Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Marek Edelman - Death of an anti-fascist hero of the Warsaw Jewish Resistance

Last Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt Dies Aged 90

On October 2nd 2009, Marek Edelman, Deputy Leader of ZOB, the Jewish Fighting Organisation in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, died aged 90. Marek Edelman who, after the death of Mordechai Anielwicz, became Commander of ZOB, was a living legend as well as a world famous heart surgeon. He led the Bund units in the area of the Brushworks and the Tobins factories.

In December 1990 I reviewed his book The Ghetto Fights in Return 5, a Jewish anti-Zionist magazine.

Marek Edelman was a member of the anti-Zionist Bund, the General Jewish Workers Union of Poland. The Bund has originally been formed as the General Jewish Workers Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia, but the Stalinists had eliminated it and its leadership.

Edelman’s life was the stuff of fiction. From fighting in the Ghetto Uprising, escaping via the sewers to the ‘Aryan’ side of Warsaw, a founder of Solidarity in Poland who was briefly imprisoned by the Stalinists.

Edelman was the living proof that Jews could fight anti-Semitism where they lived and didn’t have to escape to a state mirrored on the principles of their oppressors in someone else's land in Palestine. Above all he excoriated the Jewish collaborators and traitors who the Zionists had seen fit to call ‘heroes’. He didn’t fit in with or conform to Zionism’s narrative of the Holocaust.

Today Zionism praises the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but in the 1930’s and 1940’s it treated and made deals with the Nazis. In the Ghetto the Jewish leadership did nothing as two-thirds of the Jews were deported without resistance. The Chairman of the Judenrat, Adam Czerniakow, a General Zionist and compared to most leaders of the Judenrat, an honourable man, committed suicide. 'what could we do’ was the familiar refrain of the Jewish leadership. But the Bund, which delayed the setting up of the Ghetto through demonstrations and mass mobilisation, believed in relying on the masses, not the lying words of the Nazi enemy.

Zionism had always preached the line of least resistance. As the anti-Nazi Boycott of German goods was launched in Britain and the USA in 1933 by the Jewish labour movement, the Zionist leaders negotiated an economic transfer agreement (Ha'avara) that led to 60% of capital investment in Palestine between 1933 and 1939 coming from Nazi Germany.

Edelman became a ‘non-person’ in Israel. He challenged the Zionist fable that the holocaust was part of a continuous road that led to the Israeli state and that the Ghetto Uprising was part of that same road. Having abandoned the Jews of Europe to their fate, Zionism created the myth that resistance to the Nazis was a Zionist endeavour.

As Yitzhak Laor noted in his review in Ha'aretz of 26.12.04. of Ruth Linn’s, Escaping Auschwitz: A Culture of Forgetting
‘How long did it take before we finally learned that there had been anti-Zionists among the fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising? Who was Marek Edelman? Why could he show up from time to time at Kibbutz Lohamei Hageta’ot (“Ghetto Fighters”) to sit down and chat with his soul mate Antek Zuckerman, while we, as readers, were kept in the dark as to the man’s charm and greatness? Because the collective memory was unable to tolerate people who had consciously chosen not to identify with the Zionist enterprise, even in the context of Holocaust memory.’
Linn’s book dealt with another Jewish hero of the holocaust hero, Rudolf Vrba, who with Alfred Wetzler, escaped from Auschwitz, to warn the 800,000 Hungarian Jews that they were next on the Nazi butchers’ list. Their detailed description of the gas chambers and the location of their murder, the Auschwitz Protocols, was suppressed by the Zionist press and movement until the Swiss newspapers , the War Refugee Board and the Vatican, among others, blew the whistle.

The reason for the silencing of Edelman and Vrba was because the Holocaust has been harnessed to the cause the dispossession of the Palestinians. The Palestinians were the new Nazis and anyone who disagreed was also an anti-Semite. As Richard Goldstone found out this week when Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, accused him of being an anti-Semite. (BREAKING NEWS - Israel Finance Minister: Goldstone Is 'Anti-Semite').

