Sunday, January 4, 2009

Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza Parallels

Livni has also asserted that Israel's values are shared by the "free world" and by unfree Arab regimes that are allies of the "free world." We can add, that her values are also shared by Saudi-funded neoliberal Arab intellectuals and by the leadership of the Palestinian Collaborationist Authority ensconced in the Green Zone of Ramallah. The civilized values of Israel are not unlike those espoused by the US in its ongoing wars against Arabs and Muslims, and are very much like European colonial values during the high age of colonialism and beyond. Livni and the Israeli leadership speak of human rights, democracy, peace, and justice as universal while applying them only to Jews and denying them especially to Palestinians. This is hardly an Israeli ruse. Let us remember the undying words of Frantz Fanon in this regard: "leave this Europe where they never tire of talking of man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe."

On the Palestinian front, the term of chief Palestinian collaborator and coup leader Mahmoud Abbas ends on 9 January. Israel hopes to extend his collaborationist rule as head of the PCA it set up through the Oslo agreement in 1993. As Palestinians are murdered and injured in the thousands, world powers are cheering on. This is hardly a new development. It happens often in the context of other populations being murdered by allies of the US and Europe, and it even happened during World War II as the Nazi genocide was proceeding. On 19 April 1943, Britain and the US met in Bermuda, presumably to discuss the situation of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. That was also the day when the Nazis had launched their war against the remaining Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto but were met with unexpected courageous resistance. Little came out of the Bermuda Conference and the ongoing war against the Warsaw Ghetto proceeded uninterrupted. The Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto executed Jewish collaborators with the Nazis and bravely faced up to the Nazi army with what little weapons it had before being massacred. Their uprising was always inspirational to the Palestinians. In the heyday of the PLO as a symbol of Palestinian liberation, the organization would lay flower wreathes at the Warsaw Ghetto monument to honor these fallen Jewish heroes.

Szmul Zygielbojm was the leader of the Jewish socialist party, the Bund, in Poland and was part of the resistance against the Nazi invasion in 1939. He would later become a hostage held by the Nazis but would later be released and made a member of the Jewish council or judenrat, the Nazi equivalent of the Israeli-created Palestinian Collaborationist Authority, and which was charged with building a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. Zygielbojm opposed the Nazi order and fled to Belgium, France, the US, and in 1942 ended up in London where he joined the Polish government in exile. On 12 May 1943, after he received word that the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto was finally crushed and many of its fighters killed, Zygielbojm turned on the gas in his London flat and committed suicide in protest against the indifference and inaction of the Allies to the plight of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. He also felt that he had no right to live after his comrades were killed resisting the Nazis. In his suicide letter, Zygielbojm insisted that while the Nazis were responsible for the murder of the Polish Jews, the Allies, through their inaction, were also guilty:
The latest news that has reached us from Poland makes it clear beyond any doubt that the Germans are now murdering the last remnants of the Jews in Poland with unbridled cruelty. Behind the walls of the ghetto the last act of this tragedy is now being played out.

The responsibility for the crime of the murder of the whole Jewish nationality in Poland rests first of all on those who are carrying it out, but indirectly it falls also upon the whole of humanity, on the peoples of the Allied nations and on their governments, who up to this day have not taken any real steps to halt this crime. By looking on passively upon this murder of defenseless millions, tortured children, women and men they have become partners to the responsibility ...

I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being murdered. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave.

By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people ...
The Palestinian Collaborationist Authority that runs the judenrat set up by Oslo has never even attempted to resist Israeli orders. Not one member of the top leadership decided to resign and not serve. Mahmoud Abbas, having provided so many dishonorable services to Israel, lacks Zygielbojm's integrity and noble principles and would never follow in Zygielbojm's footsteps.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian people will resist the invading Israelis with all their might and against astronomical odds. The Palestinian people, like Zygielbojm before them, understand very well that Abbas, his clique, the Arab regimes, the US and Europe are all culpable in their slaughter as much as Israel is. In the case of Zygielbojm, he blamed world powers for their indifference and inaction, in the Palestinian case, world and regional powers are co-conspirators and active partners in crime.

The crushing of the Gaza Ghetto Uprising and the slaughter of its defenseless population will be relatively an easy task for the giant Israeli military machine and Israel's sadistic political leadership. It is dealing with the aftermath of a strengthened Palestinian determination to continue to resist Israel that will prove much more difficult for Israel and its Arab allies to deal with. While the thousands of dead and injured Palestinians are the main victims of this latest Israeli terrorist war, the major political loser in all this will be Abbas and his clique of collaborators. The test for Palestinian resistance now is to continue to refuse to grant Israel the right to conquer populations, to steal their land, to destroy their livelihoods, to imprison them in ghettos, and to starve them without being resisted.
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