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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

“Monarchy is only the string that ties the robber’s bundle” - Percy Bysshe Shelley as Another Royal Parasite is Born

We demand the same treatment for the Royal Brat as for Claimants – no State Aid for three or more children

All day the BBC has been full of idiots telling us how happy they are that there is another royal parasite born to the manor.  What pathetic lives they lead if the hereditary rulers of this country giving birth to another royal brat gives them such pleasure. 

This blog demands that no state money be expended on the Cambridge’s new child.

When the detestable Ian Duncan Smith was Secretary of State for Social Security he introduced a rule that if you have 3 or more children you cannot receive benefits for them, thus throwing hundreds of thousands of children into poverty.

We demand that the same principle be introduced for the latest Royal Brat, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridgeshire’s 3rd child.  No money from the state for its upkeep.
One more royal mouth to feed

Abolish the Royal Family — There is no more logic to having a hereditary mathematician than a hereditary ruler

Below is an Article on the Socialist case Against Monarchy

Monarchy in the UK

This year marks Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee. During those 50 years the royal family has tried desperately to maintain its credibility amid scandal and seismic social changes. MANNY THAIN looks at how Britain's monarchy has developed and at its place in the modern world.
BRITAIN IS RULED, at least nominally, by a monarch - Queen Elizabeth II. The royal family is viewed as a purely symbolic state decoration by some, as being completely irrelevant by others, or as a mildly entertaining soap opera centred on a deeply dysfunctional family. It also plays a constitutional role which is generally hidden behind a carefully constructed faade of political neutrality. As the recent funeral of the Queen Mother showed, it is capable of arousing deep feelings of loyalty and support.
The monarchy was actually overthrown during the English revolution. On 4 January 1649, parliament passed a resolution which abolished the House of Lords, confiscated crown, church and royalist land, and set up a commission to try the king, Charles I, who was later executed. In 1660, however, the monarchy was restored with Charles II and has retained an important constitutional role ever since.
The monarchy epitomises conservative values and the status quo. It is a bastion against change. It is the living embodiment of a hierarchical society, reinforcing the notion that there is an established order: people should know their place and accept it.
The monarch dissolves parliament, appoints and dismisses prime ministers, assents to legislation, signs treaties, declares war and appoints judges. These powers are generally exercised by the prime minister under royal prerogative. Using this prerogative, a British prime minister can declare war without a debate in parliament. Margaret Thatcher banned trade unions at the Ministry of Defence 'spy centre' at GCHQ on that basis. Whole areas of secondary legislation are handled by the Privy Council - the members of which are appointed for life - and the 'orders in council', and never come before parliament. MPs swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen not to the people they represent. The monarch meets the prime minister once a week. Britain's peoples are not citizens but subjects.
Public image
THE IMAGE PRESENTED is that the monarchy follows age-old tradition. In reality, 'The Firm' (as its members refer to it) is a very modern construct, dating back to Queen Victoria who ruled from 1837-1901. The death of the Queen Mother on 30 March, aged 101, marked the end of the physical connection between the present House of Windsor (which is itself a fabricated brand name) and Victorian Britain and empire.
Under Hanoverian rule (1714-1836) royalty became increasingly discredited with American independence, the madness of George III and the depravity of George IV. In the face of a strengthening republican mood, Victoria and Albert set about making the institution popular. This was not a straightforward task and it provoked some familiar criticism: "George Bernard Shaw, writing anonymously in the Pall Mall Gazette, complained just before Victoria's half-century celebration: 'Were a gust of wind to blow off our sovereign's head-gear tomorrow, the Queen's bonnet would crowd Bulgaria out of the papers'. And when Victoria visited the East End, the celebration was marred by what Lord Salisbury called 'a horrid noise'. [The] booing was attributed to 'socialists and the worst Irish'." (The Observer, 10 February 2002)
The opening of parliament was reinvented by Edward VII (r1901-10). He introduced the theatrics of Black Rod knocking on doors and the practice of courtiers walking backwards. Queen Elizabeth II, for her part, curtailed last summer's state opening ceremony so she could enjoy a day at the races.
In the past, royalty claimed the divine right to rule. Although that idea had been undermined by the English revolution, it endured far longer than many might have thought possible. Even in 1964 a poll claimed that 30% of the public believed that the monarch was chosen by God! The mystery surrounding the monarchy has been an important component in its history. In 1923 the BBC considered broadcasting the marriage of Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (later, the Queen Mother) to the Duke of York (the future George VI). Courtiers refused on the grounds that the service might be heard 'by men in public houses' with their caps still on. That would never do.
George's elder brother, Edward VIII, was heir to the throne but abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcŽe. That undermined the example the head of the Church of England was expected to uphold. An Independent Labour Party MP moved a motion to replace the monarchy with a republic. It fell by 403 to 5. On 12 May 1937, George VI was crowned. The abdication was a major crisis for the royal family and, even now, official documents on the affair remain under lock and key at the Public Records Office.
Edward VIII was a fascist sympathiser, a friend of Adolf Hitler. That was common among the British ruling class whose biggest threat came from the socialist movement, with the example of the Russian revolution still fresh in the memory. Several of the current Prince Philip's sisters married German aristocrats who backed the Nazis. Philip was a minor Greek royal from a German line but was transformed under the tutelage of the influential Lord Louis Mountbatten, Queen Victoria's great-grandson. He renounced his Greek titles. Out went the Greek Orthodox religion. In came the Church of England. He learned to ride a horse.
Mother of invention
THE OUTBREAK OF the second world war saw George VI and his Consort get their hands dirty, very dirty. They were closely associated with the policy of appeasement with Hitler. The prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, was invited onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace to celebrate his capitulation, in what was described by the court historian, John Grigg, as "the most unconstitutional act by a British sovereign in the present century". (The Guardian, 1 April) In 1939 the foreign secretary's office telegraphed the British ambassador in Berlin to encourage the fascist regime "to check the unauthorised emigration of Jews". The relevant papers to these ignominious episodes also remain secret.
Once Britain was at war with Germany, the myth-making machine went into overdrive. The Queen Consort's visits to the bomb-devastated East End of London became the stuff of legend. Yet her initial visits - in high heels, jewels and expensive clothes - gave people the impression that the royal family was untouched by the war's tragedies. The propaganda took a while to work. Echoing Queen Victoria's experience, Elizabeth was pelted with rubbish and jeered by angry crowds. When Buckingham Palace was bombed in 1940, the Queen Consort, with more than a hint of relief, remarked that she could now look the East End in the face.