As Idith Zertal wrote:
"Nationalizing the ghetto uprisings was a way of nationalizing the narrative and removing all the contradictory, non-Zionist elements…. The fact that the umbrella organizations involved in the rebellion included all the political parties was minimized or obscured. Of all the efforts to hush up and disguise the truth, the case of Marek Edelman is perhaps the most glaring."
As Zertal pointed out, the "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust," edited by Israel Gutman, one of Israel's Establishment Holocaust Historians at Yad Vashem, is very vague about Edelman's role, and devotes only one column to him. (The Living Dead, Yitzhak Laor)

Marek Edelman’s book, The Ghetto is Fighting, was first published in Poland in 1945 and republished in Britain in 1990. Given that this was the only first-hand account by a leader of the Uprising, it is hardly accidental that it took 56 years, until 2001, before it was published in Israel.
“Like Vrba, Edelman ‘ascended’ to Israel, refusing to become the ‘dead and obedient hero who could be moulded along with the political order of that time. On the contrary he remained alive and kicking and refusing and, therefore, extremely inconvenient for the creation of a heroic Zionist condensing and compensating myth.’ Zertal, I. Death and the Nation, 56-7 (Translation from Hebrew).
As another survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Professor Israel Shahak, wrote in a letter published on 19 May 1989 in Kol Ha'ir, Jerusalem:
Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising… the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find. If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started. The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis….

the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators… This, and not what is 'instilled' was the reality. Of the Yad Vashem (official state Holocaust museum in Jerusalem - Ed.) theatre, I do not wish to speak, at all. It, and its vile exploits, such as honouring South Africa collaborators with the Nazis [the visit of South African Premier John Vorster to Israel - TG) are truly beneath contempt.
And this is the reason for the silencing and invisibility of Marek Edelman and Rudolf Vrba. They were living proof that Zionism was not and never was a movement of resistance in Europe, but a movement of collaboration. Ironically, given that Zionism accuses its Jewish opponents of ‘self-hatred’, it is as Antony Lerman points out in the Guardian, ‘arguable that Zionism was actually a display of it.’
Of course there were many Zionists who, despite their Zionism, fought against the Nazis. They included the Commander of ZOB, Mordechai Anielwicz of Hashomer Hatzair. But he too began the fightback with a declaration that his Zionist work in Poland had been wasted years. Even as preparations for the Uprising were underway, Zionist collaborators such as Abraham Gancawajch of Hashomer Hatzair were targeted (unsuccessfully in his case) for assassination.

As John Rose notes in his obituary in the summer of 2002,
Edelman, intervened in Israel's show trial of jailed Palestinian resistance leader, Marwan Barghouti. He wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian movement, and though he criticised the suicide bombers, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and its press. Edelman had always resented Israel's claim on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising as a symbol of Jewish liberation. Now he said this belonged to the Palestinians.

He addressed his letter to the Palestinian ZOB, "commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations". The old Jewish anti-Nazi Ghetto fighter had placed his immense moral authority at the disposable of the only side he deemed worthy of it.
And this is the response to those who query the connection between the Palestinian fighters and the Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Arens, in Ha'aretz: reveals that when trying to get Edelman an award of an honorary doctorate from an Israeli university, Vrba received one in 1999 from Haifa University as a result of Ruth Linn’s efforts, ‘I ran into stubborn opposition led by Holocaust historians in Israel.’ These were the Zionists' establishment historians, people such as Yehuda Bauer, Yisrael Guttman, Gili Fatran and Otto dov Kulka, who have been in the forefront of Zionising and nationalising the Holocaust. Their task is to rewrite the history of the Holocaust so that it becomes the property of those who, in their time, were the real Jewish self-haters and collaborators.

Arens wrote of Edelman that
‘He had received Poland's highest honor, and at the 65th commemoration of the Warsaw ghetto uprising he was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal. He died not having received the recognition from Israel that he so richly deserved.’
Some would say that he was doubly fortunate in this respect!

Tony Greenstein

14 comments:

Ajit said...

Moshe Arens' own son Yigal Arens is an anti Zionist who is treated like an outcast by Zionists. He now lives in US.

Great human beings like Edelman have the instinct to go beyond parochialisms of all sorts and recognise injustice anywhere.

Tony Greenstein said...

Ajit is of course right and his son is one of a growing number of outcasts, who reject all forms of racism, Zionism included.

I've let through the giradin poster, or whatever name s/he chooses to use, for its amusement value.

Shel_TR said...

This article was incredibly interesting and very well written. However Edelman's opposition was always to nationalistic megalomania. Personally, I doubt that he opposed Israel, per se, only the extent to which it (as any country) sinned, in respect of it megalomania.

Similarly, the commments are both entirely appropriate.

