US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recited a poem written by Israeli poet Ehud Manor on Friday in response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which protected women’s right to an abortion.
The poem, translated to English, is called “I have no other country.” Before reciting the poem, Pelosi said that she had met Manor’s wife when she visited Israel.
Lines she recited in the poem included notable quotes that could be references to the Supreme Court decision, such as “I have no other country even though my land is burning” and “my country has changed her face. I shall not give up on her. I shall remind her and sing into her ears until she opens her eyes.”
“Clearly we hoped that the Supreme Court would open its eyes,” Pelosi said after reciting the poem, expressing her disappointment with the court’s decision.
Reaction to Pelosi
Anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace responded to Pelosi’s reading, stating that it’s “absurd yet fitting that Pelosi reads Israeli poetry expressing ‘love’ for the settler-colonial nation despite the violence inherent to it.”
Many other Twitter users criticized Pelosi’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling, with many stating that it was “performative.”
This is not the first time that the US Speaker has quoted Manor’s poem. In January 2021, Pelosi quoted the exact same poem in an attempt to influence her Republican colleagues in Congress to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment – which was brought to a vote as a result of his alleged contributions that led to the violent US Capitol Insurrection.
Pelosi had already made international headlines this week when last Thursday, her husband was charged with DUI. This was a few weeks after he was suspected of drunk driving in Napa County, California.
Manor, the poet she recited, wrote lyrics to over 1,200 songs, won the Israel Prize and is considered to be one of Israel’s greatest lyricists. “I have no other country” has been interpreted in the past as an anthem for West Bank settlers, according to The Forward. He also translated many songs into Hebrew from well-known musicals such as “Cabaret” or “Hair,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Manor died in 2005.