Throughout the war the standard flew at Buckingham Palace, denoting the presence of royalty. At night, however, George VI and Elizabeth would travel to the safety of Windsor Castle. The palace implied that they were living off similar rations to everyone else but, of course, they wanted for nothing. The Queen Consort played the long-suffering patriot. When it was suggested that the family should go to Canada, she famously said, "The children could not leave without me, I could not leave without the king, and the king will never leave".
George VI died on 6 February 1952, opening the way for Elizabeth II to take the throne. The title of 'Queen Mother' was created. More familial strife followed as the Queen refused to give consent to the late Princess Margaret marrying divorcŽ Group Captain Peter Townsend. Even then, the issue was mainly one of example rather than constitution. Margaret and any future offspring had very little chance of succeeding to the throne (the Queen already had two children). A Daily Mirror poll showed 95% of people in favour of the marriage. The monarchy showed itself to be hopelessly out of touch.
The end of deference
IN ATTEMPTING TO modernise the monarchy, the royal family opened up to the outside world, at least to a limited extent. "The royals have become a media commodity in a circulation and ratings-driven age". (Financial Times, 7 February) Its decadent, bankrupt and reactionary nature was exposed.
The watershed year was 1992, described in the Queen's inimitable way as her 'annus horribilis'. Few people had any idea what she was talking about. Her use of arcane language reinforced how far removed she is from the real world. Tabloid newspapers had a field day. But it had been a bad year. A fire at Windsor Castle provoked widespread anger when it was revealed that the property was not insured and that The Firm was about to present a repair bill for £40 million to Britain's taxpayers. There was a series of domestic faux pas: photos of a topless Duchess of York with businessman, John Bryan; Princess Anne divorcing and remarrying within six months; and the marriage between heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana was collapsing amid bitter mutual recriminations.
In search of rehabilitation, royals visited pubs and Glaswegian council houses. The royal yacht was decommissioned and the palace travel budget cut from £17.3 million in 1997 to £5.4 million in 2000. A fraction of the Queen's accounts was reluctantly declared and a very small amount of tax was paid, voluntarily.
Social attitudes had shifted significantly and the monarchy was struggling to keep up: "When she left her safari hotel after being told she was queen 50 years ago, journalists respectfully lined the road, but not one took a picture. In 1957 when the journalist John Grigg ventured to suggest her speaking style was a 'pain in the neck' he was assaulted in the street. Now deference is dead. Fergie is the Duchess of Pork, Edward is Prince Plonker and Andrew is pictured with topless models on holiday". (The Guardian, 2 February)
The media attention courted by the royals was undermining the institution's credibility. The low point was the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997 and the royal family's unfeeling reaction. Paradoxically, Princess Diana's death became the focus of anger against the monarchy. The question of its viability was posed starkly. Only the direct intervention of Tony Blair saved the day. His leading spin doctors were deployed to help rebuild the monarchy's crumbling reputation.
The Queen Mother's death exposed generational divisions in Britain. It was a non-event for the vast majority of young people, many of whom have rejected the corrupt establishment politics and institutions. More 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the Pop Idol television poll than in the general election and a Mori poll found that eight out of ten young people have no idea how parliament works. There is no common ground between the right-wing, all-white, privileged House of Windsor and a capital city which is now home to more than 300 language groups (Financial Times, 6 April). Of the 2,500 calls to the BBC on its coverage of the Queen Mother, those who wanted more or who were supportive were outnumbered ten to one.
On the other hand, the Queen Mother's televised 100th birthday celebration in London on 19 July 2000 was seen by seven million people in Britain - nearly half of all viewers that night. An estimated quarter of a million people filed passed her coffin in Westminster Hall and the funeral was watched by 300 million people worldwide. Simon Schama, a historian with the BBC, put forward the thoroughly reactionary view that the ceremony demonstrated the "entirely instinctive emotional bond" between crown and country. Schama is saying that the monarchy, and the class system it upholds, is the 'natural order'. But there is nothing instinctive about the relationship between the royal family and its subjects. It has been systematically cultivated and conditioned, the product of centuries of physical oppression and exploitation by the ruling class.
Plans for the Queen Mother's funeral were drawn up decades ago. Apparently, the original plan was for the biggest state funeral since Winston Churchill's to give the monarchy a shot in the arm. Princess Diana's death five years ago, and the incredible outpourings of emotion at the time, led to the plans being shelved. The monarchy feared organising a massive show with no one turning up. It would never live down being upstaged by the upstart Diana.
Nonetheless, in the ten days between the Queen Mother's death and her burial, a carefully orchestrated campaign was set in motion. For the first time ever, parliament was recalled to commemorate the death of a member of the royal family. It was not recalled during the miners' strike of 1984-85; or when 2,000 British troops were sent to Bosnia in 1992; when the RAF bombed Iraq in February 2001; or during the present crisis in the Middle East. This was despite calls from MPs to debate all these issues. The Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly were also convened. Clearly, a proportion of that audience was drawn by curiosity and tourists helped boost the crowds.
Dwindling support
SUPPORT FOR THE royal family is steadily declining, although it still commands respect from significant, though ageing, sections of the population. In 1990, 75% thought Britain would be worse off without a monarch. In 2000 it was 44%. And an ICM poll in April 2001 showed that 34% believed Britain would be better off without a monarchy. A Mori poll for the royal household found that only one in four people believed the family was hard-working. One in ten considered them good value for money.
Sympathy for the Queen Mother may feed into the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations, bolstering the lacklustre preparations to date and giving the impression of a new-found popularity. Any such effect is likely to be short-lived. The monarchy is an anachronism, totally out of step with life in the 21st century. The Queen Mother's death could, in fact, precipitate further crises as the Queen finds herself directly in the firing line, so to speak.
Anthony Holden, an author on constitutional and royal affairs, commented: "Not since the 1870s has there been such a whiff of republicanism in the air, and the passing of the Queen Mother will do nothing to dispel it. Quite the reverse. For half a century, since the early death of her husband, she has served as a cordon sanitaire around her increasingly dysfunctional family, disarming constitutional criticism as her adoring fans made the age-old mistake of confusing the institution of the monarchy with the transient mortals who happen to be its temporary custodians.
"This handy smokescreen used to be one of the Windsors' hidden strengths; now it may prove their fatal weakness. For most of the Queen Mother's lifetime, the constitutional arguments of abolitionists have all too easily been swatted aside as tasteless criticism of a harmless old lady and her dutiful daughter and grandson". (The Observer, 31 March)
