Holon Mayor urged to cancel Yehonatan Geffen show

Jewish Home Holon branch urges mayor to cancel appearance by controversial Israeli poet at an April festival.

Benny Tocker ,

Yehonatan Geffen
Yehonatan Geffen
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Shlomi Tamam, chairman of the Jewish Home party's branch in Holon, on Thursday called on the mayor of Holon to cancel an appearance by poet Yehonatan Geffen at a festival to take place in the city this coming April.

Geffen caused an uproar this week when he published a poem on his Instagram account glorifying Palestinian Authority teen Ahed Tamimi, who was recorded slapping Israeli soldiers. Geffen compared Tamimi to heroic victims of oppression throughout the generations, from David against Goliath to Hannah Szenes, 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.

Following the publication of the poem, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman ordered Army Radio not to play songs written by Geffen or to interview him, though Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit later stated that Liberman does not have the authority to issue such an order.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva on Thursday, Tamam said that a person who spoke against IDF soldiers cannot appear in a theater which is located next door to the building of the Yad Labanim memorial organization for those who died in the defense of Israel.

"We all respect freedom of expression, but there is also a limit to this. A man who compares a terrorist, a member of a terrorist family, to Hannah Szenes or Anne Frank, two symbols of heroism...Anne Frank was murdered in the Holocaust by Nazis, does that mean that IDF soldiers are Nazis?" said Tamam.

"I'm not saying they shouldn't play his songs. You cannot erase all the songs he has written to date, but coming and performing next to Yad Labanim, where the names of the fallen of Holon are inscribed, is simply a disgrace and we hope that the mayor will cancel the event," he added.

"There are four more months [before the festival] and I hope that the mayor will demonstrate leadership and cancel the event which is funded by the municipality and will not provide a platform to a person who compares a terrorist to heroes who were murdered. We will do everything to prevent this event from taking place," stressed Tamam.