I remember a version of that viral email well from January-it did not originate with Robinson, but traveled around the net during the height of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. While inflammatory, and not something I would forward myself, the strikingly parallel images were enough to give anyone pause. I also remember telling my father at the time that the emails I was getting from a friend in Gaza during the bombing were nauseatingly reminiscent of the letters I keep from my great grandmother sent from inside the Warsaw Ghetto. I said I had no idea if my friend would be alive the next day. Even my 82-year-old father, who is mentioned in one of those letters signed “mama”, acknowledged with a sigh, “I see what you mean.”
I recently finished reading the book, “Who will write our history? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes archives.” While the Warsaw Ghetto, with 400,000 packed into a tiny little area at one point, ended with the murder of all of its inhabitants in extermination camps-including members of my own family- the nearly 1.5 million people packed into a walled-off Gaza will never face such an unspeakable fate.
Nonetheless, it is impossible to read about day to day life in the Warsaw Ghetto and not be haunted by Gaza- people forcibly crowded into a small space and unable to leave; rampant health problems and slow starvation/malnourishment; a massive black market for goods and food; rampant corruption and collaboration; routine dehumanization by the occupying army; the desperate sense that if only the world knew they would come and save them. For any Jew who is aware of what’s happening in Gaza, this or any book about the Ghetto makes for very, very, very hard reading. It forces one to pause in self-reflection about how the unspeakable horror of what was done to us changed us, at least some of us, and became a kind of sickness. Read more.
– I would go out tonight
11 months ago