The Queen's golden jubilee celebrations include tours to Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia, with a three-month tour of Britain. There will be classical and 'pop concerts' at Buckingham Palace, thanksgiving at St Paul's cathedral, a carnival in the Mall, beacons across the country and street parties. But The Firm is apprehensive about what these events might reveal about support for the monarchy.
As with the death of Princess Diana, Blair is doing all he can to prop up the royal edifice. His sycophantic speeches hide behind a mask of 'neutral, universal values' and evoke nationalism. Blair said that the Queen Mother "was part of the fabric of our nation and we were immensely proud of her. But respect for her went far beyond Britain. Throughout the Commonwealth and the world, she was greeted with instant affection and acclaim". (The Observer, 31 March) Blair's talk of 'the nation', in this context, is really code for the ruling class and capitalist system. In fact, the Queen Mother, the last Empress of India, was a bigoted reactionary, opposed to the break up of the British empire and an admirer of PW Botha, leader of South Africa's brutal apartheid regime. She implacably defended the interests of the rich against the working class but astutely never voiced her political opinions in public. Her only interview was conducted in 1923.
Royalists have every reason to be concerned. The constitutional crisis in prospect if Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles has set off alarm bells. The heir to the throne and head of the Church of England is a self-confessed adulterer living unmarried with another man's ex-wife. It might not sound such a big deal but this is what royal crises are made of. If the Queen and her advisers try to block the marriage, the House of Windsor could yet again demonstrate how out of step it is with the rest of society.
It is tempting, and relatively easy, to ridicule the pompous attitudes of the British monarchy. Its members betray a peculiar, other-worldly arrogance which suggests they really do believe that they are superior beings: "On one occasion when they [the Earl and Countess of Wessex] walked across St James's Park for lunch, they declared upon arrival that they had travelled by foot to 'give pleasure to the people'." (The Observer, 3 March)
Time for change
MANY PEOPLE WANT royalty scaled down: "Mori polls suggest that 70% of the British people prefer a monarchy to a republic although nearly the same proportion wants it modernised". (Financial Times, 7 February 2002) The 'continental model' is put forward, where the royal family would have a much reduced income and property, and a purely ceremonial role. This does not solve the problem. The House of Windsor is unique in the West for its constitutional role and vast wealth. One of its greatest assets to the capitalist system lies in its potential for rallying reaction. It is a weapon the ruling class keeps in reserve. But even the less extravagant royal families could become a focus for reaction to varying degrees.
With respect for establishment politicians and parties at an all-time low, and with massive social, economic and political upheaval on the horizon internationally, the capitalist ruling class will use any means at its disposal to maintain its power and privileges. Philip Stephens commented: "But at the start of her jubilee year, the Queen knows that the monarchy is weaker, measurably so, than it has been for a long time. The deference and the reverence have gone... the logical absurdity of choosing a head of state by accident of birth also becomes ever more apparent. But, for now at least, contempt for politicians outweighs the misgivings about the Windsors and the obvious flaws of a hereditary system". (Financial Times, 11 January)
The Windsors are a throwback to a far distant time and system. Many states making the transition from feudalism to capitalism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries drastically curtailed the privileges and power of their royalty. In Britain the monarchy reinvented itself and retained an unusually important position.
Reform of the British state is long overdue. The monarchy must be abolished, along with that other feudal bastion of privilege, the House of Lords. If, faced with an overwhelming tide of opposition to the monarchy and its trappings, the ruling class judged that this would help ensure the survival of capitalism, they could be reformed out of existence. The monarchy's potential for mobilising support for the system, however, makes it a useful weapon in future battles with a socialist movement and one it would prefer to retain in its arsenal.
Alternatively, the task of removing the monarchy will fall on the shoulders of the socialist revolution. Society would be able to look forward to a future based on human solidarity. The vast majority of working-class people would be involved in planning and running the economy. And there would be no room for this privileged and parasitical elite.
The cost of royalty
DETAILED FIGURES ARE unavailable, but the royal household cost Britain's taxpayers around £35 million in 2001, including £6.5 million for the Queen's expenses. The royal estate comprises 285 houses and apartments. The following information only provides the merest glimpse of the phenomenal wealth in the hands of The Firm. On top of the payments these spongers receive from the government - through us - they are all wealthy landowners raking in profits from agriculture (120,000 hectares), land and property rents, marine assets and all manner of scams. The crown estates made a profit of £147.7 million after tax in 2001.
Queen Elizabeth II has personal wealth estimated at £1.15 billion. The Duchy of Lancaster brings in millions more. Her stamp and medal collections are worth £102 million, her jewels £72 million. She has £7.1 million-worth of cars, and racehorses valued at £3.6 million. Her official residences of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse are supplemented by private properties at Balmoral, Sandringham and Frogmore. Buckingham Palace has 600 staff, Windsor Castle 1,000 rooms.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, gets £379,000 from the civil list.
Charles, the Prince of Wales, has personal wealth estimated at £346 million. He resides at St James's Palace and Highgrove, although he will move into the Queen Mother's old London residence at Clarence House. Workers in Britain will pick up the bill for refurbishment, estimated at £5 million. Clarence House costs £500,000 a year in upkeep. Charles is also the Duke of Cornwall and his land there earned him £7 million in 2000. He paid £1.5 million in tax.
Andrew, the Duke of York, has personal wealth estimated at £3.5 million. He gets £249,000 from the civil list and a Royal Navy pension of £16,500. His residences are at Sunnyhill Park, the Royal Lodge at Windsor and Buckingham Palace.
Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has a personal fortune estimated at £9 million. He lives in a £10 million, 56-room mansion, Bagshot Park, set in 88 acres of woodland. When he and the countess moved in the Ministry of Defence funded £1.8 million repairs. Bagshot costs around £250,000 a year to run. Edward gets £249,000 from the civil list and was given £250,000 when the couple agreed to stop pursuing their business careers.
Anne, the Princess Royal, gets £228,000 from the civil list. Her residences are at Gatcombe Park and St James's Palace.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have no royal duties. They lived rent-free for the first 18 years they spent in Kensington Palace, where they have the use of nine reception rooms, seven bedrooms and the palace staff. They have just started paying for this accommodation - £67 a week!
The Queen Mother's personal fortune was estimated at £60 million. Her civil list allowance was £643,000. She put £14 million in a trust fund for her great-grandchildren and left a £4 million overdraft with Coutts bank. If she had to pay inheritance tax the overdraft would have been discounted. As it is, however, no tax is due - part of the agreement reached with John Major's government in 1992/93. The one property she had owned herself, the Castle of Mey, was handed over to a trust in 1996. Her paintings and jewels are estimated to be worth £16.5 million.

