Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who "Sympathized" With the Axis? Yair Stern or England?

I posted something short about that Economist review of the new book on Yair Stern 

but now have some more material to relate to, other than the name claim.  (Another review is here for comparison)

Like this:

Patrick Bishop sets out in detail the story of the British manhunt to root out “Herr” Stern and his small band of “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”, better known by its Hebrew acronym, Lehi. As long as Stern’s men were perpetrating atrocities against Palestinians, the British continued to hold the ring. His militants sewed explosive vests and planted bombs in chocolate boxes and milk-churns in Arab cinemas, cafés and markets. 

Stern (who called him "Herr"?  the British?  Bishop?) although a member of the Irgun High Command at that specific time, 1937-1939, had not yet founded the Lechi which was in June 1940.  And the Arabs were targets because they had launched, yet again, a round of terror - this one lasting almost three years and killing over 500 Jewish civilians - which the British could not adequately contain until they themselves began being assassinated and blown up.

Or this:

the British were loth to leave Axis sympathisers on the loose in Palestine

Strictly speaking, Stern was most certainly not an "Axis sympathizer".  He sought German assistance against Great Britain so as to force England to reverse its death-knell White Paper policy of March 17, 1939 which, as we now know, itself sympathized with Nazi Germany's Holocaust plans for the destrcution of European Jewry and the etxermination of the Jews who could not get into then Mandate Palestine as the gates of immigration were shut.

And as for naming children after heroes, how many in England carry the name of ... Neville?



In which novel does the poet Abraham Stern appear?

Elizabeth Costello
by J.M. Coetzee

...Elizabeth Costello consists of eight chapters and a postscript, though the chapters are called “Lessons” (whether they are lessons for the central character or for the reader is not made clear—perhaps both)...These were the Tanner Lectures, a series dedicated to the discussion of ethical and philosophical topics, which Coetzee gave at Princeton University in 1997–1998, under the title “The Lives of Animals.”
Instead of delivering conventional lectures, however, he read to his audience a work of fiction, about a distinguished Australian novelist called Elizabeth Costello who is invited to Appleton College, a fictitious institution in Massachusetts, to give the annual “Gates Lecture” and disconcerts her hosts, who expected her to choose a literary topic, by delivering a root-and-branch polemic against the treatment of animals, in zoos, scientific research, and above all in the production of food...

...What gives most offense is the analogy she draws between the industrial production of meat and the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis. “We are surrounded by an enterprise of degradation, cruelty and killing which rivals anything that the Third Reich was capable of, indeed dwarfs it, in that ours is an enterprise without end…,” she asserts. A senior member of the faculty, a poet called Abraham Stern, absents himself from the dinner in protest and writes a dignified note of dissent. “If Jews were treated like cattle, it does not follow that cattle are treated like Jews. The inversion insults the memory of the dead. It also trades on the horrors of the camps in a cheap way.”


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