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Friday, November 26, 2004

leibowitz on divestment

"As a young soldier serving in the Israeli army, I was ordered to commit war crimes in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. My platoon meted out collective punishment on whole Palestinian communities, shot live ammunition at unarmed civilians, killed women and children, enforced prolonged curfews, creating humanitarian disasters, arrested and detained Palestinians without charge, demolished their homes, and arbitrarily destroyed crops and property."

this is shamai leibowitz - orthodox jew, former gunner in the israeli tank corps, and grandson of the late, great philosopher yeshaayahu leibowitz - speaking to somerville, MA city council in support of a resolution to selectively divest from israel. the full text of his speech is here.

and while we're on the topic of the philosopher leibowitz, let me digress a little with regard to his first name. it's "yeshaayahu" or at least "yeshayahu", but certainly not "yehoshua". that is, it is the hebrew name corresponding to "isiah", not to "joshua". i must have heard this mistake made a dozen times, and as i have a personal stake in the correct pronunciation of this name, i cannot emphasize it enough.


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