Geffen's son rips Liberman

Aviv Geffen blasts Defense Minister who ordered Army Radio not to play songs written by his father.

Reut Hadar ,

Aviv Geffen
Aviv Geffen
Yoni Kempinski

Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen on Wednesday ripped Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for ordering Army Radio not to play songs written by his father, Yehonatan Geffen, or to interview him.

Liberman's order came after Geffen published a poem on his Instagram account glorifying Palestinian Arab teen Ahed Tamimi, who slapped Israeli soldiers stationed in the Palestinian Authority town of Nabi Salih.

Geffen in his poem compared Tamimi to heroic victims of oppression throughout the generations, from David against Goliath to Chana Senesh, who courageously parachuted into Europe to rescue Jews during the Holocaust and was later tortured and murdered by the Nazis, and Anne Frank, murdered in the Holocaust.

"I'm sure it's not easy for you and my heart goes out to you. So long as you're defense minister, Haniyeh and Dad's songs can sleep quietly," Aviv Geffen wrote on Facebook, mocking Liberman for failing to fulfill his promise that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would be eliminated within 48 hours of him being appointed defense minister.

"When you drop in the polls and the panic rises and when your secular agenda fails in the passing of the Supermarket Law, and above all, when your threatening image that helped you break out at first does not hold in the age of Trumpism and turns your deterrent power into a soft, loose old one," added the younger Geffen.

"My family includes one defense minister, who saw the security of Israel with only one eye and defeated the Arab countries,” continued Geffen, referring to the late Defense Minister Moshe Dayan who was his father's uncle. “He is considered a hero while you are a hero only in words and when it comes to actions then the only thing you succeeded in doing was being convicted of beating a child, which by the way is the closest you came to receiving a citation. Instead of fighting religionization you're fighting songs, because as opposed to haredi parties, songs can't fight back.”

"In addition to the fact that my father was an officer in the paratroopers, he is also a poet and a satirist. Yes, Avigdor, there is such a job in which you criticize the place in which you live. In Israel this is (still) called freedom of expression, or as you call it or more accurately as you spin it, being an Israel hater. We are obligated to preserve the right to protest, even if it is inconsistent with our personal opinion," Geffen concluded.

Liberman's attempt to prevent the elder Geffen's songs from being played on Army Radio was thwarted by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who said that the defense minister does not have the authority to make such an order.

Nevertheless, Liberman refused to retract his order, announcing that he “rejected out of hand” the Attorney General’s position.

Aviv Geffen, like his father, is no stranger to controversy. He has several times lashed out at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including last January, when he called Netanyahu a “tyrant” during a concert and urged him to “be a man and resign”.

In 2015, he made headlines when he called to send Netanyahu "to hell" during a concert, while an image of Netanyahu, Liberman and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, with a large red "X" crossing them all out, appeared on the screen behind him.

Geffen’s remarks were condemned at the time by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who said, "A man who shirked the IDF, who incites against the prime minister when he and his family contributed much to the security of the state - and the leftist leaders Tzipi (Livni) and Buji (Yitzhak Herzog) don't denounce and don't say a word. Simply an embarrassment!"