Israeli culture minister walks out on performance based on Palestinian poet’s work

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s minister of culture and sports, Miri Regev, walked out on an awards ceremony during a song based on a work by a Palestinian poet that the official said “hoped … for the death of the Jewish state.”

Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad was performing the Mahmoud Darwish piece that sent Regev out of the Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers ceremony on Monday evening. Awad received an award for promoting Arab creativity within Israeli culture.

Darwish, who died in 2008, was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Regev said before the event that she would not stay in the auditorium for the song. She explained in an address to the audience that Darwish was a “Palestinian poet who hoped … for the death of the Jewish state, who wanted to eat the flesh of the ‘occupier.’”

She also said, “It’s clear to me and a very large public that this isn’t an artistic decision; it’s a political one,” Regev said. “You want Arab poetry? By all means. I’m the one who increased the budget for Arab artists, more than ever before.”

Awad said in a post on Facebook that Regev was mistranslating Darwish’s works and that she would never have performed words written by a Jew hater, The Times of Israel reported. She called on Regev to “educate yourself” on Darwish’s poetry. Awad posted the words to the poem, “Think About Others,” in Arabic, Hebrew, English and Spanish.

Mira Awad – Think of others | ميرا عوض – فكر بغيرك

Mira Awad – Think of others | فكر بغيرك – ميرا عوضDownload song on Mira Awad's official website: http://www.miraawad.co/musicPoem: Mahmoud Darwish.Music and Vocals: Mira Awad.Guitars: Shay Alon | Double Bass: Ayal Yishay | Accordion: Ettie Tevel | Percussion: Mira Awad.Recorded and mixed by Ayal Yishay at Papa studios.Production: Atrash.Video concept, design and animation: Ray-V (Revital Elkayam) and Dorian Natan.Video camera: Ayal Yishay.Still photography courtesy of: Activestills | Eddie Gerald | Omer Calderon.Lyrics & Translation:Think of others – Mahmoud DarwishAs you prepare your breakfast, think of others(do not forget the pigeon’s food).As you wage your wars, think of others(do not forget those who seek peace).As you pay your water bill, think of others(those who are nursed by clouds).As you return home, to your home, think of others(do not forget the people of the camps).As you sleep and count the stars, think of others(those who have nowhere to sleep).As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others(those who have lost the right to speak).As you think of others far away, think of yourself(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)فكر بغيرك-محمود درويشوأنتَ تُعِدُّ فطورك، فكِّر بغيركلا تَنْسَ قوتَ الحماموأنتَ تخوضُ حروبكَ، فكِّر بغيركَمَنْ يطلبون السلاموأنتَ تسدد فاتورةَ الماء، فكِّر بغيركَمَنْ يرضَعُون الغمامٍوأنتَ تعودُ إلى بيتكَ، فكِّر بغيركَلا تنس شعب الخيامْوأنت تنام وتُحصي الكواكبَ، فكِّر بغيركَ من لم يجد حيّزاً للمناموأنت تحرّر نفسك بالاستعارات، فكِّر بغيركَمَنْ فقدوا حقَّهم في الكلاموأنت تفكر بالآخرين البعيدين، فكِّر بنفسكقُلْ: ليتني شمعةُ في الظلامחשוב על זולתך-מחמוד דרווישמערבית: עפרה בנג'ו שמואל רגולנטכשאתה מכין את ארוחת הבוקר שלך, חשוב על זולתך[ אל תשכח את מזון היונים ] כשאתה מנהל את מלחמותיך, חשוב על זולתך[ אל תשכח את שוחרי השלום ] כשאתה משלם את חשבון המים, חשוב על זולתך[ אל תשכח את מי שיונק מי עננים ] כשאתה שב אל הבית, ביתך, חשוב על זולתך[ אל תשכח את עם-האוהלים ] כשאתה ישן ומונה את הכוכבים, חשוב על זולתך[ יש מי שאינו מוצא מקום לשינה ] כשאתה נותן דרור לנפשך בהשאלות, חשוב על זולתך[ חשוב על אלה שאיבדו זכותם למילים ] כשאתה מהרהר באחרים הרחוקים, חשוב על עצמך[ אמור: הלוואי שהייתי נר בחשכה ]Piensa en los Otros- Mahmoud DarwishTranslated to Spanish by Carlos Abadi Cuando te prepares para el desayuno, piensa en los otros(no te olvides la comida para las palomas).Cuando peleas tus guerras, piensa en los otros(no te olvides de los que buscan la paz).Cuando pagues tu cuenta de agua, piensa en los otros(aquellos a quienes cuidan las nubes).Cuando vuelvas a tu casa, piensa en los otros(no te olvides de la gente de los campamentos)Cuando duermas y cuentes las estrellas, piensa en los otros(los que no tienen adonde dormir)Cuando te expreses en metáforas, piensa en los otros(aquellos que perdieron el derecho a hablar).Cuando pienses en los otros que están lejos, piensa en ti(di: Si solo hubiera una vela en la oscuridad.)Penses aux autresTranslated to French by: Abdelhalim AndresQuand tu prépares ton petit déjeuner, penses aux autres, n'oublies pas la nourriture des pigeons. Quand tu mènes une guerre, penres aux autres, ceux qui cherchent la paix. Quand tu paie ta facture d'eau, penses aux autres, à ceux qui ne boivent que l'eau des nuages. Quand tu rentres chez toi, penses aux autres, n'oublies pas les peuples vivant dans des camps. Quand tu t'endorts en comptant les planètes, penses aux autres, à ceux qui ont nulle part où dormir. Quand tu parles en utilisant des méthaphores, penses aux autres, ceux n'ayant pas le droit à la paroles. Et quand tu mets de la distance etre toi et les autres, penses en toi-même et dis-toi: (j'espère être une bougie dans l'obscurité.)

Posted by Mira Awad on Friday, October 7, 2016

Regev caused a stir at the Ophir Awards, Israel’s Oscars, last September when she walked out in protest while the Arab-Israeli rapper Tamer Nafar performed a poem by Darwish. Regev returned to present the best film award and was loudly booed.

“I have a lot of tolerance for the ‘other,’ but I have no tolerance for Darwish and anyone who wants to eliminate Israel,” Regev said at the time.

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