However, I have problems regarding Greenstein's response to Girardin's comment. Although Girardin's comment is presumptuous (how would he know Greenstein's knowledge of Yiddish/Jewish culture?), it still contains some amount of "truth" -- Greenstein has chosen to attack Israel from the outside. He separates himself from his own people.

Greenstein is entirely free to disagree with Girardin, but his smug response does him no credit.

Tony Greenstein said...

Shel_TR says that I choose to attack Israel from the outside. What would he have me do? 'Return' to Israel and claim all the rights that Palestinians who do want to return are denied? Should I have kept silent about Apartheid because I didn't live there? It is a ludicrous argument.

And the clue that Shel is a Zionist is the comment that I choose to 'separate myself from my own people.' How would s/he know? In fact this is irrelevant and untrue if he means Jews.

I work with other Jews in things like Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. But I don't have a people to whom I'm attached. I don't feel closer to a Jewish racist than a Palestinian who is not a racist. Jews are not 'my people'. I'm British and Jewish but not a chauvinist so Jewish chauvinists hold no interest for me and certainly not Zionists.

andy lehrer said...

de Girardin and Shel-TR are right.
You deny that you are attached to the Jewish people, like all reactionary communists do, yet you act otherwise. I have in my file 14 published declarations signed by you against Israel in recent years in which you beat your breast in the Guardian and elsewhere claiming you are a Jew. And if you have no attachment to any people, you should surrender your British passport. What a complete and utter dolt you are!

Andy Lehrer said...

I have to disagree with my namesake. Edelman was a true Jewish hero and it's frankly shameful that Zionists who think defending Israel is more important than anything else would prefer to ignore him, minimize him or whitewash him lest anyone think there are Jews who reject Zionism.

Tony Greenstein said...

Unfortunately the behaviour of the Zionists, who couldn't even in death send a representative of the 'Jewish State' to his funeral is more than shameful. It is damning.

For all their ritual summoning of the ghost of the Holocaust, when it comes to someone who actually did fight the Nazis from within the heart of the beast, they try to pretend he doesn't exist. The same was true of Rudolf Vrba.

The reason for this is because the record of the Zionists themselves is shameful during the Holocaust. I have just completed a review of Nicosia's books on the subject and hope to post them here soon. But despite their desperation to rewrite history, the Zionist record is one of naked collaboration and use of the Holocaust to legitimise themselves. Even to the extent of looting their assets, stealing their reparations and leaving holocaust survivors to die alone, cold and hungry.

ארז said...

I heard my prime minister personally tell me that Moshe Arens, would Israel's formal Representative at the funeral. Arens was there.
My movement, Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, sent a few members to the funeral voluntarily because, in spite of the ideological difference, we respect Marek
Edelman very much and We educate youngsters in Israel to know him, about his anti-Zionist opinions, as well as his co-Zionist actions.

Marek was a very devoted Jew, and deeply attached to the Jewish people, as his Zionist friends from the Z.O.B

ארז said...

your post if full of manipulation of the truth, of Zionism, Of Marek Edelman, of the memory of the holocaust, and almost everything else as well.

Your view is so biased ideaologically you don't let the facts get in the way.

The Z.O.B (and even the smaller but more general Z.Z.W, which you forgot to mention) were made basically of radical youth, majority of them Zionist Chalutzim with Zionist-socialist agenda.
both marek Edelman and his Zionist comrades chose to fight against the will of their elder leaders of their movements. only the radicals fo both movements - bund and zionism - who folowed their basic believes thorouhly, were able to understand the tragedy to the full extent.

Contrary to what you wrote, marek edelman was never an enemy of zionism or zionists. He was a loyal jew with the an agenda that could be fullfilled if jews would make Aliya to Eretz-Israel(at first the Bund even objected any kind of jewish immegration from eastern europe because it might thwart the chance for jewish socialist revival there)

He remained loyal to his critisizm of Zionism - that Jewish nationality "would never work" in the middle-east and that even if it will, it would deterierate to capitalist tyranny from one kind or another - dangerous possibilities, partly fullfilled, but not because of Zionism, but its take over by capitalism (Jewish and Global), and Arab Islamic imperalism.

In his visits in Israel marek stated that We are not the same Jewish people. In his opinion, the jewish people was murdered at the camps. biologically, culturely, and politically.

I agree that we are today not the Jewish people that Marek dreamed of, but I think we are Jews who continue the Jewish existance and the Memory of Marek.

