Gershon Hepner
Gershon Hepner

Just wanting to exist?

The Israeli rapper,

Tamer Nafar, living in the Jewish-Arab town of Lod,
told an American, “I don’t want to coexist, and am just wanting to exist.”
Two nations in the same land, not above reproach but equally both under God,
aren’t identical, but on a right that’s racially identical,

 insist.

Gershon Hepner

June 2021

In “Ghosts in the Land,” LRB, 6/3/21 Adam Shatz writes:
Tamer Nafar, a rapper from Lod, told an American interviewer that he had no interest in ‘coexistence’. ‘I just want to exist,’ he said….
Mahmoud Darwish implies in the poem, “Identity Card,” that he does not only want to coexist, but also to “eat the flesh of my usurper,” a process that contradicts coexistence:

IDENTITY CARD
Write at the top of page one:
I do not hate people;
I do not assault anyone,
But … if I get hungry
I eat the flesh of my usurper
Beware … beware … of my hunger
and of my anger.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at gershonhepner@gmail.com.
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