Was it coincidence or fortuitous that virtually at the same time that this poem ‘So Small Yet So Tall’ was completed, the author, Charlotte Cohen,  says she saw it echoed in the Lay of the Land weekly newsletter article ’Till The End of Time that explores and expounds on so similar issues pertaining to our troubled and beloved Israel.


By Charlotte Cohen

Home to so many

Of similar and dissimilar

Ideas, ideals and ideologies

And though they are all free

And do not always agree

They have one commonality:

To defend till the end

Their children, their home and their family

To sustain and remain

On this tiny piece of land

So inordinately small

Yet which stands so remarkably tall

Amongst the nations of the world

Not even a quarter the size of New York

This diminutive country began its new journey in 1948

With descendants of its ancient inhabitants

Who, with dedication and determination

Returned to turn this small tract of arid land

Into a restored and renewed Garden of Eden

And with endeavour and endurance

Saw the progression of Israel’s evolution

With so much tormented history and heartache

Forever battened in its backpack

Yet pressing unfalteringly on to a future

So ardently potent and blatantly on track

Whether in technology, science or medicine

Agriculture, desalination or soil conservation

One of the smallest countries in the world

Directed by people of immense skill and innovation

Points the way forward

To a broken world’s salvation

But the inhabitants of Israel

No matter whether conforming and religious

Or independent of thought and practice

Like many countries in the diaspora where Jews reside

Who abide by the law and provide

For themselves and those to whom they are allied

Are all still regarded with one singularity:

And as ‘Jewish or ’Zionist’ are classified

Yet despite their differences and individuality

Each one acts in unity and as an entity

Against hate-filled and fuelled antagonists

Who continue to name, blame and shame them

With the most spurious of propaganda and calumniations

And deceitful and treacherous lies and vilifications

The Palestinians, their avowed and attested enemy

With their continuous animosity and hostility

Launch relentless rocket attacks on the Israeli community

Executing their enmity with malicious brutality

Conversely, Israelis don’t want to fight

They want a home – left to persevere on their own

And not be denounced or have to atone

For nothing adverse that they have done

As a nation proud of its heritage and morality

All Israel wants is to live in peace

In a tolerant, enterprising and democratic society

But against the horrific and incessant terror attacks

And constant threats against its very existence

Forced into facing what it must – and what it does

Israel fights in self-defence with resistance

In actuality, Palestinians are subordinately bullied

Used as fighting vassals and human shields which subjugate

To a terrorist government installed to dominate

Buried in a belief system into which they were conceived

And the brainwashed lies with which they are deceived

If they kill Jews and the infidels they were taught to abhor

Honour and heavenly rewards are what lies before

Yet let it never be forgotten …

Recalling all the adversity Israelis have endured and seen

And the devastating suffering through which they have been

In memory of every soul – every man, woman and child

Persecuted, tortured and slaughtered

By wicked, depraved maniacal murderers

And the most inhuman of anti-Semitic executioners

In the living spirit of every heartbeat and breath

Lost to millions of Jews as well as many others

History can never be laid to rest  …

And in their name – and ours

We say:  NEVER  AGAIN!

With the horrendous history of broken lives and broken hearts behind them

And a nation of strong-willed lives and brave hearts which now guides them

Never forgetting the sacrifice of the many heroes who forfeited theirs

So that Israelis living in this exemplary land can continue to share

In the spirit of every living person who has Israel at heart

Who has supported and promoted and expedited it

It will grow and prosper and be recreated

To those who deny it;  to those who decry it

Who persist with their insistence of perpetual lies

And odious defamatory denunciations against Israel

Be assured:


Israel will forever guard its survival without trepidation

Against terrorist maleficence and abomination

Using its integrity, its ingenuity and its ability

For the betterment of all humanity

Standing in the forefront of invention and aspiration

Israel is a country of preservation and restoration

It stands as a beacon of light for civilisation

And will forever be an inspiration

                                                                                             ©Charlotte Cohen

About the Poet:

Charlotte Cohen is an award-winning short story writer, essayist and poet, whose work has appeared in a wide variety of South African publications since the early 1970’s.

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).

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