Pleading for my Land

Herbet Pagani was a French/Italian poet and singer who was very popular in the 70’s. He was communist and Jewish. He eventually became an enthusiastic Zionist and wrote the text below.

This text, called “Pleading for my Land”, was read by Pagani on November 11th, 1975 on the French radio station Europe 1, after the UN passed a resolution equating Zionism to Racism. Here are some excerpts:

And now that there is a country, anti-Semitism reappears from its ashes... - Sorry! From OUR ashes - and it’s called anti-Zionism. It used to be applied only to individuals; it is now applied to a country.

Israel is a ghetto - Jerusalem is Warsaw... The Nazis who besiege us speak Arabic. And if their crescent is sometimes disguised in a sickle, that’s simply for better trapping the liberal leftists of the world.

I, who am a Jew of the left, don’t care about a certain left that wants to free all men of the world at the expense of some of them - because I am precisely one of these. [...]

Auschwitz is only an industrial example of genocide, but there were thousands of hand-made genocides. It would take me three days only to name all the pogroms of Spain, Russia, Poland and North Africa.

I remember reading and learning this text by heart as I tried to explain my decision to move to Israel to my French friends when I was 19 (they never understood).

What is Zionism? It’s reduced to a simple sentence: "Next year in Jerusalem."

No, it’s not a slogan of the Club Med. [...] And this prayer became a roar, a roar that is over 2000 years old, and the fathers of Columbus, Kafka, Proust, Chagall, Marx, Einstein, and even Mr. Kissinger, repeated this sentence, this roar, at least once a year, on Passover.

Then, is Zionism equal to Racism? Don’t make me laugh! Is "Soft France, dear country of my childhood" (“Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance”) a racist anthem? Zionism is the name of a struggle for freedom.

I feel this text is as strong as it was in 1975 – Israel’s right to exist is still denied and the same liberal left that abandoned Israel in the 70’s is doing the same today.

I copy below the original text from Herbert Pagani and my translation into English (please help me with the translation and let me know if you feel some sentences should be changed).

I also found an MP3 with the original text of “Pleading for my Land” read by Pagani (in French, 4Mb) – he also wrote a song called “L’etoile d’or” (the Golden Star, also in French, 640Kb).

The full text and translation are found below.





Pleading for my Land
Herbert Pagani (see http://www.megalopolis.it for more info on Pagani or do a Google Search on him)

November 11, 1975

Last Night, I was in the subway when I heard two ladies say:

"Did you see these Jews with their stories at the U.N.? What jerks! "

It’s true. We are jerks. For centuries we have been the world’s jerks. It’s in our nature, what can you do?

Abraham with his single God, Moses with his 10 Commandments, Jesus with his second cheek always available for a second slap, then Freud, Marx, Einstein, all were intruders, revolutionaries, enemies of the Order.

Why?

Because no order, whatever the century, could satisfy them - since they were always excluded. To call everything in question, to see further, changing the world to change their destiny, such was the destiny of my Ancestors.

This is why the defenders of all established orders hate them.

- The anti-Semite of the right blames the Jews for having executed the Bolshevik revolution. It’s true: there were many of them, in 1917.
- The anti-Semite of the left blames the Jews for owning Manhattan. It’s true: there are many Jewish capitalists.

The reason is simple: religion, culture, and the revolutionary ideal on the one hand, stocks and banks on the other, are the only transportable values, the only possible country for those that do not have a country.

And now that there is a country, Anti-Semitism reappears from its ashes... - Sorry! From OUR ashes - and it’s called anti-Zionism! It used to be applied only to individuals; it is now applied to a country.

Israel is a ghetto - Jerusalem is Warsaw... The Nazis who besiege us speak Arabic! And if their crescent is sometimes disguised in a sickle, that’s simply for better trapping the liberal leftists of the world.

I, who am a Jew of the left, I don’t care about a certain left that wants to free all men of the world at the expense of some of them - because I am precisely one of these!

I support class struggle, but I also support the right to be different. If the left wants to count me among its members, it cannot exclude my problem.

And my problem is that since the Roman deportations of the 1st century after Jesus-Christ, everywhere we went we were expelled, dishonored, banished, tracked, denounced, crushed, burned and converted by force!

Why?

Because our religion - i.e. our culture was dangerous. Some examples:

· Judaism was the first to create the Shabbath, the day of God, i.e. the day of weekly mandatory rest. You imagine the joy of the Pharoes, always late in building the next pyramid.

· Judaism prohibits slavery. You can imagine the sympathy of the Romans, the most significant wholesalers of free labor of the Antiquity.

· It is said in the Bible: "The earth does not belong to man, but to God." From this sentence a law is created, the automatic handing-over of real-estate every 49 years. You imagine the effect of such a law on the Popes of the Middle Ages and the builders of empires during the Renaissance.

It was imperative that the people do not learn the truth.

They started by banishing the Bible, then were the libels: walls of defamation that became walls of stone that were called ghettos.

