Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This website is amazing and very worth checking out.

Look back at some of the older posters.

Reason 13

So many reasons. But the one I feel in my gut is this: When I look at Barack Obama's life story, I see America.


Brett Yasko
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
About 30

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Israeli HipHop--Ha'dag Nahash

The Israeli band, Ha'dag Nahash (Fish Snake) has always been one of my favorites, especially because of their willingness to sing about political issues.

I've seen them in concert 3 times-- the third time was this last Friday, at an afternoon show in Tel Aviv. One song that was particularly popular, and continues to be, is "Shirat Ha'Sticker," "The Sticker Song." It's based on various bumper stickers, and other random stickers, that one can see displayed throughout Israel. It's written by Israeli novelist, David Grossman.

In a NY Times article from 2004, the song is described: "'Shirat Ha'Sticker'' (''The Sticker Song'') is no mere novelty, however. It offers a kind of aural collage of the fractious and volatile political environment here. Over a Jamaican dub beat, the singer Sha'anan Streett chants slogans as irreconcilable as ''A strong people makes peace,'' ''No Arabs, no terror'' and ''Long live the king Messiah.''

Here are some pictures from the show, including when they sang "Shirat Ha'sticker."

Here's the English translation, with the Hebrew following it, taken from another excellent blog.

[Bumper] Sticker Song
Lyrics: David Grossman

A whole generation demands peace
Let the IDF win
A strong people makes peace
Let the IDF take them down
No peace with Arabs
Don’t give them guns
There is no service like combat service, bro’
Draft for all [or] exemption for all
There is no despair in the world
Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here! [within the Green Line]
Na, Nah, Nahman, the faithful
No Fear, the Messiah’s in town
No Arabs, no terror attacks
The Supreme Court endangers Jews
The people are with the Golan
The people are for [population] transfer
Test in Yarka [sticker of a vehicle inspection garage in the village of Yarka]
Friend, you are missed
The Holy One, blessed be He, we vote for [choose] You
Direct elections [for prime minister] are bad
The Holy One, blessed be He, we are your zealots
Death to zealots [or "death to the jealous" in cases where the sticker appears on very old cars]

How much evil can you swallow?
Father have mercy, Father have mercy
They call me Nachman and I stammer
How much evil can you swallow?
Father have mercy, Father have mercy
Thank God I’m breathing

A State based on halacha is no State at all
He who is born wins
Long live the Messiah
I trust the peace of Sharon
Hebron – from time immemorial and forever
He who is not born loses
Hebron, city of the Fathers
Peace through Transfer
Kahane was right
CNN lies
We need a strong leader
Peace please, thank you for security
We have no children for needless wars
The Left helps the Arabs
Bibi is good for the Jews
Oslo criminals [should be brought] to justice
We here, they [the Arabs] there
You do not forsake brothers [on the battle field, or by implication settlers in the Territories]
Uprooting the settlements divides the people
Death to traitors
Let the animals live
Death to values


Liquidate, kill, expel, mislead
No Fear, subdue, quarantine, punishment of death
Lay waste, destroy, rout, eradicate
It’s all your fault, Haver [Friend]

–translation: Richard Silverstein

שירת הסטיקר
מאת דויד גרוסמן

דור שלם דורש שלום
תנו לצה”ל לנצח
עם חזק עושה שלום
תנו לצה”ל לכסח
אין שלום עם ערבים
אל תתנו להם רובים
קרבי זה הכי אחי
גיוס לכולם, פטור לכולם
אין שום ייאוש בעולם
יש”ע זה כאן
נ נח נחמן מאומן
No Fear, משיח בעיר
אין ערבים אין פיגועים
בג”ץ מסכן יהודים
העם עם הגולן
העם עם הטרנספר
טסט בירכא
חבר, אתה חסר
הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו בוחרים בך
בחירה ישירה זה רע
הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו קנאים לך
ימותו הקנאים

כמה רוע אפשר לבלוע
אבא תרחם אבא תרחם
קוראים לי נחמן ואני מגמגם
כמה רוע אפשר לבלוע
אבא תרחם אבא תרחם
ברוך השם אני נושם

מדינת הלכה - הלכה המדינה
מי שנולד הרוויח
יחי המלך המשיח
יש לי בטחון בשלום של שרון
חברון מאז ולתמיד
ומי שלא נולד הפסיד
חברון עיר האבות
שלום טרנספר
כהנא צדק
CNN משקר
צריך מנהיג חזק
סחתין על השלום תודה על הבטחון
אין לנו ילדים למלחמות מיותרות
השמאל עוזר לערבים
ביבי טוב ליהודים
פושעי אוסלו לדין
אנחנו כאן הם שם
אחים לא מפקירים
עקירת ישובים מפלגת את העם
מוות לבוגדים
תנו לחיות לחיות
מוות לערכים

כמה רוע אפשר…

לחסל, להרוג, לגרש, להטעות
להדביר, להסגיר, עונש מוות, NO FEAR
להשמיד, להכחיד, למגר, לבער
הכל בגללך, חבר

–lyrics from

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What is Zionism?

I often ask myself, "What is Zionism?" Is this a relevant question in 2008? Where do I find the answers? What is post-Zionism? Creative Zionism (I interviewed recently for a position at PresenTense)?

Is Zionism meaning being pro-Israel? Is not being Zionist mean being anti-Israel? Can I say I'm not a Zionist, but support Israel? Why do many people equate Israel with Zionism? Why is "supporting Israel" such a big deal?

I am American, and criticize America, but am not anti-America. Why does this same logic not seem to apply in Israel?

I was reading a document released a few years ago by the Van Leer Institute. When I am confused about an idea, I find it's often useful to go back to the very beginning. Here are some of the basics:

The Zionist Vision and the National Interests
“The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

“. . . This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.

“The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for an Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete
equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

“We appeal – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and
permanent institutions.”
(Excepts from the Declaration of Independence)

(continued from report) Today, too, it is necessary to ensure the existence of a Jewish and democratic State of Israel. Four founding principles have been accepted by the vast majority of the Zionist movement since its founding until the present day:

1. Concentrating a majority of the Jewish People in its homeland, the Land of Israel.
2. Preserving a Jewish state with an absolute Jewish majority in the Land of Israel.
3. Reviving Hebrew culture (language, literature, history, plastic arts) as the spiritual foundation of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel.
4. Aspiring to make the Jewish people a nation like all other nations, living freely in its own State and maintaining a high-quality life of abundance, progress and