"Not everyone who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising saw a Jewish state as the ultimate goal."
In her contributor op-ed piece, Ms. Shore, an associate professor of history at Yale University, writes of Marek Edelman, a commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising who remained in Poland after World War II :
"The Jews who found themselves sealed within the ghetto, like the millions of other Jews living in Eastern Europe, were deeply divided — by language and religiosity and class, by national identification and political ideology. Inside the ghetto were Polish speakers and Yiddish speakers; Orthodox, Hasidic, secular Jews; assimilated Jews and nationalists. The Zionists ranged from radical right to radical left. And most politicized Jews were not Zionists; some were Polish socialists, some Communists, some members of the secular socialist Bund. A debate raged between Zionists and the Bund over the issue of 'hereness' versus 'thereness' — and the Bund believed firmly that the future of the Jews was here, in Poland, alongside their non-Jewish neighbors.
. . . .
Edelman, who had survived by escaping through the sewers, was the last living commander of the uprising. After the war, in Communist Poland, he became a cardiologist: 'to outwit God,' as he once said. In the 1970s and ’80s he re-emerged in the public sphere as an activist in the anti-Communist opposition, working with the Committee for the Defense of Workers and the Solidarity movement. He died in 2009, and to this day, he is celebrated as a hero in Poland.
He is remembered with more ambivalence in Israel. 'Israel has a problem with Jews like Edelman,' the Israeli author Etgar Keret told a Polish newspaper in 2009. 'He didn’t want to live here. And he never said that he fought in the ghetto so that the state of Israel would come into being.' Not even Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense minister and an admirer of Edelman, could persuade an Israeli university to grant the uprising hero an honorary degree."
And yet, on Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, less than two weeks ago, Israeli television broadcast the movie "Defiance" concerning the Bielski partisans, a group led by three Jewish brothers who saved Jews and fought the Nazis in Belarus during the Second World War. Both Tuvia Bielski, the commander of this partisan unit, and his brother Zus Bielski, made their homes in New York after the war. They are heroes in Israel, notwithstanding the fact that they did not make "aliyah," i.e. immigrate to Israel.
I have no beef with Ms. Shore's piece. She is entitled to her opinion. But I can assure her that Edelman's decision to remain in a Communist, anti-Semitic Poland after the war (42 Jews died in the Kielce pogrom in 1946) is now a non-issue in Israel. Israel is too concerned with existential threats emanating from Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah, which has 60,000 rockets and missiles pointed south, and the crumbling Assad regime in Syria, which still controls one of world's largest arsenals of chemical weapons.
Jews may soon be fighting again for survival.
On the other hand, what does the Gray Lady mean when it writes "Not everyone who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising saw a Jewish state as the ultimate goal"? Is The Times hinting that notwithstanding a rising level of global anti-Semitism, there is today no need for a Jewish state?
Given the rising level of anti-Semitism that has slithered its way into The Times in recent years, I think there is reason for concern regarding the ulterior motives of this newspaper, which disregards its own ethical guidelines as regards Israel (see, for example: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/sodom-and-gomorrah-plagiarism-and.html).