Controversial poet attacks again

Yehonatan Geffen implicitly attacks Nationality Law, writes: "80 years ago there were a people who believed in the master race."

Elad Benari ,

Yehonatan Geffen
Yehonatan Geffen
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Controversial Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen is at it again, having on Sunday implicitly attacked the Nationality Law.

In a post on his Instagram account, Geffen wrote, "No, I am not really comparing! Wrote the poet whose poems no one reads. No, there is no point in comparing. Then was then and now is now. No, I am not really comparing! Wrote the poet using a fountain pen while depressed.”

"But were there not another chosen people who believed in military rule and in the master race 80 years ago? No, I am not really comparing, just a little melancholy and paralysis. And please do not send me a like," he added.

This is not the first time that Geffen has caused an uproar. Several months ago he published a poem on his Instagram account glorifying Palestinian Arab teen Ahed Tamimi, who was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier.

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.

Geffen subsequently apologized for his comparison, but later caused another firestorm after he said in a television interview that he understands people who become “shaheeds” (martyrs in Arabic).