The sweet faces of children make an incongruous accompaniment to the genocidal lyrics of the so-called Friendship Song 2023.
“Autumn night falls over the beach of Gaza, planes are bombing, destruction, destruction,” the children sing in angelic voices. “Within a year we will annihilate everyone, and then we will return to plow our fields.”
The lyrics were translated for The Electronic Intifada by independent writer and filmmaker David Sheen and you can watch a subtitled video of the song above, or in the tweet below:You can also read all the lyrics below.
Incitement to genocide is a crime
Kan, the Israeli broadcaster, posted the full video of the song on its X account on Sunday but deleted it a short time later amid an outcry from Israeli and other users.
Some expressed concern that it would help “Hamas propaganda,” while others appeared genuinely disgusted by the video’s violent and genocidal messages.
The now-deleted page on Kan’s website was headlined, “Love sanctified by blood: The children of the Gaza envelope re-record The Friendship Song.”
It is unclear why Kan removed the video, but it is possible that someone there was concerned that it could make the channel complicit in genocide.
Two decades ago, officials of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines were convicted by an international tribunal for incitement to genocide for broadcasts promoting the extermination of Tutsi people in Rwanda nine years earlier.
The song and video were originally created by Ofer Rosenbaum a so-called “crisis-communication expert” who heads a public relations firm called Rosenbaum Communication.
PR firm for ethnic cleansers
In 2020, Rosenbaum was responsible for a billboard campaign in Tel Aviv depicting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh kneeling on the ground blindfolded, under the slogan “Peace is only made with defeated enemies.”
The Israeli Victory Project is currently promoting the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip.Rosenbaum also took on as a client Malka Leifer, a former principal of a Jewish girls school in Melbourne who spent years trying to avoid extradition from Israel back to Australia to face charges of child sexual abuse.
Rosenbaum claimed later to regret this decision, albeit only after the effort to stop Leifer’s extradition failed in 2021.
In August, Leifer was sentenced by a court in Melbourne to 15 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing two girls.
Using children to promote a message of genocide is another form of abuse.
“The Friendship Song 2023”
Lyrics by Ofer Rosenbaum and Shulamit Stolero
Autumn night falls over the beach of Gaza
Planes are bombing, destruction, destruction
Look the IDF is crossing the line
to annihilate the swastika-bearers
In another year there will be nothing there
And we will safely return to our homes
Within a year we will annihilate everyone
And then we will return to plow our fields
And we will remember everyone
the pretty and the pure
We will never let our hearts
forget a friendship like that
Love sanctified with blood
You will return and bloom amongst us
We have now run out of words
Our soul still cries out
Our soul not only sings
Today our soul also fights
The people of forever evermore
We won’t stop protecting our homes
We won’t be silent
We will show the world
how today we destroy our enemy
Lyrics translated from Hebrew for The Electronic Intifada by David Sheen.