Jelemeh (Kishon) “Detention Home”

Translation errors on public display are always a joy…Kishon_Detention_HOME

It bears more meaning when it is connected to a place so full of memories and associations like the Jelemeh (“Kishon”) detention center – where political activists from Haifa and all the north of Palestine are used to spend nights after lively demonstrations. Not to mention the Shabak interrogation center that is hidden in the same complex, and is well known for its abuse and torture of detainees from all over the country.

Now, as they work on the new railway from Haifa to Bisan (“Beit She’an”, after ethnic cleansing and Judification), which will soon trade again on the legendary route from Haifa that used to go to Der’aa in Syria to join the Hijaz railway from Damascus to Mecca, they also renovated the entrance junction to the infamous detention center.

So they added this new bold road sign in three languages.

Reading the sign at first, it hit a sentimental cord. I sometimes felt as if Jelemeh was my second home – I didn’t really spend so much time there, but it is the only place in Haifa where, if I happen to be there, I will not go to sleep at home at the end of the night.

Thinking more about it, you tend to blame the low level of the Israeli educational system. Even if you finish “book home” (Beit Sefer, “school” in Hebrew) – you don’t really learn anything except for the Bible and Zionist propaganda.Google_translate

Some deeper analysis led to the conclusion that the problem lies with Google Translate. Sure the sign’s contractor simply put the words in Google and got it out to print…

But checking with Google proves that it is not so dumb… it just must know the full context to set it right… So it is the Human Factor after all.

The Arabic text is not less weired. I don’t speak about the names of places, as the name of the Arabic village that used to be there, Jelemeh, was replaced by the Hebrew “Kishon”, after the river that passes nearby. The “detention center” became نقطة – “Nuktat Tawkif” – sort of “detention point”. Even Google couldn’t explain this. But “Nukta” (نكتة) in Arabic is also “a joke” – which the detention center is not – but its sign surely is.


New Road – Old Crimes and Lousy Translation

In October 2019, Heba Al-Labadi was on hunger strike against her administrative detention, so we gathered repeatedly near the Jelemeh detention center, where she was held, to express our solidarity.

In the meantime, the road was completely transformed and the old lousy sign was removed… to be replaced by new lousy road signs with the same foolish translation!



Israeli “Arab Affairs Expert” Berko: There are no Palestinians!

Israeli racist member of the Knesset for Likud, Doctor Anat Berko, claimed in a speech on Wednesday 10/2/2016 that, as the letter “P” doesn’t exist in Arabic, there is a question mark over the whole existence of the Palestinians. Berko, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army and define herself as an “expert on Arab affairs”, was actually saying “Falestin” – the way it is said in Arabic – but somehow seemed not to have any idea of the existence of the letter “F” (ف) in Arabic…


It is always a big delight to see that the bad guys are also really Dumb!

If you know Hebrew you can enjoy the original in a video from the Knesset. You can start watching from about 5:20 in the video – what comes before is shockingly racist but not at all amusing…