We read your petition for Leo Frank, Threw up our arms in righteous indignation at the bigotry he experienced, And joined in protesting his innocence; Even though we were alarmed at the bigotry you directed toward his principal accuser, We believed you, But since the Freedom Flotilla, we donít believe you anymore. We heard your cry for help When the beast reared its ugly head in Germany, We heard your cry, and answered, Even though the world was still weary from the first great slaughter. Afterwards, we looked the other way when you showed us the delousing chamber And labelled it a gas chamber; We cried with you when you showed us the soap made from human fat, And the shrunken heads, And the collection of tattooed hides which turned out later to be medical specimens; We didnít let on when you showed the world Piles of bodies from Belsen, And called these emaciated and diseased unfortunates Victims of a planned genocide. We were so overwhelmed with guilt that we hardly protested above a whisper When your organised gangs murdered our soldiers, policemen and civilians in Mandated Palestine, It would have seemed indecent to brand you murderers when you had suffered so much more than anyone else, Or when you told us you had. We believed, and excused you uncritically, But we donít believe you anymore. We believed you all through the 60s and 70s when you denounced and demonised the PLO, And all the other Arabs, You had the ear of Presidents and of the American media, Why would we not believe you when the only dissenting voices Were loony leftists, loonier anti-Semites, and the people whose land you stole? We believed you during the First Intifada, Even when we saw you break the bones of unarmed, defenceless men with rocks. We believed you during the Second Intifada when the atrocities and obscenities were repeated, But we donít believe you now. When the Revisionists - Deniers you called them - cried foul, We sided with you, not wishing to be tainted with anti-Semitism - the incomparable crime. When you lobbied for laws to silence them, we rushed to your side While at the same time praising your commitment to free speech. When you lobbied against immigration controls on the grounds of racial tolerance And the universal brotherhood of man, We stood beside you and gave away our blonde-haired daughters for fear of being branded racist, Or even worse, anti-Semitic, While excusing your infinitely more racist behaviour toward the Palestinians. Even then we believed - foolishly in retrospect - That you shared our ideals For a world without hunger, want or injustice, A world where all nations and all men were subject to the rule of law. Even during Operation Cast Lead, when we called on you to stop the slaughter, We tempered our protests with allusions to the Holocaust, And to the alleged six million victims. We excused, explained away and rationalised your atrocities time and time and time again, Even when the truly pious men in black hats and kaftans warned against your perfidy, And when refuseniks and others within your own ranks echoed their sentiments. But we donít believe you now. We donít believe you now you have spat visibly on all the peoples of the world; We donít believe you when you denounce old men, young women, and even a babe-in-arms as terrorists. We donít believe you when you demand we allow you to set up your own commission To investigate and whitewash the crimes you perpetrated. We donít believe you when you tell us you are a strategic asset, a friend, Or that the whole world is anti-Semitic, that we are always wrong, and you are always right. We donít believe your rhetoric; We donít believe your lies; Most of all, we donít believe your chutzpah, And now we find it difficult to believe we were ever taken in By your sham humanity And a world where all men are equal but Jews are more equal than others.
Back To Poetry Index