorns- he’s just a fussy loving person, and I hate him- I must be a monster.]
When I cry [Because I’m all emotion]
You laugh behind my back [Judas and all that]

You are killing me [Let’s pretend I buy it for a moment- he believes that my actions will eventually lead to his demise. He’s still supporting the army that is literally shooting at me as we speak.]
Indeed you are my brother [oh the Greek tragedy!]
Indeed you are my brother

I am future [I am the modern empire]
You are past [is this a threat?]
And the present between us is crushed [Does this mean I’m not a partner?]
I am hungry for you, you gorge and guzzle [a direct reference to the Talmudic "stubborn and rebellious son" who should be put to death.]
When my throat is parched you drink liquor [This is very possibly playing on the myth that all Israeli leftists are an Ashkenazi, rich elite.]
My mouth is always sealed for your security [Loose lips sink ships? Is it you, Amir? Or is the governmental frog stuck in your throat?]
But you delate me to an outsider [Delating, “Moser” in hebrew, is another direct reference to the Talmud. It’s a special law just for Jews who delate other jews to the “goys”. “the sages of the Talmud compared the "moser" to a serpent” says JewishEncyclopedia.com... How very antisemetic...]
I am your brother, you are an enemy
You hate me but I love
When I cry
You are always laughing behind my back [I’d just like to note that before, I was just laughing behind his back; Now, I’m always doing it.]

You are killing me
Indeed you are my brother
Indeed you are my brother

[spoken] [Now this is where we get a tad spooky]
He who blessed our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
He will bless the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces,
Who stand and guard of our country and the cities of our god
From Lebanon to the Egypt Desert
And from the vast sea to the coming of the Arava Desert and anywhere they may be on land
In the air and at sea.

I am your brother, you are an enemy
You hate me but I love
When I cry
You are always laughing behind my back

You are killing me
Indeed you are my brother
Indeed you are my brother

[spoken]
For the lord your god that walks with you
To fight for you with your enemies to salvage you and we say Amen [So how insulting is this to all you religious folks out there?]

 

Media Incitement to Violence

If you ask Israeli mainstream media to describe it (such as Ynet or Walla), they’ll describe it in the following manner [Ynet limited by my translation]:

Amir Bennayun, one of the esteemed and most successful creators in the country, releases “I Am Your Brother”, this Memorial Day for Israeli Fallen Troops, a piercing protest song that he decided to record, following the latest happenings in the state… It sounds like the strongest cries that an Israeli singer has dared to express until today.

Indeed, in Israel, no one remembers what protest is and that it’s suppose to be directed at rotten government and big business, not at NGOs:

I was shocked when I was told that there’s a connection between Israeli organizations and organizations abroad that filed suits against top Israeli officers and leaders abroad… [says Bennayun]

Or private citizens, who were responsible enough to become whistleblowers of state war crimes:

[Bennayun continues]…In parallel, all that’s happening in the state with the Spying Soldier, Anat Kam…

The Neo-Zionist Second Revolution Has Arrived The people who uploaded this hateful ditty are none other than the ultra-fascist, neo-Zionist, self-proclaimed (but very possibly correct) movement of a “second Zionist revolution”, Im Tirzu:

Im Tirtzu is the only movement that engages in public advocacy on behalf of the State of Israel and of Zionism on Israeli campuses, based on the recognition and understanding that the student population must necessarily constitute the major vehicle of Zionist renewal.

Im Tirzu also claims to be centrist. In fact, it’s one of its core values:

Im Tirtzu was established as a centrist movement in order to consolidate a new ideological axis that will ensure a balance in safeguarding all of Israel’s crucial interests. We believe that the best way to safeguard the future of the Zionist enterprise is to consolidate an overall Zionist strategy that will take into account the national and historic importance of regions of the homeland, Israel’s crucial security interests, the demographic issue, the cohesion of the Jewish public and the Jewish-democratic character of the State of Israel.

Advocating on behalf of the state? Check. Racist fear of “demographic issues”? Check. War speak? Check. But wait! We have yet to cover the messianic religious angle [limited by my translation]:

The rightist movement “Im Tirzu” distributed 15,000 copies of a distorted Yizkor [rememberence] prayer, in synagogs, this Saturday… “The nation of Israel will remember those within it, flesh of its flesh, that participated in suits against its officers and soldiers. Those who in the time of battle to protect the nation of Israel stood in demonstrations and called its soldiers war criminals. Remember those who in darkness joined forces with the worst of Israel’s enemies to harm the saints that gave away their soul for the nation.”

