Life is Belief & Struggle - Ahmed Shawqi

Friday, January 21, 2011

Old Sins really do cast long shadows

I was contacted last month and entered into discussions about the possibility of writing the memoirs of an Israeli military hero from the 1948 War of Independence. The contract was officially signed last week but I have been working on the project steadily since taking possession of documents in late December. How this project came into my hands is a bit of what I call Jewish geography at play. Needless to say, if my Zionist credentials were suspect, it wouldn't have come to pass at all.

I have been working crazy hours as I have a March 30th deadline and I cannot work properly unless I am left entirely alone and undisturbed. Call me crazy and anal but being interrupted a non-stop stream of innocuous questions like - 'where is the milk?' and 'did you wash my gym clothes or black shirt' or 'what can I eat?' (boy code for will you make me a snack) or 'where are my boots' just ruins my concentration and negatively impacts my ability to work. All of which goes a long way in explaining why my grammar is often wanting and suspect in blog posts that are, more often than not, written between constant questions and non-stop interruptions.

I go to bed around 7pm and get up at 1am and work on the project till around 6am. Then I get dressed and go to my 'day' job until 4pm. I go home and cook for the boys and literally fall into my bed. Most days I do not even see the hands of the clock move to strike 7pm. I tell myself, and the men in my life, it will all come to an end – one day.

All of which is the 'now' reason blogging has been nearly non-existent. For some one like me, who often considers geopolitics and war as a kind of foreplay; reading the memories of the man who planned the battle of Haifa, fought with the Soviet Red Army and was part of the Anders Aliyah is far more compelling than anything going on currently in the blogsphere.
I have documents written by Polish government officials that need to be translated into English since my Polish is beyond wanting. The letters are the 'official' response to a number of questions regarding anti-antisemitism in the Anders Army. No biggie or so I thought. I work with a number of Polish Canadians who I am quite friendly with, and who I thought, I could call upon to ask for assistance.
All of the Poles I approached are my age and born approximately 20 years after WWII ended and were initially happy to be of assistance – until they read through the documents. To say, I was more than a little taken back by their collective and often downright venomous response to the idea that any Pole could commit an act of 'anti-antisemitism' – at any time in history - is the understatement of the new year.
Consequently, I have been 'exposed' and stand accused of being an integral part of an international conspiracy designed to smear and besmirched the Polish people and their history with the most vile and baseless of lies. I have never heard so many 'you people' or been the subject of such venom in 48 years of living. Not one of the Poles I approached and had cordial relations with for the last ten years are now speaking to me. Not because of what I said per say but because of what I represent to them. There is an irony here which is not lost upon me, which is simply this; most of my life I have not been Jew enough for some, and now in middle age, I find I am far too Jew for others.

And who knew in 2011; Jews are still not to be trusted and are innately disloyal and can always be counted on to shit in the hand which feeds or shelters them. Or that Jews are cowardly by nature and cannot fight their way out of paper box and who would sell their mothers or first born for a dollar?

The reason my hero didn't publish his memoirs before he died was that he felt once his memoirs were published; his existence in Canada could be threatened by some crazy Pole with an axe to grind and he wouldn't even see the loon coming. I thought he was exaggerating - now I am not so sure he didn't have a perfectly valid point. Old Sins really do cast long shadows...

crossposted to The Last Exile

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