collaborating with the un-people

The principle of hope.Funny and unpredictable things can happen when political ideology is mixed up with religion and a confrontation with the messianic. …

Sometimes a naive demand for justice, revolutionary change, is sated simply through an exchange with the present laws with new laws perceived by design to be more just and equitable. To some writers on revolution, this kind of demand appears as superficial, mythical, violent act which opposes an equal force of the divine. So, the struggle between the divine and this mythical force acts as the central dynamic in a political struggle and evidently collides with the law. These laws,as in the case of Apartheid South Africa, instead of implementing justice, represented the violence which instituted the law in the first place. The revolutionary efforts to realize a utopia, is often revealed as an act of vanity; the vanity of an artificial mythic force that confronts a more ambiguous, nuanced and hard to capture messianic force…..

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…During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. Nelson Mandela, 1964 trial.

In the midst of one of the tensest periods of the anti-apartheid struggle, a single-winged Cessna aircraft carrying two priests in dog collars took off from an airstrip in Swaziland and flew across South African territory to British Bechuanaland. The “clerics” stepped out to a rapturous welcome from the local African National Congress. The escape of the freedom fighter Arthur Goldreich while on remand in a Johannesburg prison had been accomplished….

---For two years the director filmed a Palestinian family living in squalor in Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Ibraham, the father of the family, a former collaborator with Israel is no longer needed by the state. He fights to keep his family from falling apart and to receive acknowledgment for his contribution to the country’s security. His three teenage sons are in and out of institutions for juvenile delinquents. The film reveals a bleak picture of oppression and discrimination, of an existence without belonging, and a daily struggle with the authorities and police. It raises questions regarding the heavy price children pay for the choices their parents make.---Read More:

Living at the farm, too, in the early 1960s was “David”, purportedly a domestic servant but otherwise known as Nelson Mandela, the guerrilla commander-in-chief. Mandela discussed tactics with Goldreich, explaining in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (1994), that “Arthur had fought with the Palmach, the military wing of the Jewish National Movement in Palestine. He was knowledgable about guerrilla warfare and helped fill in many gaps in my understanding.”Read More:

---Benjamin was convinced that children not only pointed toward this revolutionary potential, but that in childhood revolutionary emancipation was both a theoretical potential and empirically actualizable. 6 The world and language of children stood as a kind of prototype or model (or rather potential reality) for the historian’s search for the ‘matter’ of history. For one thing, hidden within the child’s fascination for discarded, forgotten objects was a radical openness to and consciousness of the objects themselves. Benjamin argued that the historical materialist, too, must take up what has been left behind, examine it—explore it—and engage it as an active thing; ‘activate’ it, ‘animate’ it, breathe ‘life’ back into it (or allow its life to breathe onto/into ours). The materialist historian, like the infant, must open herself up to the historical possibilities of the object at hand. The significant point for Benjamin is that, in having been forgotten, the discarded object nonetheless continues to exist apart from the continuum of progressive historical time....Read More: image:


In the 1960s, Goldreich and his family pretended to operate a farm outside Johannesburg, which really served as the underground headquarters of the ANC and its leaders, including Mandela, who posed as a worker on the farm. In 1963, South African authorities raided

farm and Goldreich was imprisoned. He escaped to Britain but immediately decided to move to Israel.

“He was this unbelievably flamboyant guy, incredibly good looking and charming,” said David Kaplan, a former Telfed Kfar Sava head who met Goldreich in the 1990s when they co-organized a leadership seminar for young South African politicians in the city. “The women went crazy for him. He was really a charmer, good-looking, with long hair.”