Then it was the Inquisition, the flames and later the yellow stars.

Auschwitz is only an industrial example of genocide, but there were thousands of hand-made genocides. It would take me three days only to name all the pogroms of Spain, Russia, Poland and North Africa.

By continuing to flee and to move, the Jew went everywhere. One extrapolates: he ends up being from nowhere.

We are among the people like the welfare child. I don’t want to be adopted any more. I don’t want for my life to depend on my owners’ mood any more. I don’t want to be a “citizen-renter” any more.

I have enough of knocking at History’s doors and waiting until I’m told: "Enter". I enter and I yell! I am at home on earth and on earth I have my land: she was promised to me, she will be mine!

What is Zionism? It’s reduced to a simple sentence: "Next year in Jerusalem."

No, it’s not a slogan of the Club Med. It's written in the Bible, the book that has sold more copies and has been misunderstood more than any other book in the world.

And this prayer became a roar, a roar that is over 2000 years old, and the fathers of Columbus, Kafka, Proust, Chagall, Marx, Einstein, and even Mr. Kissinger, repeated this sentence, this roar, at least once a year, on Passover.

Then, is Zionism equal to Racism? Don’t make me laugh! Is "Soft France, dear country of my childhood" (“Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance”) a racist anthem? Zionism is the name of a struggle for freedom!

In the world, everybody has its Jews. The French have theirs: they are the Breton, Occitans, Corsicans, and the immigrant workers. The Italians have Sicilians; the Americans have their Blacks; the Spaniards their Basques.

We, we are EVERYBODY’S Jews.

To those that tell me: "And the Palestinians?", I answer: "I am a 2000 year-old Palestinian. I am the oldest oppressed man in the world."

I will negotiate with them, but I will not yield my place to them. There’s enough space there for two people and two nations. The borders are to be determined together. But the existence of one country cannot in any case exclude the existence of the other. And the political options of a government never called into question the existence of a nation, whatever the nation.

Then why Israel?

When Israel is out of danger, I will choose among Jews and my Arab neighbors,
those who are my brothers by ideas.

Today, I must be united with all of my people, even those whom I hate, in the name of this insurmountable enemy: RACISM.

Descartes was wrong: "I think, therefore I am" doesn’t mean anything. We have been thinking for 5000 years, and we still don’t exist!

I defend myself, therefore I am!

Herbert Pagani, 11/11/1975


Here's the original French (found here):

Plaidoyer pour ma terre
11 Novembre 1975

Hier, j'étais dans le métro et j'entends deux dames dire :

"T'as vu encore ces Juifs avec leurs histoires à l'O.N.U. Quels emmerdeurs !"

C'est vrai.
Nous sommes des emmerdeurs.
Ça fait des siècles qu'on emmerde le monde.
C'est dans notre nature, que voulez-vous !
Abraham avec son D'ieu unique,
Moïse avec ses Tables de la Loi,
Jésus avec son autre joue toujours prête à la deuxième baffe.
Puis Freud, Marx, Einstein,
tous ont été des gêneurs, des révolutionnaires, des ennemis de l'Ordre.

Pourquoi ?

Parce qu'aucun ordre, quel que fut le siècle, ne pouvait les satisfaire,
puisqu'ils en étaient toujours exclus.
Remettre en question, voir plus loin,
changer le monde pour changer de destin,
tel fut le destin de mes Ancêtres.
C'est pourquoi ils sont haïs par les défenseurs de tous les ordres établis.

L'antisémite de droite reproche aux Juifs d'avoir fait la révolution bolchévique.
C'est vrai, il y en avait beaucoup, en 1917.
L'antisémite de gauche reproche aux Juifs d'être les propriétaires de Manhattan.
C'est vrai, il y a beaucoup de capitalistes juifs.
La raison est simple :
la religion, la culture, l'idéal révolutionnaire d'un côté,
les portefeuilles et les banques de l'autre,
sont les seules valeurs transportables,
les seules patries possibles pour ceux qui n'ont pas de patrie.
Et maintenant qu'il en existe une,
l'antisémitisme renaît de ses cendres...
- pardon ! de nos cendres -
et s'appelle antisionisme.
Il s'appliquait aux individus, il s'applique à une nation.

Israël est un ghetto,
Jérusalem, c'est Varsovie
... Les nazis qui nous assiègent parlent l'arabe.
Et si leur croissant se déguise parfois en fauçille,
c'est pour mieux piéger les Gauches du monde entier.
Moi qui suis un Juif de gauche, je n'en ai rien à faire d'une certaine gauche
qui veut libérer tous les hommes du monde aux dépens de certains d'entre
eux, car je suis précisément de ceux-là.

D'accord pour la lutte des classes,
mais aussi pour le droit à la différence.
Si la gauche veut me compter parmi les siens,
elle ne peut pas faire l'économie de mon problème.
Et mon problème est que depuis les déportations romaines
du 1er siècle après Jésus-Christ,
nous avons été partout honnis, bannis, traqués, dénoncés, écrasés, spoliés, brûlé
et convertis de force.

