No English Word for It : Rachel Elior on Israel’s Moral Abyss

I can’t find or make up a word in English that carries all the meaning implicit in the one {Israeli] Hebrew portmanteau word – a recent coinage, actually a “translation” by David Weinfeld of a coinage by the late & great Polish poet Wysława Szymborska, (I also have not been able to find the Polish original – can anyone help me with that?) – SHLITALELUT, a combination of SHLITAH, rule or control (&/or SHALIT, ruler) with HITALELUT, abuse, generally violent & physical tormenting, of (an)other(s) – which sums up the evils of the Israeli regime-run occupation, oppression & abuse of the Arab Palestinian population of Palestine, & its repression of & incitement against all Hebrew (Israeli) opposition or protest to the regime’s injustices, which Rachel Elior summarizes so well in the status I’ve translated below (but first a pic of the original status):

elior 151219


SHLITALELUT” is the marvelous term coined by the wise and justly famous Polish poet Wysława Szymborska, as translated by David Weinfeld, which may be applied precisely to the acts of the government that supports the occupation, the oppression, the cruel abuse and the dispossession of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, and also supports the incitement against civil society organizations and human rights organizations that seek to expose the truth about the occupation that is [constantly] denied and kept silent about. But we shouldn’t marvel at this because this is how every malicious government in the world operates: patronizing and racist patriotic nationalism, beside glorification of living by the sword and slandering the enemies who threaten to annihilate us from outside, persecuting all those who are defined as enemies within who dare to say the truth in the name of moral or religious values, and denouncing them as traitors and informers who endanger the nation, and relying on power and intimidation, incitement and violence, alienation and arrogance, racism, imaginary and scary warnings about menacing and evil people, while initiating wars and campaigns, putting up fences and prison compounds, with locks and chains, all the while totally denying the situation of the illegal occupation, without a speck of humanity, compassion or understanding of the always justified desire of the oppressed, the occupied and the persecuted for a life of dignity and equality, justice and freedom, and totally ignoring their humanity and their human rights. Kurt Tocholsky, the desperate refugee persecuted by the Nazi government, said the sentence that is engraved on the walls of Yad VaShem, which the Israeli government should be reminded of every morning and every evening: “A country is not only what it does but what it tolerates.”

We are not willing to tolerate any longer the evil of the occupation and subjugation of one people by another, especially because we were the ones who were subjugated and persecuted throughout the Exile, and we are not willing to tolerate the SHLITALELUT that occupation inevitably entails and we are not willing to tolerate the persecution of the civil society organizations and the silencing of human rights activists such as ‘Breaking the Silence’ and ‘Machsom Watch’, ‘B’Tselem’, ‘Women in Black’ and ‘Doctors for Human Rights’ and ‘Tag Meir’ or ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’, for they and others like them are the only ones who are guarding our moral image – which has been waning from day to day in the course of 48 years of illegal occupation and settlements, and words cannot suffice to describe the moral abyss which we have rolled down into because of these things.


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