Thursday, June 05, 2008

Raised voices and proud pedigrees

L'AFFICHE ROUGE - infamous poster denouncing the Manouchian group of resisters (see notes below) as foreigners and criminals.
The Zionist settler Right must make do with its hate lists of Jewish left-wingers and anti-Zionists.

LAST weekend I was at the Jewish Socialists' Group conference, discussing among other things the gains made by the Right in British politics, the Israeli security ban on Professor Norman Finkelstein, the alliance between Zionist lobbyists and right-wing Chistian fundamentalists, and the "arrogant interference of both Israeli and American-based organisations in Jewish communities' affairs".

On the positive side we welcomed the rise both here and in other countries, including the USA, of "independent Jewish associations raising their voices for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine". On the Saturday evening we had a guest speaker, Brian Klug, one of the founders of Independent Jewish Voices, which has gathered some of the best-known Jewishartists,writers and academics, no longer prepared to be ornaments for the establishment and keep quiet about what Israel is doing. His talk was entitled "Next year in Hackney - Reclaiming our futures".

In the past week I've had e-mails from Jewish Voice for Peace, in the United States, which is calling on the lobbyists of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC) to dissociate themselves from protestant pastor John Hagee, who says Hitler was sent by God to make Jews go to Israel. Republican presidential hopeful Senator McCain has renounced Pastor Hagee's support; but the pastor, who heads Christians United for Israel gave the keynote speech at AIPAC's conference, and unlike Norman Finkelstein, had no trouble visiting Israel, where his "no compromise" message was welcomed by right-wing politicians.

I've also received an e-mailed newsletter from the Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix(UJFP), part of European Jews for Just Peace, which is working with the Association des Travailleurs Maghrebins de France, representing North African workers, and the Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique(UPJB) to host a series of meetings with Suhad Bishara, of the civil rights group Adalah, campaigning for equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Suhad Bishara, who takes a special interest in women's rights, will be speaking at the Assemblee Nationale in Paris next Wednesday evening, and on Thursday in Brussels, going on to meetings in Lyons and Marseilles.

What sort of people are active in UJFP and organisations like it? The ones I've met come from varied backgrounds and across generations. But there are none of the "self-haters" , Holocaust deniers or people having problems with their parents that the Zionist hacks (the kind who lick Pastor Hagee's tochas ) would have us believe. This item from the UJFP newsletter, to which I've added a few notes, makes that clear.

Our Own

This Spring, we also commemorated the 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto rising. Five militants of the UJFP dedicated a tet of homage to the fighters of the ghetto. They wrote:

"Sixty five years after the Warsaw ghetto uprising we pay tribute to all those modest heros and heroines who pitted their lives in a battle against the army that controlled nearly all Europe. .
" Faced with oppression there is always resistance: against Nazism in France, in Vilnius, in Germany even and, in later years, in Egypt and in Algeria against the colonial power, as well as in South Africa against Apartheid. It is the same today: the masks change but it is always the same struggle. We, daughters and sons of resisters against Nazism, affirm our support for Palestinian resistance, because the Zionist power in Israel, usurped our collective name (Jews), claiming to be acting on our behalf, to follow a policy of ferocious colonial repression and apartheid.
The homage to our parents, martyrs or survivors, has been as one with homage to the resistance of the Palestinian people whose basic rights, human and national, were mocked, day after day for 60 years ".

As UJFP notes, what speaks as eloquently as the words in this short message are the names of the signatories, and the "CV" of their parents. This tells you something about where their commitment comes from.

Liliane Cordova Kaczerginski, daughter of Schmerke Kaczerginski who took part in the creation of the F.P.O., Fareinigte Partizaner Organizatie (United Partisan Organisation) in the ghetto of Vilnius in 1941. After his escape from the ghetto through the sewers, he fought in the ranks of the Lithuanian guerrillas in Bielorussia under Soviet command; took part in blowing up 50 Nazi military trains. Died in Argentina.

Sonia Fayman, daughter of Lucien David Fayman, member of the Sixth, resistance network of the Eclaireurs Israélites of France(Jewish scouts), hiding children, and of the Buckmaster network (parachuting of weapons and attacks against the Nazi occupiers), arrested by Gestapo in Toulouse, tortured, imprisoned at Fresnes then in Compiegne. Deported to Buchenwald, Dora,, Hartzungen until the liberation. Devoted his retirement to decorating the good people who hid children, at the risk of their lives. Died in 2007.

Patrick Feldstein, son of Mordechaï Feldstein born in Paris in 1927, died in 1993 and grandson of Pinkus Feldstein known in the network under the name of Louis Lefèvre, born in Ploeisti in 1895 in Romania, died in 1971, both of them resistants at Lyons in the network FTP-M.O.I Carmagnole and later in the UJRE in 1943. Pinkus Feldstein, veteran of the Fraenkel battalion of the Dombrowski brigade until 1937, during the war in Spain. Both refused all medals and honors which France proposed to them.

Josiane Olff-Nathan, Martine Olff-Sommer and Perrine Olff-Rastegar, daughters of Raymond Olff, combatant of French resistance F.T.P. (Franc-tireur et Partisans) during the Second World War.

Pierre Stambul, son of Jacov Stambul (Bessarabien), member of M.O.I and the Manouchian group ("triangle " of Boczor). Arrested in November 1943. Tortured by the French police force (show of execution). Deported to Buchenwald, released in May 1945. Died in 1989. And son of Dvoira Vainberg (Bessarabienne), member of M.O.I in Paris, deceased in 1997.


Buckmaster, Colonel Maurice - head of British Special Operations Executive(SOE) activity in France, assisting resistance, spying and sabotage.

Dombrowski Brigade - the thirteenth International Brigade, Polish, with large proportion of Jewish volunteers.

FPO - Jewish partisans in the Vilna ghetto. (Vilnius is the modern name for the Lithuanian capital). Hirsh Glik, author of the Partisaner Lied, was from Vilna.
The FPO included communists, left-zionists and Bundists. But the head of the ghetto police who collaborated with the Germans was Jacob Gens, a Revisionist Zionist (forerunner of the right-wing Likud).

FTP - Francs-Tireurs et Partisans - French resistance network led by the Communists.

Manouchian, Missik - Armenian communist whose resistance group, comprising mostly immigrant Jews and Armenians, struck some of the first blows against the occupation, and aroused particular hatred from both Nazis and Vichyites. A notorious poster, l'affiche rouge, identified wanted members of the Manouchian group, and 23 of them were executed in prison.

MOI -Mains d'Ouevre Immigre - Immigrant workers organisation close to the French Communist Party, with sections for immigrants from different nationalities and language

The Sixth - section of Jewish scouts and guides in France who went underground to help rescue, defence and resistance activity.

UJRE -Union des Juifs pour la resistance et I'entraide (UJRE), Union of Jews for Resistance and Mutual Aid.

French organisations's website:

US Jewish Voice for Peace:

Independent Jewish Voices(UK):

Jewish Socialists' Group

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