Israeli Professor and Holocaust Researcher Daniel Blatman compares Israel's Political and Military elite to their Nazi equivalents

J'Accuse  - My Fiery Protest Is Simply the Cry of My Very Soul

J’Accuse was the title of the Open Letter by Émile Zola to the President of the French Republic, Félix Faure . It was written in support of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army.  

Dreyfus had been convicted in December 1894 of treason after having been framed by fellow officers. J'Accuse was published in L’Aurore on Jan. 13, 1898. The letter denounced the army for covering up the wrongful conviction of Dreyfus. It was instrumental in building the campaign to free Dreyfuss.  Zola was himself tried on Feb. 7, 1898, for defamation of a public authority, the Army, and was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 francs. As a result of all the attention Dreyfus underwent a new court-martial. Although still found guilty, he was pardoned by the President of the Republic. Not until 1906 was Dreyfus formally cleared of all wrongdoing. See

The following article is based on Emile Zola’s famous letter.  It is penned by Professor Daniel Blatman who is a Holocaust researcher and head of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  For background information on Professor Blatman, who is a Fellow of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum see.

Daniel Blatman’s letter is an accusation directed against the political and military echelons of Israel, their blatant disregard of the basic norms of a democratic society, their contempt for the most basic human rights of the Palestinians.  He openly compares the generals of the Israeli military to their equivalents in the German and Japanese armies:  Senior German and Japanese officers and commanders gave exactly the same reasons when they tried to explain the injustices in occupied Russia and the Philippines.’

Unlike the pathetic apologists for Israel’s war crimes in the West, who believe that any comparison with the Nazis is anti-Semitic, Professor Blatman has no such scruples.  Unlike the fools who agreed to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, Daniel Blatman know something about the atrocities of the Nazis as well as the atrocities and similarities of the mentality of Israel’s rulers with the Nazi state. See for example Professors Ofer Cassif & Daniel Blatman of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem Compare Israel to Nazi Germany
In Heading Toward an Israeli Apartheid State Blatman compared Germany’s Nuremburg Laws, South Africa’s Apartheid Laws and Israel’s tsunami of racist laws’ passed in recent months.

Tony Greenstein
Professor Offer Cassif

Just like Emile Zola, people of conscience are protesting against the leaders who have sent Israel’s politics and culture down to levels worthy of a fascist beer hall
  Apr 08, 2018 4:17 AM

The headline of this piece is taken from the open letter “J’accuse” by the novelist Emile Zola to France’s president on January 13, 1898. It’s about the injustice caused to Alfred Dreyfus, and about shattering France’s legacy of liberty, turning anti-Semitism into a force unifying the haters of equality. It’s about the lies and malice in the army and the corruption, distortion of truth, ignorance, violence and deceit. Zola protested all these things and accused those responsible. In Israel on the eve of our 70th Independence Day, we are also accusing.
Captain Alfred Dreyfus - Framed Jewish Officer

We are accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of selling his soul to the devil of incitement, fearmongering and racism. Circumstances gave him a chance to appear before the world as a leader who courageously says the right things: We will deal with the distress of tens of thousands of unfortunate human beings based on the values of justice and humanism.

Now, a few days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we remember the Jewish refugees who could find no safe haven to which to flee, we will put an end to this difficult humanitarian problem. My fellow citizens, a worthy leader would say, this is the way, it’s the right and proper way and there is no other. But Netanyahu, who is chiefly to blame for Israel’s current situation, chose to remain a pathetic and scared leader without moral backbone.
Emile Zola
We also accuse Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who defends an army that commits war crimes against civilians demonstrating against their poverty and distress while they are imprisoned between the sea to the west and fences, snipers’ rifles and tanks to the east. We accuse him of incitement against the country’s Arab citizens, corrupt politics and hooliganism, and of using the norms of a regime that no longer exists, which are poisoning the shaky Israeli democracy. We accuse him of encouraging incitement against elected officials – Jews and Arabs – who were legally elected to the Knesset and faithfully represent their constituencies.
We accuse the heads of the army and the security agencies of failing to protest against the political leadership and warn that after 50 years of occupation and oppression the Israel Defense Forces is losing the ability to distinguish between what is permissible and what is forbidden. The army’s spokespeople sometimes sound like the officers of armies whose leaders were accused of collaborating with the worst crimes of the 20th century. Senior German and Japanese officers and commanders gave exactly the same reasons when they tried to explain the injustices in occupied Russia and the Philippines.

There too, adhering to the mission, defending the homeland, strategic considerations, instructions from the high command and obeying orders served as excuses to justify firing at unarmed people, arrests in the dark of night and deadly collective punishment. And there too it began with 17 people murdered and ended with thousands.

We accuse Education Minister Naftali Bennett of brainwashing the next generation, of turning Israel into a country whose young people think democracy is a form of government that’s right only for Jews, preferably those who observe the appropriate religious ceremonies. He is guilty of emptying the school system of its universal messages and filling the minds of the country’s young people with inferior religious kitsch accompanied by messages with fascist content: the nation’s greatness and the value of sacrificing one’s life for it. He is guilty of nurturing martyrdom centering around the Holocaust and worshipping the rocks of Samaria, creating a philosophy composed of a sacred God, sacred soil and a sacred race.

We also accuse Culture Minister Miri Regev and Likud MKs David Amsalem, Miki Zohar, Nava Boker and their ilk – politicians whose vulgarity and hooliganism is second only to the depth of their ignorance. These are people who have turned the language of the marketplace into a language used in public discourse; people who proudly flaunt their ignorance (“I don’t read Chekhov”) as if they had won a prestigious prize for scientific research or a literary work; people who turn the elected official’s obligation to shun corruption into nothing more than a suggestion.

And despite the attempts to claim that this pathetic gang is the authentic representative of some (Mizrahi?) revolution, its members are guilty of the deterioration of Israel’s politics and culture into dark corners of the type that flourished in the beer halls where hatred, violence and racism reigned. Then it was the Jew, today it’s the liberal, the leftist, the Arab or any person who doesn’t agree with them.

We accuse Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, two people whose goal is to take apart the last defender of Israeli democracy – the Supreme Court. They’re two educated young people who are advancing bills (the nation-state bill, for example) and appointments in the judiciary based on a new Zionist ideology, National Zionism, that represents an antithesis both to the traditional Zionism of the 20th century and the post-Zionism of the century’s end. This Zionism is a branch of European neo-fascism, which contains elements of xenophobia and ultranationalism, subordinating democracy to other values and restricting individual rights and the freedom and independence of the law.

We accuse the preachers of hatred who bear the title “rabbi”: Eli Sadan, Dov Lior, Shmuel Eliyahu, Yigal Levinstein and many others, for turning Judaism into a religion that supports ethnic cleansing and genocide, xenophobia, the exclusion and hatred of women and the harming of gay people. The guilt of these men is great because they educate hundreds and thousands of young people, and their hate-filled preaching has many listeners who accept their words because they wear skullcaps and sport beards and are therefore thought to have special wisdom and knowledge.
They are the spiritual force behind the gangs of young people who harass the Palestinian and his olive grove in the territories, they are the ones who grant religious justification for the acts of violence and murder committed by the kippa-wearing thugs. They are the greenhouse that nurtures politicians such as MK Bezalel Smotrich, a racist, homophobe and preacher of genocide. Only in Israel (or in benighted countries in the previous century) could someone like him become deputy Knesset speaker.

