Daily Archives: 05/02/2013

Petting a Troll

It was a few years ago that this article came out: Israel recruits ‘army of bloggers’ to combat anti-Zionist Web sites. Prison Planet, among tons of others, mentioned it too. I only read about it today. I’m not one to quickly believe what I read. I also found THIS VIDEO.

But it seems the trolls have spawned and one discovered my blog. Last week, thudding about, spitting odd and flammable words, this troll sent me a number of “comments” in the form of lectures in “how dare you” tones because of a poem I wrote for Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Issawi. The twisted logic could have made the most intricate pretzels, but I have given up eating pretzels when I found out that my favourite ones were made in Israel.

Here is one “comment” I received:

Rachamim Ben Ami
Submitted on 2013/01/29 at 20:39 | In reply to matangmanok.

Are you claiming that Israel has an institutional policy that aims to kill civilians? Let me simplify it for you. Israel kills civilians as a byproduct of legitimate military operations that seek to neutralise terrorists and their infrastructure. When Israel undertakes military operations, for example, Operation Pillar of Defence in Gaza recently, it makes hundreds of thousands of computer generated cellular phone calls warning Gazans of an impending attack and warning them to take cover. It drops tens of thousands of leaflets in targetted areas also warning civilians, it hijacks Gazan television, radio and internet to warn civilians and it Roof Knocks, drops a non-lethal shell on a targetted building. It makes a very loud sound and serves as a 10 minute warning to get out of the building. In Operation Pillar of Defence between 50 and 94 civilians died out of a population of 2.3 million who live in the most densely populated area on the planet- literally.

HAMAS on the other hand states quite clearly in its Charter that it aims to kill not only all Israelis but every Jew on the planet. Then, having expressed their intention repeatedly, they purposely attack civilians.

Do you see the difference?


I will spare you the racist remarks he threw my way. I just feel very sorry for him. He obviously loves his guns. He must sleep with at least a dozen so that when he gets woken up by the cooing of doves he can quickly silence them. I hope I don’t hurt his feelings. Such fragile creatures need a special kind of love.

Hatred and prejudice, among a lot of other things, are taught. It takes a lifetime to unlearn them. One has to start somewhere. I don’t take this comment lightly.

I always leave a door, or at least a window, open. One never knows what the next breeze may bring.

Trawling around the internet, I bumped into this image that made me laugh:

From The Palestinian Activists Handbook

Mountain Province – 6 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

Mountain Province road 1996

Mountain Province

Makinig.  Nangungusap
ang kabundukan sa atin
sa basang lupang
bumubulong sa gilid ng talampas.

Mga sinaunang kaluluwa
ang mga bundok na nakapaligid.
Napakarahan nilang hinahaplos
ang hangin at ulan

araw at buwan at bituin
sa mahamog na panalangin.
At ang mga dagundong
na inuukit ng ating pagdaan

magiging hungkag.
Dahil kusang kumikilos
ang mga bundok na ito.
Ang kanilang wika

ay higit na matanda
kaysa atin. Kapag yumanig
sila, gagapang at magbubungkal
at mag-iipon muli tayo
ng lupa sa ating katawan

na gapos-lupa.


Mountain Province

Listen. The mountains
speak to us
with moistened earth
whispering down a slope.

These trees encircling
are ancient spirits.
Very slowly they caress
wind and rain

sun and moon and star
in misty prayer.
And the rumblings
we carve for our passage

become futile.
For these mountains
move by themselves.
Their language is

much older than ours.
When they shudder
we crawl and claw and regather
earth in our earth-

bound bodies.

August 1993

This poem, 6 of 14 Love Poems appears both in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin. They were written pretty much at the same time, so I don’t consider either of them a translation.



Ang Sabi Mo – poem 5 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

lata at tsinelasAng Sabi Mo

Talim ng gabing kay lamig
tumatarak sa gunita.

Dumaranak ang lungkot
nang hindi sinasadya.

Aksidente lamang ang lahat
ng ito, ang sabi mo.

Parang tumbang preso.
Lata at tsinelas ang hawla

At armas.  Kanya-kanya
ang bato at takbo.

Kanya-kanyang pagkukubli
ng ninanais, ninanasa.

Sa huli, kanya-kanyang pakikipagbuno
sa sari-sariling multo.


This poem appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan. It is poem 5 of 14 Love Poems .

I attempted a translation of this poem but it came out flat, so I will not be posting it.