Writer, director and actor Shira Geffen responded Tuesday to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's instruction to ban work by her father, poet Yehonatan Geffen, from Army Radio a poem he wrote comparing Palestinian teen provocateur Ahed Tamimi to Anne Frank by writing Lieberman a poem of her own.
In her poem, Geffen mocked the minister for what she hinted at was ignorance and thinly-veiled hypocrisy.
"The defense minister is reading poems
The defense minister is reading its lines, and whoever isn't straight, he'll make sure to straighten out
The defense minister protects the land of Israel from texts that he
Does not understand, because what is not understood is dangerous
The defense minister guards the soldiers in songs, so they will not be harmed, and so their honor will not be trampled upon
He will not hesitate to send them to the occupied territories to guard the settlers, to die in wars, but
Never ever ever
Will he abandon a soldier in a song. This is a red line that must not be crossed
When a soldier is slapped in a song, it will resonate forever
Unlike those who die in wars—them they bury and forget
The defense minister is flexing his muscles. We can sleep soundly."
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed Army Radio Commander Shimon Elkabetz earlier that day to stop playing or interviewing Yehonatan Geffen in any of the station's broadcasts.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, however, determined Lieberman had no legal standing to intervene in the station's broadcasts, to which the defense minister retorted he was "rejecting Mandelblit's opinion out of hand."
Mandelblit, in turn, rejected Lieberman's remarks and made it clear that according to the law, as ruled in the past, the defense minister, who is in charge of the station, has no legal authority to interfere with the content broadcast on it.
"Even though these are outrageous things," Mandelblit wrote to Lieberman, referring to Yehonatan Geffen's poem, "the Defense Minister is not authorized to give such instructions to the commander of the IDF radio station."
Yehonatan Geffen posted the poem on his Instagram account Monday along with a photograph of Tamimi, and described the young woman as a fighter for justice. "A pretty 17 year old did a terrible thing, and when a proud Israeli officer once again invaded her home, she slapped him," Geffen wrote.
"She was born into it and that slap carried 50 years of occupation and humiliations. On the day the story of the struggle is told, Ahed Tamimi, with red hair, like David who slapped Goliath, you'll be alongside Joan of Arc, Hannah Szenes and Anne Frank," he concluded the poem.
The poem drew intense criticism, and prompted Lieberman to announce Tuesday morning that, "The State of Israel will not provide a platform for a drunkard who compares a girl who perished in the Holocaust and a hero who combated the Nazi regime with Ahed Tamimi, a brat who attacked a soldier. Geffen's chasing of headlines is sickening and outrageous."
Lieberman added in his Facebook post on the matter, "The proper stage for Geffen's nonsense are broadcasts of Hezbollah's Al-Manar network."