History — or if it isn’t too late, the Israeli voter — will pass judgment on all of them, and others. Confronting them is a gradually shrinking group of dissidents who are stubbornly marching against the prevailing atmosphere. These are the civil society activists who by their protest are halting the expulsion of asylum seekers, the Holocaust survivors who are helping lead the protest against the deportation, the members of the New Israel Fund who continue to support whatever promotes the values of equality and democracy in Israel. These are the people who petition the High Court of Justice against the injustice perpetrated by the government, the activists of the Jewish-Arab partnership, and everyone who still believes it’s possible to stop the wheel before it crushes us all.

Emile Zola concluded his letter as follows: “As for the people I am accusing, I do not know them, I have never seen them, and I bear them neither ill will nor hatred. To me they are mere entities, agents of harm to society. The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.”      

Monday, 23 April 2018

Israel's Cold Blooded Murder of Unarmed Palestinian Demonstrators

This is what Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger and the Jewish Labour Movement Mean When They Talk About ‘Anti-Semitism’

If you want to know what the fake anti-Semitism campaign is about then this video should explain everything.  Last week we had the nauseating spectacle of a Tory sponsored debate on ‘anti-Semitism’ which gave the Labour Right – Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and John Mann – the opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn for not doing enough about ‘anti-Semitism’.

The real racism in Britain is not apparently about the deportation and refusal of medical treatment of the children of the Windrush, the effective removal of citizenship from Britain’s Black citizens, it is a handful of abusive tweets sent to Labour MPs who have defended Israel right or wrong.

We know that this is all about Israel and not about anti-Semitism because the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush has stated this as a fact.  When he  wrote  an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn recently he stated that:
“Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with antisemites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy,”

Arkush can't help himself mixing up anti-Zionist and anti-Semitism because for him they are the same.  That is why, when Corbyn went to a Passover seder with Jewdas, Arkush described  the latter group, a Jewish group, as a ‘source of virulent anti-Semitism’.  To Arkush and the Zionists, opposition to Israel’s murderous and racist behaviour is ‘anti-Semitic’ even when it comes from Jews. 

Arkush and the Board of Deputies had no problem in welcoming the election of Donald Trump and his anti-Semitic entourage of Bannon, Gorka et al. Anti-semitism from supporters of Israel is never a problem.

 This is despite the fact that, according to Dana Milbank in the Washington Post Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody. See Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad for an analysis.

Corbyn should give Arkush, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Labour Right a clear message – yes he opposes anti-Semitism and yes he also opposes those who use anti-Semitism as a weapon with which to attack the Left leadership of the Labour Party and Corbyn himself.
We need your support this Wednesday!

According to a report in the Skwawkbox, Wes Streeting MP, who recently verbally attacked Diane Abbott, is organising anti-Corbyn MPs, peers and others people to protest outside the Labour Party disciplinary hearing against veteran black anti-racism campaigner Marc Wadsworth this Wednesday, April 25.

Streeting claims that his “march” from Westminster Hall to Church House (which will also be attended by Labour First's Luke Akehurst) is in “support of Ruth Smeeth MP”, who will give evidence against Marc, as "there will be a protest against her".

Campaigners, including, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Grassroots Black Left, Jewish Voice for Labour and members of the Windrush generation, are not organising a protest against Smeeth but a lobby in support of Marc.  We demand that the false charges against him are dropped and that he is fully reinstated to Labour Party membership. What we are protesting about is the attempted frame-up of Marc. Labour bosses are demanding his expulsion from the party.
Jonathan Arkush of the Board of Deputies and the leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Isaac Herzog - the 'sister party' of the JLM - welcomed Trump to power
Streeting calls Marc “the guy who abused her [Ruth Smeeth] at the [Shami Chakrabarti] antisemitism inquiry launch”.

In fact the Chakrabarti report was about anti-semitism and all forms of racism, including the anti-black racism and Islamophobia, which have been ignored. What abuse is Wes Streeting talking about? Marc Wadsworth actually said at the report launch, after being goaded by Daily Telegraph political report Kate McCann:

“I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African, Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order, don’t we?”

Of course, anti-semitism exists in society, just like other forms of racism and prejudice and this is reflected in the Labour Party. But, just like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein and many other Labour members suspended and expelled by the party in the last two years, Marc is no anti-semite and nothing he did or said was even vaguely anti-semitic.

In truth, the right-wing in the Labour Party want to claim another scalp in their campaign to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

LAW will be showing their support to Marc and all those people unjustly suspended and expelled without due process. We demand the yet to be implemented Chakrabarti rules be applied to all cases, that have been referred to Labour’s draconian National Constitution Committee, including Marc’s.

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The 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Passed Unnoticed – It is not on the Zionist Calendar

Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Jews captured during the Warsaw ghetto being marched to a collecting point for deportation. (Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)
Last week was the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  You would have been forgiven for having missed it.  The anniversary of the founding of the Israeli state, which was also on 19th April this year, took precedence in the mass media and the Zionist press.  Given the choice between a tale of Jewish heroism against impossible odds, fighting fascism and racism or tales of heroic Israelis massacring Palestinian civilians and creating ¾ million Palestinian refugees, there was no choice.

Earlier in the year we had Holocaust Memorial Day, a saccharine event whose primary purpose is to depoliticise the Holocaust, the how and why it happened.  No uncomfortable comparisons between New Labour and Theresa May’s ‘climate of extreme hostility’ to immigrants and the failure to rescue Europe’s Jews.  No searing questions about how much of the Establishment and their rabid press supported Hitler up and until the invasion of Poland.  Even fewer questions about the role of the Zionist movement during the Holocaust.
Poland stands at attention for those slain (Photo: Reuters)

