I have just spent a fruitless half-hour searching for an English translation of any poetry by the Israeli writer, Benny Ziffer.
But it’s as well that I’ve drawn a blank because if his poetry is anything like his journalism, this blog would be swiftly boycotted by any and all decent-minded writers between Metulla, northern Israel and Manchester, U.K.
Ziffer, who holds twin Turkish-Israeli nationality, is the long-time literary editor of the left-wing Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. He has caused universal outrage by appearing both to condone and actively encourage paedophilia in the name of art.
According to Haaretz’s political polar opposite, Israel Hayom, 90 poets have so far vowed to boycott this year’s Metulla Poetry Festival while Ziffer remains as its artistic director. This follows a column in which he allegedly stated that “artists must be allowed ‘base and primal’ experiences -- including sleeping with young fans”.
Indeed, this current week is proving to be quite shameful for Israeli artistic endeavour. Israel Hayom was also among many news outlets to report that a performance artist named Ariel Bronz ‘created a storm’ at Sunday’s Haaretz Cultural Conference by inserting an Israeli flag into his rectum while on stage! Bronz was later questioned under caution on suspicion of breaking Israel’s Flag Law but was later released on bail.
© Natalie Wood (09 March 2016)