Saturday, January 7, 2017

Yakir Hillel - Kingdom of Judah

"Did you hear? They convicted him of manslaughter. Poor kid..." my boss told me in a shocked voice on the day of Elor Azaria's trial. I was surprised by her surprise and was glad that I felt secure enough to let her know. We talked a bit about the trial and went back to our work. I wasn't sure how the atmosphere would be at lunch. I'm used to loud political arguments but this time we were quiet, all of us busy with our thoughts. Some of us didn't think that there should have been a trial in the first place while others saw the shooting as a grave incident that was part of a much bigger problem in Israeli society so what was the point of arguing? Instead, we tried to guess how many years he would get and if there was a likelihood of reducing his jail sentence. The option of a pardon didn't come up, not even by those who were sympathetic towards Azaria. He made a crucial mistake and now he has to pay the price- that's that. But it turned out that we were in the minority as more and more politicians chose to stand against the army and said that they would support a pardon. Netanyahu's support for the pardon felt especially populistic as it was addressed quite a few hours after the trial (enough time for polling) and just a few minutes before prime time news. It was the last thing we needed after such an intense and chaotic day.
The feelings of despair and disappointment that echo through "Kingdom of Judah" were all too familiar to me these past days yet there is also something very uplifting and reassuring in Yakir Hillel's bonfire performance. We've been through tough times before and we'll get through this.

A gaping hole in the Dead Sea
Turns the world around
In a choked voice the land is collapsing
And there is no one who hears, no one who replies
My hands are too short to rescue
A lonely piece of land
I feel the ground is breaking
In the Kingdom of Judah

A whimper in the mountain and tears in the river...

A black river flows through the Negev
Staining my land
The water won't wash away
The face of my love
My hands are too short to rescue
You won't see you won't know
How they are uninterruptedly destroying
The Kingdom of Judah's land

A whimper in the mountain and tears in the river...

I'll take with me the sand of the Negev
The eternal sun
Eastern winds in the evening sky
And the chirp of a clever bird
And I'll let you know
Of the severed beauty
Of the forgotten land
Of the Kingdom of Judah

A whimper in the mountain and tears in the river...

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