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was however commemorated in Poland.  There were the government's own commemorations led by the President Andrzej Duda but hundreds attended independent commemorations, refusing to attend those organised by a government which, earlier in the year, passed legislation making it a criminal offence to accuse Poles of having collaborated with the Nazi occupation (which many did).
 Israeli leaders stayed away because they preferred to celebrate the Palestinian Naqba (catastrophe) to attending the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto uprisings.
German soldiers direct artillery against a pocket of resistance during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Warsaw, Poland, April 19-May 16, 1943. — US Holocaust Memorial Museum
It is not hard to see why the Zionist movement and their court servants – the John Manns, Joan Ryans, Ruth Smeeths and Luciana Bergers, should have little to say about the Uprising.  For a start it was led by an anti-Zionist Jewish socialist party the Bund, [the wrong sort of Jews!] who had the loyalty of the overwhelming majority of Polish Jews.  Secondly fighting anti-Semitism has always been deprecated in Zionist circles (unless it is the type of ‘anti-Semitism’ that is anti-Zionism).  Zionism was established on the basis of not fighting anti-Semitism because anti-Semitism was inherent in the non-Jew, it was futile.  Antisemitism was deemed by the Zionist movement to be the product of Jewish ‘homelessness’.  In the words of the founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, who wrote this  at the time of the Dreyfuss Affair:
Theodor Herzl - founder of Political Zionism - tolerant of anti-semitism
Theodor Herzl
‘In Paris... I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti-Semitism.' [Diaries, p.6]

Poles laying flowers on the monument to the fallen heroes

The Warsaw Ghetto was ignored and forgotten by the Zionist leaders in Palestine. Zionist leader Yitzhak (Antek) Zuckerman asked why no-one left Geneva, Istanbul or Sweden, ‘if only to serve as a ‘gesture, a sign, a hand extended as a token of sharing our fate’?’ Only the Bund and the AK sent emissaries into the ghetto. Other movements in Europe sent their emissaries from one ghetto to the next  [Dinah Porat, p. 228, The Blue and Yellow Stars of David]. To the Zionist movement in Palestine, the fate of the Warsaw Ghetto was irrelevant.  Their sole objective was achieving a Jewish state. The young Zionists who fought first had to rebel against their own Zionist parties. Zionism was irrelevant. Marek Edelman, the last Commander of the Uprising and a member of the Bund describes how:
‘We joined hands with all Jewish Zionist underground organizations. Our comrades lived and worked with the others just as members of a close family. A mutual aim united us. During this entire period of over half a year, there were no quarrels or struggles, which are common among adherents of different ideologies. All overworked themselves in organising the mutual defence of our dignity.’[Edelman, The Ghetto Fights, pp. 110-111. Citing Second report of the Jewish workers underground movement, 15.11.43].

Jews that were captured during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, about to be searched for weapons before being moved to Treblinka. (Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)

Marek Edelman described how ‘the cornered partisans defended themselves bitterly and succeeded, by truly superhuman efforts, in repulsing the attacks’ as well as capturing two German machine guns and burning a tank. [Edelman, p.76].
The role of the Bund and Edelman in the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt has been airbrushed out of history by Zionist holocaust historians. The Revolt has become another Zionist foundational myth. [The last Bundist, Moshe Arens,] Today Zionism uses the Revolt for propaganda purposes, suggesting that the Resistance was solely composed of young Zionist fighters.
There was another reason for Zionist hostility to Edelman. Edelman had written an open letter to the Palestinians asking them to stop the bloodshed and enter into peace negotiations. The letter caused outrage in Israel because Edelman did not mention the word “terrorism.” Israeli leaders were particularly incensed by its title: Letter to Palestinian partisans’.
Ha'aretz, 9.8.02.
Smoke from the Treblinka uprising, as seen from a railroad worker. (Credit: UtCon Collection/Alamy)
Mr Edelman … wrote in a spirit of solidarity from a fellow resistance fighter, as a former leader of a Jewish uprising not dissimilar in desperation to the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories. He addressed his letter to “commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations. This set up a howl of rage in the Zionist press, who reminded their readers that Mr Edelman, despite his heroism in the 1940s, is a former supporter of the anti-Zionist socialist Bund, and can therefore not be trusted.’ [Palestine's partisans, Paul Foot, Guardian, Wednesday August 21, 2002,]

What was particularly irksome was that Edelman had consciously compared the structures of the resistance movement in Warsaw to that of the Palestinians.’  [The Last Bundist].

When Edelman died, the President of Poland attended his funeral in Warsaw on 9th October 2009 and there was a fifteen-gun salute. Because of his support for the Palestinians, not even the lowliest clerk in the Israeli Embassy attended. [Zionism Boycotts the Funeral of Marek Edelman, 15.10.09.] Moshe Arens, the former Likud Foreign Minister, interviewed Edelman as part of his research into the history of the Revisionist National Military Army ZZW, which fought separately in Warsaw: ‘I knew his views on Israeli politics, and did not discuss the situation in the Middle East, but as we parted I said “You must make peace with the Arabs.” Edelman received Poland's highest honor, and the French Legion of Honor medal but ‘he died not having received the recognition from Israel that he so richly deserved.’  
see also

The Revisionist Zionists made up the leadership and ranks of the Jewish police and the leadership of ZOB had contempt for them. The ZZW obtained their arms via their Polish fascist friends. Stiff resistance to the Nazi invasion of the Ghetto came from the Revisionists, who were based at 7-9 Muranowska Square and the corner of Muranowska and Nalewki streets. For two days the Polish and Jewish Star of David flags flew, visible to thousands of Poles on the Aryan side.  [S Beit Zvi, p.353, Post-Ugandan Zionism on Trial, A Study of the Factors That Caused the Mistakes Made by the Zionist Movement During the Holocaust, 1991, Zahala, Tel Aviv]

Some five to six thousand Jews are estimated to have escaped from the ghetto to the ‘Aryan’ side of Warsaw and to have remained hidden till the end of 1943.  In Palestine there was panic that the revolts ‘would ultimately deprive the Yishuv of the cream of Europe’s potential pioneering force.’ Melech Neustadt wanted the youth movements in Palestine to instruct their comrades ‘to abandon their communities, save themselves, and thereby stop the armed uprisings.’ The Zionist youth in Europe, such as Antek Zuckerman and Zivia Lubetkin refused on principle to leave. Hayka Klinger, who arrived in Palestine in March 1944, told the Histadrut Executive that ‘we received an order not to organize any more defence.’ [i] The Zionist leadership sought to extricate the leaders of the ghetto fighters as they were more valuable in Palestine than in leading the resistance in the ghettos. Klinger told Histadrut that ‘Without a people, a people’s avant-garde is of no value. If rescue it is, then the entire people must be rescued. If it is to be annihilation, then the avante-garde too shall be annihilated.’ [Zertal, The Politics of Nationhood, p.33

The Zionist leaders saw the subsequent risings in other ghettos as ‘a kind of betrayal of the overriding principle of the homeland.’ [Zertal, p.44] Yet despite this Ben Gurion later claimed that the heroism of the ghetto fighters owed its inspiration to the Zionist fight in Palestine. The ghetto fighters were ‘retrospectively conscripted’ into the Zionist terror groups. ‘We fought here and they fought there’ according to Palmach commander Yitzhak Sadeh.[Zertal, pp. 25-26]. The resistance of the Jewish ghetto fighters became intertwined with the heroic myth of the Zionist fight for Palestine.  See The anti-Zionist Bund led the Jewish Resistance in Poland whilst the Zionist Movement abandoned the Jews

