July 03, 2010

The Warsaw Ghetto re-liberated

Gaza Freedom Graffiti in the Warsaw Ghetto

...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’.

www.kampania-palestyna.pl

www.bdsmovement.net

This is awesome action that underscores the role of memory and myth, and brings home the words of Walter Benjamin:

To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious. (Theses of History VI)

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