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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Their longing... and ours

Apprently you need some time to think on yesterday's post.  Take all the time you need.

In the mean time, one of the things that I've noticed about Wikipedia searches for countries and groups with a national idenity is that they usually link to a wiki page showing the national anthem (in the original language, transliterated... and translated into English).

Being a musician and a student of literature, I often find myself looking at the anthem a country has chosen for itself because it tends to offer a glimpse of what they consider important.

Take for example the Israeli national anthem; Hatikvah (The Hope):

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

 Contrast that with the Palestinian anthem; Fida'i (My Redemption, from the word meaning 'who risks his life voluntarily; one who sacrifices himself'; hence the word fedayeen.)

My country, my country
My country, my land, land of my ancestors
My redemption, my redemption
My redemption, my people, people of eternity

With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my vendetta
With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the weapons
And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire,
Palestine is my vendetta and the land of withstanding

By the oath under the shade of the flag
By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
I will live as a redemption, I will remain a redeemer,
I will spend my redemption - until my country returns

My redemption

[emphasis mine]

It's all about setting priorities, isn't it?

Posted by David Bogner on May 31, 2012 | Permalink


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Some cultures worship life and love. Other cultures worship hatred and death. This shouldn't be a revelation to anyone over 25 years old (and this is assuming the 25 year old had blinders on through grad school). Still, it is another fine example of the differences between the Jews and their detractors.

Posted by: AliasJoe | May 31, 2012 4:22:28 PM

National anthems often have roots in war and conflict - one need not look any farther than "The Star Spangled Banner," filled with images of battle, for an exaqmple. But often they provide revealing glimpses into the national soul.

I would say you've managed to point out the obvious, but if it's so obvious, why does the world continue to show sympathy for those whose mantra is "vendetta" and not those for whom it is "hope"?

Posted by: Elisson | Jun 1, 2012 5:56:14 PM

"Palestine" is a red herring invented by the Arab world to be a constant thorn in Israel's side. They would not exist without "pain, struggle, and vendetta". It is the raison d'etre of their existence. So their anthem is actually quite honest.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 1, 2012 9:58:31 PM

Funny how every time they've had a chance to have their own land peacefully they've said no.

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | Jun 7, 2012 3:39:10 AM

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