Israeli poet apologizes for likening heroic Holocaust victims to violent Palestinian teen

An Israeli poet has apologized for comparing heroic Jewish role models to a Palestinian teenager on trial for attacking IDF soldiers.

By Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

Israeli poet and songwriter Yehonatan Geffen has apologized for publishing a poem last week that compared imprisoned Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi to Holocaust victims Anne Frank, a teenage diarist who became famous posthumously, and Hanna Senesh, a martyr who was parachuted into Europe to try and save Hungarian Jews from the Nazis but was caught.

Appearing at a cultural event in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva on Saturday night, Geffen said the poem “was really a mistake, and I apologize for it, in particular to all those who were personally offended.” He said he had attempted to show that just as Israel has national heroes, so do the Palestinians.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who last week instructed Army Radio to ban Geffen in response to his poem, appeared to accept the apology, posting on his Twitter account on Sunday morning a link to the poet’s expression of regret.

Tamimi, known for spreading anti-Israel propaganda through ‘Pallywood’ clips, is currently standing trial on charges of assault and incitement. She was filmed last month provoking, slapping and kicking IDF soldiers deployed in her village of Nabi Saleh, apparently hoping for a violent response.

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Commenting on Geffen’s poem last week, Liberman declared that the State of Israel “will not give a platform to a drunk who compares a child who perished in the Holocaust and a brave fighter who fought the Nazis to Ahed Tamimi, a brat who attacked soldiers.”