The article below contains a number of mistakes and is slanted towards a Zionist version of events.  Nonetheless it is an interesting description of the events of 75 years ago.  I also recommend you read Marek Edelman's account of the Ghetto Uprising, The Ghetto Fights.
Tony Greenstein
On this day in 1943, a band of Jewish resistance fighters launched an armed insurrection against the Nazis. They were proud socialists and internationalists.
Jewish resistance fighters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. WWII War Crimes Records

On the eve of Passover 1943 — the nineteenth of April — a group of several hundred poorly armed young Jews began the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, one of the first insurrections against Nazism.
For a small group of fighters, realizing — in the lyrical words of one militant — that “dying with arms is more beautiful than without,” an isolated group of Jewish militants resisted for twenty-nine days against a much larger foe, motivated by a desire to kill as many fascists as they could before they themselves were killed. The uprising, etched into the collective memory of postwar Jewry, remains emotive and emboldening.

That their heroism was a crucial part of the war is disputed by nobody today. But less known is the extent to which the uprising, far from being a spontaneous one of the masses, was the product of planning and preparation from a relatively small — incredibly young — group of Jewish radicals.

The Ghetto
Within a few weeks of the Nazi consolidation of Poland, Governor Hans Frank ordered four hundred thousand Warsaw Jews to enter a ghetto. By November 1940, around five hundred thousand Jews from across Poland had been sealed behind its walls, severed from the outside world and plunged into social isolation. Surrounded by a ten-foot-high barrier, the creation of the ghetto meant the relocation of approximately 30 percent of Warsaw’s population into 2.6 percent of the city, the designated area being no more than two and a half miles long and having previously housed fewer than 160,000 people.

In the ghetto, Jews were forced to live in chronic hunger and poverty. Many families inhabited single rooms, and the dire lack of food meant that roughly one hundred thousand people survived on no more than a single bowl of soup per day. The sanitation system collapsed, and disease became rampant. By March 1942 onwards, five thousand people died each month from disease and malnutrition.

The situation was dire — and yet, the initial response of the Jewish community leadership was one of inaction. Following the creation of the Judenrat (Jewish Council) — a collaborationist organization established with Nazi approval to allow easier implementation of anti-Jewish policies — some inhabitants fell into a false sense of security. An attitude permeated the ghetto, proffered through the lens of Jewish history, that Nazism was just another form of persecution that the Jewish people must suffer and outlast.

Others — such as the Hashomer Hatzair militant Shmuel Braslaw — began to recognize a jealous respect for the Germans among the ghetto’s residents. “Our young people learn to doff their caps when encountering Germans,” wrote Braslaw in an internal document, “smiling smiles of servitude and obedience . . . but deep in their hearts burns a dream: to be like [the Germans] — handsome, strong and self-confident. To be able to kick, beat and insult, unpunished. To despise others, as the Germans despise Jews today.”

Against this demoralization, circles of defiance could be found in the self-organization of the left-wing of the Jewish community. Communists, Socialist-Zionists of varying descriptions, and social democrats organized themselves into sections in the ghetto, aiming to transform the misery into meaningful political organization. All parties — the Bund, a social-democratic mass organization that had enjoyed huge pre-war popularity; the Marxist-Zionist youth group Hashomer Hatzair; the left-wing Zionist party Left Poale Zion; and the Communist Party dedicated themselves to this strategy, organizing cells that sought to revive collectivist attitudes among an emotionally crippled and disaffected Jewish youth.

In dark times, the cell structures of youth organizations provided a social and psychological anchor against hunger and depression. “The day I was able to re-establish contact with my group,” wrote the Young Communist militant

Dora Goldkorn, “was one of the happiest days in my hard, tragic ghetto life.” In the project to develop a resistance leadership among the youth, keeping spirits high was crucial; acts of friendship such as the sharing of food were as important as distributing anti-Nazi literature.
By 1942, the various youth organizations felt confident enough to consider the formation of an “Anti-Fascist Bloc.” On the insistence of the Communists, a manifesto was drafted that sought to unite the Jewish left in the Warsaw Ghetto, with the hope of generalizing this political unity across other ghettos.

Calling for a “national front” against the occupation, for the unity of all progressive forces on the basis of common demands and for armed antifascism, the manifesto echoed the pre-war Popular Fronts in its organizational methodology.

The Left Poale Zion enthusiastically joined, as did the Hashomer Hatzair — who re-emphasized their fidelity to the Soviet Union, despite the Kremlin’s opposition to Zionism. The Bund, however, were less reliable, due to their historic anticommunism and rejection of specifically Jewish armed action; a party that resolutely stated Poland was the home for Polish Jews, many Bundists refused avenues other than Polish-Jewish unity of action.

The paper of the Anti-Fascist Bloc, Der Ruf, reached publication twice. Its contents overwhelmingly focused on applauding Soviet resistance and urging the ghetto inhabitants to hold out for imminent liberation at the hands of the Red Army.

The bloc’s fighting squads contained militants belonging to all varieties of labor movement groups, but the lynchpin of the organization was Pinkus Kartin. A stalwart of communism in prewar Poland and a veteran of the International Brigades to Spain, Kartin was a leader both politically and militarily. To the historian Israel Gutman, who himself was active with Hashomer Hatzair in his youth, Kartin “undoubtedly impressed” the underground’s young and inexperienced cadre.

It was the arrest and murder of Kartin in June 1943 that signaled the end for the Anti-Fascist Bloc. His arrest triggered an intense repression against the prominent Young Communists, who saw their numbers decimated and were driven into hiding. It is for this reason that when the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) was founded several months later, the Communists were absent at first — although their political line was upheld and applied by those such as Abraham Fiszelson, a Left Poale Zion leader who had been Kartin’s right-hand man and had befriended him in Spain.

During this period, figures from the right-wing of the Jewish community formed a rival group, the Jewish Military Union (ZZW). Led by the right-wing Zionist group Betar and funded by high society, the ZZW relied upon ex-army officers who could fight orthodox warfare with the Nazis using regular army discipline — unlike the ZOB, which considered itself the armed expression of the Jewish workers’ movement. Furthermore, the ZZW’s connections to Polish nationalists, the antisemitic Polish government-in-exile and the right-wing Revisionist-Zionist movement provoked suspicion among the ZOB leadership.

By contrast, in the eyes of Israel Gutman, the typical ZOB volunteers were “young men in their twenties, Zionists, Communists, socialists — idealists with no battle experience, no military training.” While the propaganda of the ZZW was staunchly nationalistic, the ZOB’s propaganda and literature encouraged antiracist internationalism, offered intellectual positions on the world situation, and debated the labor movement.

