Skip To Content
Breaking News

Avigdor Lieberman Compares Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish to Hitler

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman compared an Army Radio program on the works of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish to praising Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

The station, whose government funding has been questioned in recent weeks, has come under fire for broadcasting the program on Tuesday.

Liberman at a meeting Thursday with Army Radio chief Yaron Dekel said, according to Israel’s Channel 2, that Darwish, “who called in his poetry for the expulsion of the Jewish people from the State of Israel and who wrote that ‘the flesh of the occupier will be my sustenance,’ cannot be part of the Israeli narrative program that was aired.”

“By that logic, the complete legacy of the Mufti al-Husseini or the literary merits of ‘Mein Kampf’ could also have been included,” the defense chief said.

Army Radio has defended its decision to broadcast educational programming on the work of the poet and author, considered the Palestinian national poet, as part of a series on formative Israeli texts. Darwish died in 2008.

Liberman does not have the authority to dictate any of Army Radio’s programming, the Attorney General’s office has determined.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.