In fact, Marek stayed in poland, as a last reminder, in respect of the murdered souls, his people, jews, and bundists among them. He did not gave in to despair, and achieved important achievements as a heart-surgeon and a political activist his Bundist dream in unreviveable and never was. Antisemitism was too strong for that to happen.

Marek stand in poland is admireable, but he was not able to protect even one jew from the waves of antisemitism in post war Poland.

In the Zionist Youth movements in israel today, He is admired as a true Jewish Hero, with the mentioning of his anti-zionist opinions, as well as his co-zionist actions.

He was a dear friend and comrade all their life to Yizchak zuckerman and Zivia lubetkin of KIbbutz Lochamei-Hegataot in Israel, radical socialist-zionist heros an educators and social activists for themselves.

the stuff about bund activity that delayed the ghetto is complete nonsense, as well as claim that Zionists were collaborators by essence. Zionists were the leaders among the jewish resistance in WW2, and even the nazis recognize the Zionist Chalutsim as the toughest fighters in ghetto warsaw.
I don't cliam that Zionism is the key for bravery or moral fiber, but a movement for jewish self-soverinity, that makes the idea of resistance more vivid than traditional judaism. the Bund was very different in content but quite similar in its formation.

The people who were radical collaborators were usually of criminal, deeply assimilated, or converted origin, with weaker moral fiber, and all of those, including Abraham Gancawajch, were given the opportunity to ally with the jewish resistance, pay taxes to it, and some (mainly jewish police commanders) were executed for collaboration. this way - of an alliance - made it possible that the best bunker in the ghetto - Mila 18 - that was owned by head of the jewish criminals, hosted the command post of the Z.O.B.

In your post you twist the memory of the Holocaust in order to fit in your present agenda.

I reccommend everyone to read the actual writings of Marek Edelman, Zivia lubetkin and Izchak Zuckerman
to find out the truth about the Bund, zionism and the Jewish underground during WW2 in poland.

Erez Raviv

Boger of Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed.
member of The Ghetto fighters Museum in Lochamei Hagetaot, Israel.

Tony Greenstein said...

Erez says that Marek Edelman was never an enemy of Zionism. But that is untrue. not merely in the solidarity he extended to the Palestinians of the Intifada but his decision to stay in Poland as the symbol of the Jewish diaspora.

I have posted at length to Erez's previous comment so I will confine my remarks accordingly.

I didn't comment on the Revisionist ZZW because Edelman did that very well in the article by Moshe Arens in Haaretz of 5.10.09. 'a gang of porters, thieves and smugglers.' In other words fascists whose main weaponry come from like-minded Polish fascists. It is no surprise that they did not link up!

If in fact Netanyahu told Erez that Moshe Arens was the Government's personal representative then this is not the first time that he has lied. Since when does a government send as its representative someone who is not a member of that govt?

And why was there no announcement to this effect? And why has Moshe Arens not claimed such? The fact is that Erez has been fooled, taken-in by a confidence trickster who is himself a leader of a once-fascist grouping within Zionism.

It is no surprise that the only major revolt took place in Warsaw. Because the Bund was strongest there. Zionism had been significantly weakened throughout the '30's in Poland. That is the reality that Erez won't or can't accept.

ארז said...

This is probably the last time i comment on your blog since your writing is dishonest to the level that makes it unworthy to write You back.

My prime minister lies like other prime ministers. He's a politician. Their instruments are words and they tend to use them according to political interests. However, his remark towards me wasn't political and was not a lie. It might be that Netanyahu's heard before all the wild accusations of Marek Edelman against Zionism and specifically right wing Zionism, and that did not motivate him to upgrade the representation in the funreal. Arens, has a fixation in the recent years in trying to uncover the story of the Z.Z.W and he thought that dealing with Marek Edelman would help him somewhat. Netanyahu probably adopted that and gave his national blessing to Arens journey.

The story of the Z.Z.W is much more complex than what Marek claimed. The leaders were Revisionists, with fascist tendencies, but the Z.Z.W body of fighters was quite general and included even platoons commanded by Jewish communists, and others.

Marek deserves a far greater recognition in Israel, but That's hardly the point.

The reason that only one major revolt happened has nothing to do with the power of the Bund, that was strong in many places or the supposedly weakening of Zionism during the 30's. It happened by the pure ultimate devotion of the fighters, and the gathering of unorganized Jews to the cause of the rebellion, and a lot of luck.

