October 06, 2009

Moshe Arens et al on Marek Edelman

As is now well known, Marek Edelman, a Bundist and co-founder of the Jewish Battle Organisation, died a few days ago. I was surprised to see a respectful obituary of the man by Moshe Arens in Ha'aretz:
Many of the survivors of the uprising who settled in Israel could not forgive Edelman for his frequent criticism of Israel. When on my return from Warsaw I tried to convince a number of Israeli universities to award Edelman an honorary doctorate in recognition of his role in the Warsaw ghetto uprising, I ran into stubborn opposition led by Holocaust historians in Israel. 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.
But then why sully the memory of such a courageous and principled man? I'm guessing Israel will get round to "honouring" him just as soon as people forget that he was a bundist, not a zionist.

Not surprising are the obituaries from Jewish Socialist Group's David Rosenberg and Charlie Pottins both of which are well worth a read.


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