Pourquoi ?

Parce que notre religion,
c'est-à-dire notre culture était dangereuse.
Eh oui!

Quelques exemples...
Le judaïsme a été le premier à créer le Chabbat, jour du Seigneur,
c'est-à-dire le jour de repos hebdomadaire obligatoire.
Vous imaginez la joie des pharaons, toujours en retard d'une pyramide !

Le judaïsme interdit l'esclavage.
Vous imaginez la sympathie des Romains,
les plus importants grossistes de main-d'oeuvre gratuite de l'Antiquité !
Il est dit dans la Bible :
"La terre n'appartient pas à l'homme, mais à D'ieu."
De cette phrase découle une loi,
celle de la remise en question automatique
de la propriété foncière tous les 49 ans.
Vous voyez l'effet d'une loi pareille sur les papes du Moyen Âge
et les bâtisseurs d'empire de la Renaissance !

Il ne fallait pas que les peuples sachent.

On commença par interdire la Bible,
puis ce furent les médisances,
des murs de calomnies qui devinrent murs de pierres
et qu'on appela ghettos.
Ensuite ce fut l'Inquisition, les bûchers et plus tard les étoiles jaunes.
Auschwitz n'est qu'un exemple industriel de génocide,
mais il y a eu des génocides artisanaux par milliers.
J'en aurais pour trois jours rien qu'a nommer tous les pogroms
d'Espagne, de Russie, de Pologne
et d'Afrique du Nord.

À force de fuir, de bouger, le Juif est allé partout.
On extrapole et voilà : il n'est de nulle part.
Nous sommes parmi les peuples comme l'enfant à l'assistance publique.
Je ne veux plus être adopté.
Je ne veux plus que ma vie dépende de l'humeur de mes propriétaires. Je ne veux plus être un citoyen-locataire.
J'en ai assez de frapper aux portes de l'Histoire et d'attendre qu'on me dise : "Entrez."
Je rentre et je gueule !
Je suis chez moi sur terre et sur terre j'ai ma terre :
elle m'a été promise, elle sera maintenue.

Qu'est ce que le Sionisme?
Ça se réduit à une simple phrase :
"L'an prochain à Jérusalem."
Non, ce n'est pas un slogan du Club Méditerranée.
C'est écrit dans la Bible,
le livre le plus vendu et le plus mal lu du monde.
Et cette prière est devenue un cri,
un cri qui a plus de 2000 ans,
et le père de Christophe Colomb,
de Kafka,
de Proust,
de Chagall,
de Marx,
d'Einstein
et même de monsieur Kissinger,
l'ont répétée, cette phrase, ce cri,
au moins une fois par an, le jour de Pâques.

Alors le Sionisme, c'est du racisme ?
Faites moi rire !
Est-ce que : "Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance" est un hymne raciste ?
Le Sionisme, c'est le nom d'un combat de libération.

Dans le monde, chacun a ses Juifs.
Les Français ont les leurs :
ce sont les Bretons, les Occitans, les Corses, les travailleurs immigrés.
Les Italiens ont les Siciliens,
les Yankees ont leurs Noirs,
les Espagnols leurs Basques.

Nous, nous sommes les Juifs de TOUS.

À ceux qui me disent : "Et les Palestiniens ?",
je réponds : "Je suis un Palestinien d'il y a 2000 ans.
Je suis l'opprimé le plus vieux du monde."
Je discuterai avec eux, mais je ne leur céderai pas ma place.
Il y a là-bas de la place pour deux peuples et deux nations.
Les frontières sont à déterminer ensemble.
Mais l'existence d'un pays ne peut en aucun cas exclure l'existence de l'autre
et les options politiques d'un gouvernement n'ont jamais remis en cause
l'existence d'une nation, quelle qu'elle soit.

Alors pourquoi Israël ?

Quand Israël sera hors de danger,
je choisirai parmi les Juifs et mes voisins arabes,
ceux qui me sont frères par les idées.
Aujourd'hui, je me dois d'être solidaire avec tous les miens,
même ceux que je déteste, au nom de cet ennemi insurmontable :
le RACISME.

Descartes avait tort :
je pense donc je suis, ça ne veut rien dire.
Nous, ça fait 5000 ans qu'on pense, et nous n'existons toujours pas.
Je me défends, donc je suis.

Herbert Pagani

Posted by David Melle
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Comments

grazie herbert..per averti avuto come amico

Posted by: francesco landi at July 31, 2003 05:11 PM


MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP ISREAL IN PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOREVER.

Posted by: DOROTHY GREEN at July 1, 2004 08:06 AM


This is probably the best entry on your blog.

Peace

Posted by: Andrew at August 19, 2005 09:14 AM


merci. Israel je t'aime

Posted by: at June 27, 2006 10:38 AM


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