An Israeli organization calling itself The Civil Front has sparked controversy on social media by producing a song in which children fete the “destruction” in Gaza and say “nothing will be left there” in a year’s time.
A clip of the song ostensibly features children evacuated from communities near the Gaza Strip, and has come under criticism both within Israel and abroad for its lyrics as well as the fact that they are sung by kids.
The video is an homage to classic Israeli song “HaReut” (“Fellowship”), written by poet Haim Gouri about the events of the 1948 Independence War. A mainstay of remembrance days, the original is a gentle ode to those lost in the horrors of war.
The new version, meanwhile, takes a far more militant tone, featuring such sentences as “The IDF crosses the border to eliminate the bearers of the swastika,” “We’ll wipe them all out,” and “We’ll show the world how we destroy our enemies.”
Israeli children sing “We will annihilate everyone in Gaza”. Song & video created by Israeli public relations firm Rosenbaum Communications. English subtiles added by The Electronic Intifada. This is seriously sick propaganda pic.twitter.com/m89r61hqev
— Tranquilizer (@Tranquilizero) November 20, 2023
The song was shared by pro-Palestinian activists on social media, under comments such as “Israeli children sing genocidal song about Gaza” and “Is this how they raise their children?”
In Israel, some users hailed the new version as “moving” and inducing “goosebumps,” but much of the reaction was strongly negative.
“Nauseating. Are you able to do anything besides desecrate the original, sully it with Kahanism and cause Israel public relations damage?” one person commented. Others called the clip “insane” and “the epitome of bad taste.”
Gouri himself, a lifelong left-wing activist who died in 2018, would almost certainly have been unhappy with the new lyrics.
One Twitter user commented: “I truly hope the heirs… will sue you and you’ll be forced to take this thing down.”