It so happened that Warshaw was the biggest community and the biggest Ghetto, and that the majority of the Jews were murdered with the help of the Judenrat, and that enough Jews remained to live there afterwards to hate the Judenrat enough, and that the Zionist leaders of the underground decided not to commit suicide after the great deportation, but to try to rebuild the Z.O.B and to unify the ghetto towards rebellion, and that the Bund, after a lot of disagreements, joined the Z.O.B, and that the Nazis, didn't uncover it, and above all – that the remaining Jews of Warsaw helped as much as possible.

For example, The Z.O.B had about the same size of fighters and weapons in Byialistock, but the Judenrat there was so highly admired by the ghetto people, that the underground was won after only 3 days, while most of the Jews boarded the trains with The Judenrat.

The tragedy of the actual achievements of the Jewish underground shows only a small fragment of its efforts, and those included a lot of Zionists and Bundists, together and apart.

Tony Greenstein said...

Erez,

Whether Netanyahu is like any other Prime Ministers is besides the point. The fact is that Marek Edelman received no recognition, even in his death, from the Jewish State. That speaks volumes.

And what is this 'national blessing'. In the UK no one would talk in such a way. This nationalism has nothing to do with a Jewish nation and everything to do with a zealot state that is in the process of destroying itself.

The Resistance is complicated but one can say that with certainty that resistance could not have succeeded but that without the total collaboration of the Judenrat then fewer would have died.

Yes Warsaw was the largest ghetto though probably not larger than Lodz after the initial Aktions of 1942, after which only about 50-60,000 survived. The political question, not least being the capital of Poland, loomed large.

I will pursue your points in your other post

ארז said...

I Won't comment on your blog anymore cause it's not worhy. I won't answer your accusations against Israel, wheter factual or fictionous, because your not interested in the truth, just your ready made judement.
I'll finish by highlighting your mistakes, hope you won't feel the need to reply because your biasness is boring.

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 5:01 AM, Tony Greenstein wrote:

Tony Greenstein has left a new comment on the post "Marek Edelman - Death of an anti-fascist hero of ...":

Erez,

Whether Netanyahu is like any other Prime Ministers is besides the point. The fact is that Marek Edelman received no recognition, even in his death, from the Jewish State. That speaks volumes.
TRUE

And what is this 'national blessing'. In the UK no one would talk in such a way. This nationalism has nothing to do with a Jewish nation and everything to do with a zealot state that is in the process of destroying itself.
BORING

The Resistance is complicated but one can say that with certainty that resistance could not have succeeded but that without the total collaboration of the Judenrat then fewer would have died.
FALSE. THE NAZIS PREFFERD IT LIKE YOU SAY FROM OBVIOUS REASONS, BUT THEY MASSACRED THOUSAND OF JEWS WITHOUT ANY JEWISH HELP ON NUMEROUS CASES - THEY COULD "MANAGE THE JOB". THE JUDENRAT'S RESPONSIBILITY IS MORAL - TRUSTING THE NAZIS AND OPPOSING THE RESISTANCE IN MOST PLACES, THAT'S SUVEIRE ENOUGH. BTW, SOME SMALL JUDENRAT HEADS LED ALL THEIR SMALL GHETTOS TO FLEE TO THE WOODS, WITH A HEALTHY MIND, WITHOUT ANY CONNECTION TO IDEAOLOGIES, BUT THE FLEEING JEWS WERE HUNTED DOWN BY NAZIS AND NON-JEWISH COLLABERATORS JUST THE SAME. THE CHANCE OF SURVIVAL WAS EXTRIMLY HARD TO PREDICT, AND NOT THE MAIN ISSUE. DON'T CLING TO THAT, IT'S STUPID.

