Tuesday, January 7, 2014

14-01-07 ISRAEL: Natan Zach's poem: "I am an illegal immigrant too".// נתן זך: גם אני מסתנן בלתי חוקי

Natan Zach, leading Israeli poet, arrived in Palestine as a child in 1936, with his parents, Jewish immigrants from Nazi Germany, at a time that the British authorities prohibited Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Zach today published the poem, "Me Too", in response to the African asylum seekers crisis in Israel.

Apologies to Zach for my shoddy translation... jz                  
  =Me Too=
Me too, an illegal immigrant
Who arrived here not by free will
And not because by parents read Theodore's book*
That man, which not every generation gets the like of whom
Had he lived in his homeland, would have become
At the end, a refugee from Vienna or Sudan
Garden variety illegal immigrant
In the eyes of the White Book**
Or the black
Of each generation.***

* Theodore Herzl (1860 – 1904), Jewish writer, his book Der Judenstaat
(1896) - Altneuland predicted the birth of the State of Israel.  Born in Vienna, he died long before WWII..
** White Book - British official policy statement, which prohibited Jewish immigration to Palestine during WWII, dooming such refugees.
*** A line from the Passsover Hagaddah, saying that in each generation one must see himself as if delivered from slavery in Egypt.

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