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The South is very much alive

May 29, 2009

‘I remember during the Gaza slaughter that some tried to stop commentators from comparing Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto. Now I am here and I find the analogy helpful. In the Warsaw ghetto, and in slavery in the south, or in Jim Crow 100 years later–in any of these historical episodes of persecution that had a racist component–it wasn’t as if the victimized people laid down and died. No, the blacks of the south created a rich culture on whatever terms were afforded to them. And the books my mother gave me of the Warsaw ghetto conveyed the treasure of Jewish life and culture that persisted even under the most humiliating circumstances. So in Gaza, with Israeli jeeps creeping up one border and gunboats cruising along the other, and bomb craters everywhere, and no one allowed to pursue their dreams, Palestinians are still leading engaged, serious, and even at-time joyous lives.’

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