By Michel Warchawski
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Extra info for On the Border
I relived this estrangement within the Jewish community with the mass immigration of Jews from North Africa; first from Morocco after the Agadir earthquake, then from Algeria on the eve of that country’s independence. Confronted with the new arrivals, the Jews of Polish origin behaved like the natives. They looked at the latter with the same surprise and condescension that they themselves had been the targets of some decades earlier. Perhaps because I was the grandson of immigrants myself, or perhaps out of plain rebelliousness, I at once felt closer to these young people coming from Agadir or Oran than to the children of the bourgeois families of the Avenue des Vosges.
A small area in the center of Israel from which Arabs had not been expelled in 1948. The Arab population today is in excess of 200,000. Warschawski 01 chap 01 30 24/12/04 3:09:34 pm Preaching in the wilderness 31 sentenced to 12 months in prison, but his example was followed by an increasing number of students whose political consciousness had become sharper thanks to the initiatives of the Palestinian resistance organizations. Matzpen served as a school for their political and ideological education; for many of these students, it was the first opportunity to learn about their own history, since their parents had chosen to remain silent.
What they told me – particularly comparisons to the war in Algeria and South Africa – seemed pertinent. One of them in particular, a young professor of mathematics named Moshe Machover, was determined to take on my political education. I was ready for his indoctrination. My religious education was not offended by their Marxist and anti-Zionist ideology, but I was shocked by their appearance: long hair, jeans and miniskirts, which provoked within me a disgust that lasted for several months. While Israel was united in a Messianic and nationalist euphoria, Matzpen headlined its August 1967 edition: “Old story – Revolt against a foreign occupation,” with a photo of the curfew in a West Bank town.
On the Border by Michel Warchawski