Monday, August 04, 2014

  • Monday, August 04, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
Earlier this year I reported on (and gave samples) of the antisemitic poetry of Belgium's Poet Laureate  whose pen-name is Charles Ducal.  His poetry includes equating Israeli Jews to Nazis, invoking the idea of "chosen people"  as meaning that Jews think of themselves as better than everyone else, and frequent references to the ashes of the crematoria against the lives of Palestinian Arabs today.

Joods Actueel reports that Ducal has just written another similar poem for what is happening in Gaza, and is being criticized by another popular Belgian poet:
Benno Barnard picks up on the derogatory way his colleague Charles Ducal writes about Jews. Below is a poem of Ducal's that appeared in in the newspaper De Morgen and on the website of the communist Labour Party. According to Barnard, the content is not only "offensive and hurtful" but involves "aestheticized hatred".

"This poem hurts me deeply, and I'm not even a Jew, let alone an Orthodox one. It is unacceptable that a Poet Laureate, who basically is the poet of all Belgians, in such a fashion antagonizes thousands of compatriots, not only on an extremist left-wing website but also in a national newspaper which is read by more than one Antwerp Jew," writes Barnard.

"Ducal may not understand well how deeply insulting this poem is for every ordinary Belgian Jew , even a Jew who is possibly an opponent of Netanyahu. He probably doesn't understand how humiliating it is to hear Jews as thinking they are "better", which is not the meaning of that infamous word "chosen" (forgive me, Charles, but I know a little Hebrew, and "chosen" means "designated as volunteers", which equates approximately to 'chosen to be damned.')

"Why doesn't Ducal write a poem against young Muslims in our streets, who wave ISIS flags in a frenzy against Israel?

"I quote the Dutch writer Leon de Winter: "Since 1950, eleven million Muslims were killed, excluding "ordinary" murders. Slightly more than 0.3 percent of them died in the conflict with Israel, or 1 in 315 Muslim fatalities. . 90 percent of the total number of fatalities died in conflicts with other Muslims (...)

"'Every death is one too many - especially when it comes to children,' we hear enlightened and educated Westerners saying.

But there are many Muslims (especially in the Arab world) who think differently. In their tribal honor-shame culture the extermination of the enemy and his family is an accepted principle. The young fighters of ISIS proudly show the severed heads of their victims.

Here is the poem, translated by a couple of email correspondents:

You're now better. It's written
in The Book. It can be seen in your eye
when you see them approaching: in fanatical clothes,
dusty, their IDs ready in their hand

You look at them as a creator of water
in a world of sand. They live [here] by chance
without promise, can be swept away
like withered leaves. This is your land.

You have learned to keep the fear of persecution
alive without fear, arrogant as the man who chose his enemy for himself.
You knock him down. You are threatened, the outstanding debt gives every bulldozer,

every tank the right to safety
without borders. Your eyes saw the Temple
destroyed, the paving stones bleed under the hooves

of the Crusaders. You're two thousand years old
was there in Treblinka, Schirmeck and Dachau

Though you have stolen their water, shot their children, trapped
them behind barbed wire, you are simply God's people, chosen exactly on
[this ground/these grounds]. Those who still hear the old village screaming
under your woods, your roads, your cities , get ashes in their mouth.
In short: You Jews have become your oppressors because you think you are hot stuff. We liked you better when you were being slaughtered.  Boo, Jew.

Not only is it offensive - it is unoriginal, as these motifs have already been covered by Ducal in his earlier antisemitic poetry.

Ducal was offended when I called him an antisemite in January. So I will couch my criticism of him as a poem, since who can be offended by a poem?

Charles Ducal

Hidden behind his pseudonym

as if he is ashamed
of his sickness

yet he conceals it
with sanctimony
a facade of piety
that none other can approach

his target is chosen
his pen at the ready
to mask his own depravity

the choice
reveals the ugliness hidden
within his heart
within his "art"


(h/t Rudi, including updates on translations)

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