'I'm not fighting songs - I'm fighting lies'

Defense Minister responds to rock star's criticism of the reaction to his father's poem glorifying PA teen who slapped soldiers.

Uzi Baruch ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded on his Twitter account this morning, Thursday, to rock star Aviv Geffen, the son of Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen.

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, famous teenage diarist, 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.

"[This is what you do] when you drop in the polls and panic when your secular agenda fails in the passing of the Supermarket Law, and above all, when the threatening image that helped you break out at first does not hold in the age of Trumpism and makes your deterrent power passé," added the younger Geffen.

"My family includes one defense minister, who was able to view the security of Israel despite having only one eye and defeated the Arab countries,” continued Geffen, referring to his father's uncle, late Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. “He is considered a hero while you are a hero only in words and when it comes to actions, 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 a position 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.

In response, Liberman wrote tersely, “You have erred, Aviv Geffen. I am not fighting songs. I am fighting lies, I am fighting the comparison of a terrorist, who takes advantage of the restraint of IDF soldiers and officers who risk their lives to protect us, to the heroine Chana Senesh. I am fighting belittlement of the Holocaust. And I am doing this for the honor of the State of Israel.”