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Local Angel

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Theory Poster4foremailThe angel in the poster on the right is from the Christian/ Muslim cemetery in Jaffa that was desecrated last week by Israeli Jews

The text below is from the book  What Does A Jew Want? and from my film, Local Angel which Columbia University is showing today at 630 as the  opening event for Theory-Art-Action: On Binationalism and Other Specters.

Local Angel
To Walter Benjamin

The Moslem cemetery is so quiet. The tombstones, planted like bushes among the weeds, face the Medi- terranean Sea. only the plastic bag blowing in the wind reminds us of the living. Beside it stands the Christian graveyard, well kept and tended. A stonemason placed an angel in the Palestinian Christian cemetery in Jaffa. The angel looks as though he is about to move away from something he has been guarding. This is how one pictures the local angel of history. He faces the East, and his back is turned to the sea. The waves, in constant motion behind him, beckon him to sail westward. Momentarily it appears as if the sea stands still and an easterly wind is propelling him back. Where we per- ceive a chain of events, which we call the history of Israel-Palestine, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurling it in front of his feet.

The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been broken, but the easterly wind blinds his teary eyes, and the sea beckons him to sail into the future.

He cannot resist the calling of the West, whose voice, like that of the sirens, calls him backward into what we call progress. Meanwhile, the pile of debris before him grows skyward.


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5 Responses

  1. Kris
    October 10, 2011, 9:31 am

    This is so beautiful; now I have to buy the book. If there are showings of your film near Seattle, I hope you will post the time, date and place here, so that I can come to see “Local Angel”.

  2. annie
    October 10, 2011, 11:04 am


  3. Les
    October 10, 2011, 1:09 pm

    If those desecrated Christian cemeteries aren’t Palestinian, NYPD’s chief Muslim hunter, David Cohen, may offer his sleuth services to find the culprits.

  4. Taxi
    October 10, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Thank you local angel.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    October 10, 2011, 10:25 pm

    RE: “To Walter Benjamin” ~ Udi Aloni

    MY COMMENT: Good luck with that, but I’m fairly certain you are addressing an iron wall.

    P.S. I recently added several of Udi Aloni’s very interesting looking films to my Netflix queue.
    Forgiveness, (2006) NR –
    Kashmir: Journey to Freedom, (2008) NR –

    Are those “Bette Davis eyes” (VIDEO-03:38), or are they the cold, calculating eyes of a sociopath (or perhaps even a psychopath)?

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