7 thoughts on “Taha Muhammad Ali, One of Israel’s Great Poets, Dies – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thank you for presenting the videos to accompany the remembrance of Taha Muhammad Ali’s life and work. You gave a gift to all yr readers who did not know of his work or life, & an unexpected pleasure for those who did.

    The only thing I would add is that he was a Palestinian as was Darwish, not Israeli. To be remembered as Palestinian and Arab poet because that was who he was.

    1. I think you misunderstood what I meant. Ali was not just a great Israeli Palestinian poet. He was a great ISRAELI poet. Saying that he was the best poet produced by an Israeli minority does him a disservice. He was one of the great poets produced by ISRAEL.

      Saying that he was Palestinian solely doesn’t do him justice either. Don’t forget he was the poet who said: “There is no Israel. There is no Palestine.” To say he was Palestinian and divorce that from his Israeliness is doing an injustice to his own self-image as a poet and citizen.

      And this is a complicated man. You want to talk about steadfast? There is no moreso. He was expelled from Israel not just once (in 1948), but twice. He was captured after his first return and expelled to Jordan, but came back yet again. But when asked in a film documentary what he would do when he returns to Safuriyya, he replied: “I don’t want to return to Safuriyya. Why would I?” In other words, he is not someone who wants to recreate the past in contemporary reality. He wants to recreate Safuriyya in his poetry and in order to deal with the injustice of its destruction. But to actually return, this he doesn’t need to do. So he is not a politically engaged national or nationalist poet in the sense that Darwish is. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t address the same issues and struggles. He just does it in a very personal way.

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