Update2 (now you can watch the clip): “Junction 48” director Udi Aloni’s Intro, & Yossi Tzabari’s “I too am an Arab” beside Tamer Nafer’s “Ana Meesh Politi” [“I’m Not Political”]

If you’re reading this on Facebook, first click this link: wp.me/p2bTwT-1ra.
Then click links as indicated in my Wordpress post.tameryossi-crop
THE PIC ABOVE IS NOT A LINK TO THE VIDEO CLIP. TO WATCH THE CLIP (&/or to read Uri’s intro in Hebrew , CLICK THIS LINK (& NOT THE PIC) https://www.facebook.com/ofer.neiman/posts/10154292013552224?pnref=storyThis WordPress post contains
— a video clip of Tamer Nafar singing (mostly in Arabic) his song “Ana meesh politi” from Udi Aloni’s film Junction 48 at the Israel Film & TV Academy’s Ophir Awards ceremony a couple of nights ago, in which he was joined by Yossi Tzabari rapping in Hebrew;
— a note on Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev’s shameful & slanderous response to the playback of lines by Mahmoud Darwish during the performance;
— my translation of Udi Aloni’s intro to his Facebook sharing of the clip;
— my verse translation of Yossi Tzabari’s part in the performance;
— a prose translation by Mark Marshall of it that was shared on Facebook by Ofer Neiman.
– some brief intrusions of my own.

The performance included a playback of Mahmoud Darwish reciting the opening lines of his poem “Identity Card”, which aroused Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev to leave the ceremony in protest, only to return later & slander Darwish by mendaciously mistranslating one of the lines. For more on this & an English translation of Darwish’s lines see my post

Udi Aloni, introducing the clip on Facebook today, wrote (my translation):

Here’s the whole performance!! I know that many have gone back to talking only about the tension between the [film] industry and Miri Regev, but the question that remains is a much deeper one, and it’s how much collaboration there is between both of them in the erasure of the Palestinian subject. The refusal of Ruba and Lamis [the lead actors of “Sand Storm”, chosen at the ceremony as the first all-Arabic language film to be Israel’s submission for the Oscars foreign film category] to go up on the stage with the denier of the Nakba and the censor of Darwish is in its essence a different struggle than that of the film industry for control of funds; these struggles could be unified, but the industry must clearly declare its opposition to the occupation, to the ongoing ethnic cleansing and the repression of the just Palestinian struggle. We started well at the ceremony, people stood with Tamer and Yossi – with a fist raised in solidarity: Lamis, Ruba, Amnon, Samar, the Palestinian families, Yael, Yael, and perhaps a few more I didn’t identify! The masks came down, you can’t make up to the ruling power without the world knowing. Now it’s time to be radical. Israeli filmmaking might be harmed a bit soon? Perhaps, but it’ll gain its independence

Ofer Neiman shared the post, & in a comment added a prose translation by Mark Marshall of Yossi Tzabari’s part in the performance of Tamer Nafar’s song. That translation (which I’m adding below mine) also contains interesting information about Yossi, & some content that I didn’t hear in the video clip, but I felt that Yossi’s part was so poetic (if also political) that an English translation which could convey something of that quality was needed (& even here I’ve been unable to capture all the rhymes & assonances etc of the original). My translation below is based on what I heard on the video. It begins only from after the playback of Darwish’s voice reciting in Arabic:

Write down: I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after the summer
Does that anger you?

Yossi comes in to stand beside Tamer, both of them with their fists raised high in the solidarity salute. He begins with a Hebrew translation of Darwish’s opening line:

Write down: I am an Arab.
Write down: I too am an Arab. But unlike Darwish Mahmoud,
I am an Arab from al-Yahud [Arabic for ‘the Jews’].
Write down: I too am an Arab.
A put-down, messed-up, mixed-up Arab
& I’ve gone thru heaps of identities
until I decided what to be.
An Arab Jew with messianic aspirations,
the robbed Cossack who cries in English
about the ethnic cleansing in the State that is Jewish.

Write down: We are Arabs.
Arabs, who haven’t learned the jargon
& who don’t play to the strains of your tone
& although we live between Egypt and Lebanon
we continue to believe, though it doesn’t make sense,
that we are in Europe, not the Middle East.
You speak about equality, co-existence and liberty,
and freedom of religion and education and culture
but you fear & consistently ignore
the hyphen that connects Arab & Jew.

Yossi now translates Tamer’s Arabic lines into Hebrew

We will go, as we are
A free beloved, & a faithful poet
We’ll go together,
on two different paths
We’ll go as we are
United, & separate
We’ll go together
& we’ll become good people
Ana meesh politi —  Ana meesh politi  — Ana meesh politi


Mark Marshall’s translation:
ID Card. Mahmoud Darwish. “Record: I am an Arab. My ID number is 50,000. I have eight children and the ninth will come after the summer. Does that anger you?” [The words “Does that anger you?” appear on the screen].
Record, Miri, [here he does a play on the words “tirshami, Miri” – Record, Miri – and converts it to “Tirshamiri”, which appears on the screen] – I too am an Arab. But unlike Mahmoud Darwish, I am an Arab from the Jews [he uses the Arabic word, al-Yahud]. My parents were born in Yemen and immigrated here not long ago. I have dark-coloured skin and the accent of natives of the region. Record, Miri. I too am an Arab. A screwed-up, accursed and confused Arab, and I have gone through a profusion of identities until I decided what to be. An Arab Jew with messianic aspirations, a patriot, who doesn’t make big parties by the beds of women giving birth. Record, Miri, you too, are an Arab. As Arab as they come, except that you ran from it as from fire, because an Oriental Jew still slides in the throat [a reference to speaking Hebrew with an Arabic accent[ but an Arab Jew, that’s a recipe for disaster. You speak loftily about equality and liberty, and freedom of religion and education and culture, but you trample with a rough foot and arbitrariness every chance for compromise and possibility of talks. Record, Miri. We are Arabs. And even though we live between Egypt and Lebanon, we continue to believe, without any logic, that we are in Europe, not the Middle East. Arabs, who do not trill in quarter-tones, Arabs, who have not learned the jargon, we speak French and Italian like nothing, but Emil Habibi – we read in translation. So in conclusion, here’s a little more Darwish: “Record, on top of the front page, I do not hate people, and I do not invade. But if I become hungry, the flesh of the occupier will be my food.”


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