‘My Land Is Burning:’ Pelosi Recites Israeli Anti-war Poem in Reaction to Roe v. Wade

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reacts to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) quoted an Israeli poem in response to what she called the “outrageous and heart-wrenching” Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, marking the second time she chose to recite the poem within a year and a half – the first time being in the wake of the January 6 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Meanwhile, Israel’s only woman party leader, MK Merav Michaeli, slammed the abortion ruling which she blamed on former president Donald Trump’s “dark and women-hating regime appointing judges.”

Pelosi quoted Ehud Manor’s poem “I Have No Other Land” and likewise blamed Trump, as well as Mitch McConnell, for giving American women today “less freedom than their mothers.”

“I have no other country even though my land is burning. Only a word in Hebrew penetrates my veins and my soul, with an aching body and with a hungry heart,” she read, continuing “Here is my home. I will not be silent, for my country has changed her face.”

“My country has changed her face,” she repeated. “I shall not give up on her. I will remind her and sing into her ears until she opens her eyes.”

“Clearly, we hope the Supreme Court will open its eyes,” Pelosi concluded.

The poem was originally written in 1982 when a rightwing government led by the Likud party, today headed by opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, waged a controversial war in Lebanon, as noted by the Times of Israel.

The poet’s widow, Ofra Fuchs, said it was written as a left-wing protest song, the report said.

Pelosi accused SCOTUS of issuing a “slap in the face” to all women.

“This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching, but make no mistake: it’s all on the ballot in November,” Pelosi said.

“With Roe now out of their way, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom. In the Congress, Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban,” she said.

“In the states, Republicans want to arrest doctors for offering reproductive care and women for terminating a pregnancy. [Republican] extremists are even threatening to criminalize contraception, as well as in-vitro fertilization and post-miscarriage care,” she said.

For her part, Michaeli, who serves as Israel’s transportation minister, warned that such a ban could happen in Israel.

“Did you believe that such a thing could happen? And more importantly — did you women believe that such a thing could happen? That one of the world’s great democracies is taking us back to the dark days when a woman had no rights over her body,” Michaeli said according to a translation by the Times of Israel.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade. “Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions,” Pelosi said (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It happens when women did not understand the meaning of Trump being in power. This is what it means. This is the result of a dark and misogynistic government appointing judges,” said Michaeli.

“It may seem to you that we have already achieved equality, and that women’s rights and human rights can never be taken away,” Michaeli went on. “Well, go there and see.”

“And it’s not just the composition of the court. It’s who writes the rules, who distributes the resources. The judges overturned the ruling because the US Constitution does not mention a right to abortion. Guess what, the Constitution was written only by men, at a time when women still did not have the right to vote, be elected and write rules and constitutions.”

She called on Israel’s electorate to vote for her leftwing Meretz party, as the only party headed by a woman, in the upcoming election.

“Today and here, too, women are still a minority among those who write and pass laws. We are still a minority in the government as well, and I am the only woman currently heading a party. We must not leave it like that. We must not remain in this inferior position,” she wrote. “We must not allow darkness, religious fanaticism and racism to take the place of our democratic values.”

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