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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Activists Draw A Comparison Between Gaza and Warsaw

29 June 2010 19:04:55

A wonderful example of international solidarity. Activists have drawn exactly the correct lessons from the resistance of the Jewish resistance fighters [ZOB] in the Warsaw ghetto 67 years ago. Of course this was a lesson that Marek Edelman, last Commander of ZOB had learnt some time ago, much to the
annoyance of the Zionist state which in a fit of pique boycotted his funeral.

Those who say that in Warsaw 400,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka and their death miss the point. Both Gaza and Warsaw are/were ghettos. It matters not that the Nazis exterminated the population whereas Israeli leaders are forced to merely deprive Gazan inhabitants of medicine, reconstruction, work and drinking water. What a defence that they aren’t actually exterminating anyone though hundreds if not thousands have died as a consequence of the siege, to say nothing of Israel’s rockets and bombs.

Tony Greenstein

Gaza Freedom Graffiti in the Warsaw Ghetto

Monday 28th 2010

Yesterday, Israeli and Polish activists met in the ruins of Warsaw’s old Jewish Ghetto.
The activists sprayed ‘Liberate All Ghettos’ in Hebrew, followed by ‘Free Gaza and Palestine’ in English on a wall of an original block in the ghetto. The block is across the street from the last fragment of the remaining perimeter wall of the Ghetto. They also hung Palestinian flags from the wall.

This was first time such an action took place in the ghetto.

Yonatan Shapira former Israeli Air Force captain and now refusnik and BDS activist said:
‘Most of my family came from Poland and many of my relatives were killed in the death camps during the Holocaust. When I walk in what was left from the Warsaw Ghetto I can’t stop thinking about the people of Gaza who are not only locked in an open air prison but are also being bombarded by fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones, flown by people whom I used to serve with before my refusal in 2003.
I am also thinking about the delegations of young Israelis that are coming to see the history of our people but also are subjected to militaristic and nationalistic brainwashing on a daily basis. Maybe if they see what we wrote here today they will remember that oppression is oppression, occupation is occupation, and crimes against humanity are crimes against humanity, whether they have been committed here in Warsaw or in Gaza’.
Ewa Jasiewicz, activist with Kampania Palestyna and one of the co-ordinators of the Free Gaza Movement who just returned from participating in the Freedom Flotilla said:

'Yonatan could have been the pilot in the Blackhawk that dropped commandos onto the Mavi Marmara that killed nine activists from our flotilla. I could have been one of them. Poland is full of the ruins of ghettos and death camps and shrines to those who sacrificed their lives in the defence of not just their communities but in resistance to fascism.

People here need to wake up and realise that occupations and ghettos did not end with the end of the second world war. These tactics and strategies of domination and control of other people and lands are present in Palestine today and are being perpetrated by the state of Israel. We have a responsibility to free all ghettos and end all occupations’.
Poland continues to deepen its’ military and political alliance with Israel whilst ignoring its obligations under international law to stop the ghettoization of the West Bank by Israel’s apartheid wall and to ensure the protection of civilians.

Kampania Palestyna together with the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calls for an end to Israeli impunity and degradation of human rights and international law.

Ewa Jasiewicz said,
‘Poland can no longer be a Greenzone for the normalisation of Israeli apartheid. We all have the responsibility to end the occupation and ghettoization of the Palestinian people’.
Yonatan Shapira said:
I was always taught growing up that the atrocities that happened to the Jewish people here happened because the world was silent. And therefore I cannot be silent. The Jewish people needed to be liberated from the ghettoes, and now Israelis need to be liberated from the crimes of their own government. Each one of us can take part in this global struggle for justice, and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for the sake of not just the Palestinian people but for Israelis too’.


David Hillman said...

I try not to make too facile comparisons since like most people I can not think about the Shoah without terrible anger and sadness and feelings too deep for words.
But last Autumn I was with a dear Polish friend in Bethlehem. She was actually born and brought up in Austwich and has spoken of her fathers stories of his boyhood Jewish friends and of the sweet smell of burning flesh that permeated the town.
In bethlehem the wall and watchtowers are right up against the refugee camp. We had been told of young children shot dead by soldiers in the watch tower because they had been ordered away and did not understand Hebrew, and of a young women shot dead by a soldier aiming into her bedroom from a tower outside the camp. We left the camp and walked along the road looking up at the watchtowers. The soldiers were aiming their guns, some at the camp, some at us. Looking at my friend I saw she was almost overcome with emotion and I understood all the reasons why.

Tony Greenstein said...


I agree. What is a sign of the utter contempt of Zionism for both those who died and the survivors of the holocaust is the fact that their sufferings are and have been continually used to justify the barbarities of the Israeli regime.

The pathetic argument that 'we' are not using poison gas to murder the Palestinians, as if they somehow deserve a medal for such reticence, demonstrates the cynicism of Zionism. Perhaps they want congratulations.

Holocaust survivors were brought over to staff Israel's army in 1948 and 1/3 of those who died had survived the camps. Today they live in poverty as the Israeli state and the various Zionist organisations refuse to hand over reparations meant for holocaust survivors to them. And organisations like the Jewish Claims Conference, which Norman Finkelstein exposed, are mired in corruption as people grow fat on the compensation for survivors.

The tragedy is that Israel was Hitler's posthumous victory. Jews had formed a state of self-segregation. As the ghetto walls fell so Israel's walls began to be built. When race went out of fashion Israel incorporated race into the centre of its politics as the 'demographic problem' i.e. too many Arabs caused an 'existential' crisis.

But Israel is proof of one thing. That any group of people, given the right set of circumstances, can turn from oppressed to oppressor and can carry out the most barbaric of acts.

The details from what you describe in Bethlehem is indeed both tragic and horrific with the wall even replete with its own concentration camp watchtowers. Like in the camps, if you went to near the wire you were shot. They learnt their lessons well.