Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chaim Kaplan's ghetto diary

Having written the diary until he perished in a concentration camp, this teacher makes observations of Jewish mentality or psyche that has not changed even now.

He notes a phenomenon that is true in this Israeli reality: a mediocre semi-educated noisemaker dazzles rich sponsors into showering him with money (in the ghetto!), while a learned scholar starves.

Israel is like a ghetto:
- we are surrounded by neighbors - like Nazis and non-German antisemites,

-the system is controlled by the elite functionaries and government cronies - just like the Judenrat in the ghetto, serving the external interests and exploiting its constituency

-the system taxes heavily the general population for upkeep of the government functions that do not serve people, just like the Judenrat

-the police and the military do more to control its own people, rather to help them, i.e., expel settlers, arrest dissidents, etc - just like the Judenrat police
(in the diary he is thinking along these lines - he imagines that the newly instituted Judenrat police is probably like the Jewish police in Tel Aviv, except, probably more compassionate that gentiles)

-the business mentality that overprices the lowest quality services, goods and foods thrives in Israel, just like in the ghetto,
---and many more instances of parallelism, besides interesting observations. Great diary!!!

available in this edition at Amazon

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