Yes Warsaw was the largest ghetto though probably not larger than Lodz after the initial Aktions of 1942, after which only about 50-60,000 survived. The political question, not least being the capital of Poland, loomed large.
IRRELEVANT. THE IMPORTANT QEUSTION IS THE QEUSTION OF THE ILLUSTION. THE BUND JOINED THE Z.O.B ONLY IN WARSAW BECAUSE ITS LEADERS CONTINUED TO DENY THAT'S THERE'S A HOLOCAUST DESTINED SPECIALLY FOR JEWS AND THEIR OLD HOPE OF CO POLISH-JEWISH REVIVAL FORCED THEM TO FOLLOW THE POLICIY OF THE POLISH LEFT. THE MAJORITY OF THE Z.O.B UNDERSTOOD THE 'FINAL SOLUTION' BETTER BECAUSE IT'S CONCEPT OF ANTISEMITISM WAS MORE ADEQUATE THAN THE BUND'S. THE BUND WERE BASICALLY MARXISTS WHO VIEWD ANTISEMITISM AS DIRECT INSTRUMENT OF FASCHISM OR OF THE PETTY BOGOUISE CAPITALISM. THE SOCIALIST-ZIONIST (PINSKER, BRENER AND BOROCHOV, FOR EXAMPLE), SAW ANTISEMITISM IN A WIDER PERSPECTIVE, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN BETTER THE REALITY OF LOTS OF EUROPEAN COLLABERATORS WHO WERE NOT GERMAN OR NAZIS. BOTH GROUPS LEARNED TO UNDERSTAND THE NAZIS EALIER THAN THAN JEWISH MASSES, BUT ZIONISTS HAD LESS ILLUSIONS ABOUT THE POLES, UKRAIN AND OTHERS.


THERE WERE PLENTY OF EXAMPLES TO LEARN FROM SINCE THE POGROMS OF 1882 IN RUSSIA, ABOUT HOW ANTISEMITISM IS A WEAPON NOT ONLY FOR CAPITALISTS, CZARISTS, or FASCISTS BUT ALSO FOR REVOLUTIONARIES OF EXTREME LEFT.
YOU SHOULD READ WHAT LENIN HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE BUND - A FASCINATING EXAMPLE.


I will pursue your points in your other post
PLEASE DONT

Tony Greenstein said...

Something may be boring but nonetheless it is profound and essential. Nationalism is and always has been the cover that cements those with different class interests. In Israel the economy is effectively controlled by a handful of super rich families. Zionism is useful for focussing on the internal and external enemy.

But whereas most forms of nationalism tend to inclusion of those living within specific borders, Zionism treats Arabs as untermenschen. It is this that Erez elides over.

The Bedouin of the Negev have never indulged in what is termed 'terrorism' i.e. resistance. Yet they have been harried, ethnically cleansed, seen their houses and structures demolished.

So when you talk about terrorism, fundamentalism etc. you have to ask where it comes from. I suggest the same place as zealotry has always come from. Oppress a group and they turn to religion.

In fact it was the strategy of the 'left' Zionists - Mapai and mapam - up till 1977 to co-opt the traditional, patriarchal elements of Israeli Arab society vs the secular. A conscious use of a religious cleavage. Just as Israel's Shin Bet actively supported and sponsored (indeed virtually created) Hamas as a counter-weight to secular Palestinian nationalism (see e.g. Avi Shlaim's 'Iron Wall').

The key question is whether you draw any lessons from the holocaust or not. Anti-racist lessons as opposed to exclusivist Jewish ones.

Erez demonstrates that whatever else s/he is it is not as someone of the left. In Russia it was the Right and the Czarists who used the pogroms, indeed instigated them. The left made anti-Semitism a crime and actively pursued the pogromists. So the nonsense that is written is merely a form of libel.

Yes the Nazis needed no help to massacre e.g. the million plus that the Einsatzgruppen and Order Police carried out on the steppes of Russia. But to organise the Holocaust in a methodical way without doing psychological damage to the SS (which was Himmler's main concern) they sought the concentration, confiscation and entraining and for that they formed the Judenrat. Yes there were minor exceptions - Skalat for example - but hte exceptions proved the rule. This is a complicated area but those who filled these posts, from the Kehillot to a large extend, believed that the old traditions of pleading and bartering, shtadlanut, could continue with fascism. They could not.

Yes the Bund saw anti-Semitism as being something that the supporters of capitalism used, often quite consciously, to divide the working classes and poor. Yes they had a class perspective and sought joint work with non-Jews. Pity that the Zionists didn't try it.

Incidentally yours is the first time I have heard Dr Leo Pinsker described as a 'socialist', even from a 'socialist' Zionist perspective.

I think Zyglebojm, who committed suicide in London in protest at the inactivity of the West in the fact of the Holocaust, understood only too well anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Zionism focussed on nothing but anti-Semitism and therefore failed to secure any linkage with non-Jewish parties. Hence why there was a dependance on the links the Bund had forged.

I suspect Erez that correcting my spelling is not your strongest talent!