Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the hate that dare not speak its name


The hate that dare not speak its name,
the hate that Muslims feel for Jews,
has now become the very same
that Nazis demonstrated––views
that Christian nations held for ages,
to trash the people that God chose
according to the Bible's pages.
Too many nation states oppose
the peaceful coexistence prophets
promised would occur when swords
would no more generate large profits,
but turned into plowshares. Their words
sometimes disguise their targets whom
they don't call Jews, but they describeas Zionists, preparing doom
for members of the Jewish tribe.

Haman's sons still live, brought back
to life no longer hung on gallows,
and now are ready to attack
all Jews, and roast them like marshmallows,
as they once did in Spain to those
they called New Jews although they had
converted––could not change their nose,
whose length has always proved they're bad,
and many of them would be burned
alive on sacrificial pyres,
as Christian as the priests who turned
against them, claiming they were liars.

The hate that Haman felt towards
the Jews of Shushan had no name,
based on the theory Jews had hoards
of gold. Ahasuerus' dame,
Queen Esther, saved them then, but we
must make sure that the hate that hides
behind deception now will be
exposed. "Beware the Idesof March!"
ignored by Julius, proved
to be correct. We must beware,
lest men by hateful lies are moved
to do what hate makes bad men dare.

Though we’re all forced to live with Haman,
we must not ever compromise
with hate, but make it speak its name, an
attitude that lives on lies,
and kills with its deceptive lyin’,
identifying with hate fury
all Jewish foes as friends of Zion
to justify its hate of Jewry.

Ed Rothstein writes in the NYT about "State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda," a major new exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ("Nazis' 'Terrible Weapon,' Aimed at Minds and Heart," NYT, February 24, 2009):

The most haunting image in "State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda," a major new exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here, may be the first one you see after the introductory videos. At the end of a darkened corridor is a black-and-white photograph on a black background. Underneath, with unornamented simplicity, is a single word: Hitler. It is a campaign poster from 1932, when the Nazi Party was already the second largest in the German Parliament. The mass rallies, the storm troopers, the frenzied rhetoric of this electrifying speaker: all are condensed into this silent face, which is deliberately unsettling, starkly divided into light and shade, mixing comfort with ferocity, transparency with subterranean energies. It is chilling because we know what that face unleashed, and as we make our way through the exhibition, we feel almost physically assailed. A muscular fist smashes into the face of a cringing, sweating Jew (1928). An enormous itler is superimposed on a crowd of ecstatic Germans raising hands in salute as red gothic letters shout, "Ja!" (1934).. The exhibition points out that the Nazis financed anti-Semitic broadcasts by Haj Amin al-Husseini, "an Arab nationalist and prominent Muslim religious leader." Now no sponsorship seems needed. Major Middle East media outlets have asserted that Jews use children's blood to bake matzos. In recent weeks we have heard that Jews are following the nefarious plot outlined in the Protocols to exterminate all gentiles, this from the poet and former member of the Lebanese Parliament Ghassan Matar. An Egyptian cleric, Safwat Higazi, has described Jews being "as smooth as a viper": "Dispatch those son of apes and pigs to the Hellfire." And an Egyptian cleric with strong ties to the West, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, has described Jews as "a profligate, cunning arrogant band of people": "Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one." The exent of these visions (chronicled by the Middle East Media Research Institute), the historical distortions they codify and the readiness with which they are taught to children and are secularized into political action suggest that the strongest contemporary analogy to Nazi propaganda may be one the exhibition leaves unmentioned.
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 2/24/09


  1. "You will be judged in years to come by how you responded to genocide on your watch."- Nicholas D. Kristof.
    Love the title and the poem. Things that are shameful almost always feel the need to hide behind another face or ideology; but if looked at closely they can usually be seen for what they really are.

  2. Timely, as we enter Adar. Perhaps now you can pen something to help us be marbeh b;simcha?