Partial kudos to the Forward editorial board in linking the remembrance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to current political issues that must be addressed.
April 19, 1943, marked the eve where hundreds of young Jewish fighters took up arms in the first **publicly recognized** major act of armed civilian resistance against the Nazis, who invaded and occupied Poland in 1939. **Editorial note as resistance to the Nazi regime was always happening. It is a continually perpetuated myth that we were not fighting back in other realms and other ways.
I say partial because the link is focused predominantly on Darfur. If we’re going to link it, lets link it–link it to the struggles people face everyday not only in Darfur, but also locally in our own cities and towns. Link it in the Bundist tradition of doykayt (“hereness”)-the idea that Jews, in coalition with others, should focus their struggle for universal justice and equality in the place where we live. Link it to political prisoners, to mass incarceration, to the elimination of section 8 housing–link it to rape and sexual abuse–link it to the “war on drugs” and “terrorism”–rise up–yes rise up in resistance. Yes, but truly link it.
If we link it, then link it–link it to the Congo, Iraq, the Philipines–to Hawaii, Puerto Rico–to the embargo on Cuba–link it to the Israeli occupation and Palestine. yes, I said it. link it to Palestine.
Let us truly remember and honor our ancestors spirits and link it.
“I have concluded that one way to pay tribute to those we loved who struggled, resisted and died is to hold on to their vision and their fierce outrage at the destruction of the ordinary life of their people. It is this outrage we need to keep alive in our daily life and apply to all situations, whether they involve Jews or non-Jews. It is this outrage we must use to fuel our actions and vision whenever we see any signs of the disruptions of common life: the hysteria of a mother grieving for the teenager who has been shot, a family stunned in front of a vandalized or demolished home; a family separated, displaced; arbitrary and unjust laws that demand the closing or opening of shops and schools; humiliation of a people whose culture is alien and deemed inferior; a people left homeless without citizenship; a people living under military rule. Because of our experience, we recognize these evils as obstacles to peace. At those moments of recognition, we remember the past, feel the outrage that inspired Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto and allow it to guide us in present struggles.” –Irena Klepfisz From Love and Justice in times of War Haggadah