Despite the darkness of their times, members of the ZOB belonged to a political tradition that desired a better world, and sought to create it through their struggle.
 The Resistance
The ZOB set as its aim an anti-Nazi insurrection. However, it recognized that paramount to achieving this was the strengthening of the organization’s position in the wider community — it was decided that it had to involve the intimidation and execution of Jewish collaborators with the occupiers.
For ZOB militants, collaborators represented an auxiliary wing of fascism that was instrumental in facilitating the deportation of Polish Jewry. To demonstrate that this stance would not be accepted in the ghetto, ZOB militants chose to execute Jewish policeman Jacob Lejkin. For his “dedication” in deporting Jews to Auschwitz, Lejkin was shot, and his example triggered widespread panic in the collaborating establishment. This was followed by the execution of Alfred Nossig in February 1943. Józef Szeryński, the former head of the ghetto police, committed suicide to avoid his own fate.
These acts ensured ZOB’s centrality in the resistance movement, and also encouraged resistance from beyond their ranks. They aimed to prove that challenging collaboration was both possible and a moral duty — and within a short period of time had won many ghetto inhabitants to this position.
As the months progressed, the specter of death became ever-present. Between June and September 1942, three hundred thousand Jews had been deported or murdered, a destruction of the Polish Jewish community. In these desperate circumstances, people lost everyone and many young people began to dispense with anxieties about protecting their families and commit instead to militant political activity. Simply put, the more Jews were murdered in the ghettos, the less personal obligations were felt by survivors, and the more the feeling of responsibility for causing further anguish from Nazi reprisals receded.
Contempt was shown for the self-determined martyrdom of Adam Czerniakow, the Judenrat leader who committed suicide in July 1942. For young Jewish socialists such as the prominent Bundist Marek Edelman, Czerniakow had “made his death his own private business,” a symbol of privilege in contrast to Edelman and his working-class comrades awaiting their turn on the deportation lists. For them, he said, the overwhelming sentiment in these times was that political leadership necessitated that “one should die with a bang.”
The Uprising
In many senses, the hopes of the Left in calling for a common struggle against Nazi barbarity had outlived its constituency: the Jewish community was in the process of being exterminated. What now mattered was the initiative young leftists took upon themselves — and the majority favored an uprising.
On the morning of Monday, January 18, six months after the first mass deportations of Warsaw Jews (which reduced the number of ghetto inhabitants from four hundred thousand to approximately seventy to eighty thousand), ZOB militants emerged from the crowds of deportees to attack German soldiers, killing several. A series of attacks followed over four days, where militants infiltrated lines of slave laborers marching towards the Umschlagplatz [Deportation of Jews], stepped out of rank at a given signal, and assassinated their German guards. Though scores of ZOB fighters fell, the confusion created by the fighting allowed some to flee — and demonstrated to others that Nazi bodies could also fall in the ghetto.
By April 1943, there was a general awareness that the ghetto was to be entirely liquidated. A general armed revolt was scheduled to happen at the next Nazi provocation. On April 19, five thousand soldiers led by SS general Jürgen Stroop entered the ghetto to remove the final inhabitants; in response, approximately 220 ZOB volunteers began their attack, located in ersatz positions in cellars, apartments, and rooftops, each armed with a single pistol and several Molotov cocktails.
The revolt caused chaos, catching the Nazis off guard and killing many Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. In response, the humiliated German army, suffering losses at the hands of prisoners they thought long defeated, initiated a policy of systematically burning out the fighters. To paraphrase one ZOB militant, it was the flames — not the fascists — whom the fighters lost out to. Vicious hand-to-hand combat raged for days, and by late April coordinated warfare by the ZOB collapsed, the conflict now largely consisting of the Germans burning small groups of armed Jews out of bunker hideouts created to evade capture.
According to accounts, both the red flag and the blue-and-white flag of the Zionist movement were raised over ZOB-seized buildings. The youngest fighter killed had been a Bundist activist aged thirteen. Though clearly inexperienced as a fighting force, an anonymously authored Bund internal document that reached London in June 1943 stressed the “exemplary” political unity and “fraternity” between leftist groups in combat. The unswerving dedication to which the young fighters of the ZOB clung to their dreams of socialism was exemplified most movingly in a May Day rally held amid the ghetto’s ruins.
Participating in the rally, Marek Edelman reflected that
The entire world, we knew, was celebrating May Day on that day and everywhere forceful, meaningful words were being spoken. But never yet had the Internationale been sung in conditions so different, so tragic, in a place where an entire nation had been and was still perishing. The words and the song echoed from the charred ruins and were, at that particular time, an indication that socialist youth [were] still fighting in the ghetto, and that even in the face of death they were not abandoning their ideals.
Leading militants of the ZOB committed mass suicide on May 8, surrounded by the German army at their base on Mila 18. By mid-May, the ghetto had been razed, and the Great Synagogue of Warsaw personally blown up by General Stroop on May 16 to celebrate the end of Jewish resistance. A mere forty ZOB combatants had escaped onto the “Aryan” side of Warsaw, where scores more fell before war’s end in the subsequent city-wide uprising of 1944.
 The Lesson
In our times, war criminal George W. Bush can pay comfortable tribute to the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. So can fellow humanitarians David Cameron and Barack Obama, who both offered speeches dripping with moralism about the heroism of the revolt. Their platitudes are the product of the historical reduction of the event over time — something which is likely to increase as more witnesses to the Holocaust leave us, often with unrecorded testimony.
More dangerous still are active attempts to erase the politics that produced such heroic resistance. Just this week, the University of Vilnius in Lithuania announced that it would honor Jewish students murdered in the Holocaust — as long as they had not participated in left-wing political activity or anti-Nazi militancy.
Against this attack on history, the Left’s task is to defend the fighters of the ZOB from the condescension of official patronage or the dark possibilities of state demonization. We can only do this by restating what so many of these people were — young militants, committed to left-wing ideals, brimming with enthusiasm for a better world, pushed to oblivion alongside their community.
Jews by birth and communal affiliation, they also engaged in the struggle as internationalists, a determined part of a worldwide struggle against fascism and capitalism. As weakened as they were, their attitude — that to submit meant death, that resistance even in the face of impossible odds was a moral imperative — inspired imprisoned Spanish Republicans, French communist peasants, their fellow Poles watching from behind the ghetto walls, and their fellow Jews languishing in the concentration camps.
Their story is a reminder of the Holocaust’s brutality and hopelessness, but also a shining example of those who in the worst of circumstances — in the words of the partisan poet Hirsh Glik — could never say that they have reached the final road.