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An Israeli Ode to Gadaffi

Putative relative of Libyan leader bemoans his downfall (in verse)

by
Liel Leibovitz
August 23, 2011
Col. Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli, Libya, in March.(Mahmud Turki/AFP/Getty Images)

Col. Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli, Libya, in March.(Mahmud Turki/AFP/Getty Images)

A day after Libyan despot Muammar Gadaffi’s regime was toppled by rebels (even if we don’t know where he is), an elderly resident of the Israeli coastal town of Netanya, Gita Buaron, was not rejoicing. Qadaffi’s grandmother and her grandmother were sisters, Buaron claims, which makes her a direct relative of the malignant and turbaned Libyan (always the colonel, never the general). Whether or not Buaron’s genealogy is in order is irrelevant; as she spoke to the Israeli press about her felled relative, she sounded genuinely sad. We bring you her comments, translated, unedited, but, considering the momentousness of the occasion, in the form of a poem:

They finished him.
They even took his kids.
I was watching that old ceremony,
Gadaffi received like a king in Italy.
What dress he had then! What splendor!
But now, it’s sad.
It pains me, a little bit,
As a relative.
He may not be my prime minister,
Only a distant nephew.
But he was a good man,
And things
Shouldn’t have come to
This.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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