The neo-Nazi Third Reich… ehem… excuse me… The Neo-Zionist Second Revolution has arrived and it’s got its own anthem.

 

We Will not Be Silenced

Fellow activist and good friend, (who we’ll call) Igor Svoboda, was so quick in responding, he had made this incredible video, the very same day:

I caught up with Igor for a short interview:

- Igor, do you care to make a statement?

Yesterday, the Israeli nationalist movement ‘Im Tirzu’, who wish to bring about "a second Zionist revolution" released the song ‘You are my brother’, a hate song which villifyes and incites against human rights activists. The song denotes these activists as ‘enemy’ and states they ‘sharpen the knives’. During Israel’s short history, there have been several political murders, carried out by Israeli nationalists, against leftists and one Prime Minister. This song, performed by a very well-known Israeli artist, continues a long tradition of hate and incitement hymns, such as those written by Horest Wessel.

Seeing this song shocked and offended me, but more then that: I am concerned by the great number of people who, when listening to it, would identify with its hateful words, and be moved- either emotionally or worse- into action. I decided to re-cut it, imposing images from our history and from the struggle against fascism and oppression in Israel-Palestine. This is yet another attempt at opening the eyes of the Israeli public to the reality which they create, that surrounds them. My hopes are that now, Israelis watching this would think once more about our ‘family ties’.

- How did you choose your images?

I felt they reflect the words better then the original ones, which were just basic emotional manipulation. I took images from recent incidents, involving institutionalized violence towards civilians, Israelis, Palestinians, Right-wingers, Left-wingers. I wanted to show those, who created the original vile clip, that hate, racism, discrimination and violence are things that effect and degrade all of us, and that only by combating that, not by exacerbating it, we can have safety and peace in our country.

I choose to end the clip with the addition of the refusinks, because I believe this is the only option left for israeli citizens; Realize and refuse to participate in criminal murderous activity of the Zionist regime. Ignore reality or try to paint it as something else, and it will eventually slap you in the face.

- Some Israeli human rights activists, including myself, could find it offensive to be categorized under the same umbrella as Rabin. How do you see it?

If you were hit by three bullets to your back, you will be in the same category – dead. I am not denying Rabin’s crimes against humanity in Lidd and other places, nor the inherent perversion in the Oslo Agreement. The Oslo Agreement, as faulty as it may be, was an attempt to change, offered a vision and was democratically initiated. it was halted by fascism and hate by the Israeli Right, which culminated at Rabin’s murder.

- Do you feel that you identify with the words (or some of the words) in relation to their writer and people that express opinions like his?

Actually, with a few, such as the phrase ‘you hate me i love you’ and ‘my brother you are killing me’. I totally reject the use of traitor and knife metaphor, but quite literally, our brothers, the right-wingers and the soldiers, are killing us (Israeli, Palestinians and Internationals alike), and quite literally they hate us, publishing songs that call people “back-stabbers”, a famous anti-semitic folk tale, told in a dying nation on the verge of fascism, while we want nothing else but to bring peace and justice to Palestine and Israel.

- How do you imagine Bennayun’s response to your creation?

A copyright lawsuit. They might call it cheap propaganda. That was what i think, what i hope is that he will cry and be left speechless.

 

Within less than 24 hours, Youtube pulled the video:

 

Due to this rather expected turn of events, I called Igor up, again:

- Igor, what are your thoughts about Bennayun’s latest move to silence you via a copyright claim?

I really don’t understand his problem, because he gets almost the same amount of face time, and I didn’t change the song. I am not claiming the song as my own, and his rights are not infringed, but either he is a small minded, capitalist who somehow sees this as an attempt to ‘steal his moneys’ or he is a technotard that thinks he can silence people who say things he doesn’t like. Either way, the file is out there, and we’ll keep uploading at least as fast as he can press ‘abuse’.

 

Indeed we will. I invite all my fellow concerned citizens to embed this video in their blogs, download the file from this link [totally safe]:
http://www.yousendit.com/download/bFFQa3NRYTJEa1UwTVE9PQ

Or from my Youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAl7Dz8oeTI
 

And upload it to your own Youtube channel, DailyMotion, Vodpod, Facebook videos, or any other venue you can think of.

 

We will not be vilified. We will not be silenced. Not in the name of dirty fascism, capitalism and occupation.

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