---The once-fetishized object in its decayed and disabused/used form exposes the collective fantasy or ‘wish-image’ that had once made it a valued object of social desire. On the other hand, this demystification or demythification also points to the potential for change inherent in the obsolete object itself. This latter aspect constitutes its redemptive dimension: although it is ‘fallen’ or abjected, in the sense that the object is deemed no longer socially valuable, as an obsolete object or ‘ruin’, it nonetheless outlives its conventional collective social function.---Read More: image:

Shimshon Zelniker, a close friend of Goldreich’s since the early 1980s, described him as humorous, imaginative and creative. “When he walked into a room, he simply filled it,” he said. “Yet he had an enormous intricate inner life. As open and flamboyant as he was, he was a secretive person who conducted a double life as an active underground operation leader while at the same time living a so-called normal life.” Read More:

---Ubu Roi, The Circle Theatre, Jerusalem 1965. Costume Design: Arthur Goldreich. Directed by Phillip Diskin.---Read More:


In 1948, while I had the luxury of traveling to Israel in a Dakota airplane, Goldreich arrived on an overcrowded immigrant ship, the Fabio. Designed to carry 50 people, her holds had been converted into dormitories with boards, enabling it to transport exactly 292 souls. In Henry Katzew’s book South Africa’s 800, one of the volunteers, Morris Smith, is quoted as saying “You couldn’t have put a razor blade between us. If you slept on your back, you had to stay on your back.”…

Goldreich. 1962. ---2006:Arthur Goldreich resists the temptation to use the comparison. "It is a viable, even attractive, analogy. I have in the past been very reluctant, and still am, to make the analogy because I think it's too convenient. I think there are striking similarities in all forms of racist discrimination," he says. "I think to describe, let us say, the bantustanism which we see through a policy of occupation and separation: they all have their own words and their own implications and it is not necessary to go outside to find them." Read More: image: image:

…The Fabio’s passengers were mainly displaced persons – survivors of the Holocaust – including a group of stunted concentration camp children in the charge of a Hungarian girl, and a group of about 30 South African Machal volunteers. There were nine pregnant women aboard, and two gave birth on the voyage….

---on a farm in Rivonia (Johannsburg) owned by Arthur Goldreich. He and Harold Wolpe used bribery to escape from jail while awaiting trial and to flee the country; Wolpe’s brother-in-law, James Kantor, who was serving as as Mandela’s trial lawyer, was then arrested, but charges against him were eventually dismissed. Denis Goldberg spent 22 years in prison in Pretoria (Israeli intervention helped gain his release in 1985, but Goldberg then refused to live in Israel and condemned it as an ally of the apartheid regime).---Read More:

…On returning to South Africa, Goldreich became an early member of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, led by Nelson Mandela. In 1961 Goldreich and his lawyer friend Harold Wolpe acquired a farm named Liliesleaf in Rivonia (a suburb of Johannesburg) to be used as headquarters for the underground movement….

---Goldreich disagrees. "It's a gross distortion. I'm surprised at Liel. In 1967, in the six day war, in this climate of euphoria - by intent, not by will of God or accident - the Israeli government occupied the territories of the West Bank and Gaza with a captive Palestinian population obviously in order to extend the area of Israel and to push the borders more distant from where they were," he says. "I and others like me, active after the six day war on public platforms, tried desperately to convince audiences throughout this country that peace agreements between Israel and Palestine greater security than occupation of territory and settlements. But the government wanted territory more than it wanted security. Read More: image Rivonia Trial:

…Mandela hid there, posing as a gardener and occasional driver…The 19 persons arrested and charged with sabotage included five whites – all Jews, namely Goldreich, Rusty Bernstein, Dennis Goldberg, Bob Hepple and Hilliard Festenstein. Wolpe was arrested shortly afterward and imprisoned at Marshall Square, where Goldreich was already being held. Before they could be tried, Goldreich and Wolpe escaped and fled to Swaziland disguised as priests. Their escape infuriated the prosecutors and police, who considered Goldreich “the arch-conspirator.”.Read More:


Goldreich speaks of the “bantustanism we see through a policy of occupation and separation”, the “abhorrent” racism in Israeli society all the way up to cabinet ministers who advocate the forced removal of Arabs, and “the brutality and inhumanity of what is imposed on the people of the occupied territories of Palestine”.

“Don’t you find it horrendous that this people and this state, which only came into existence because of the defeat of fascism and nazism in Europe, and in the conflict six million Jews paid with their lives for no other reason than that they were Jews, is it not abhorrent that in this place there are people who can say these things and do these things?” he asks.

---Goldreich:"I am certain that it was in the minds of many in the leadership of this country that what we needed to do was make this place Arab-free. Mandela said to me once at Rivonia, 'You know, they want to make us unpeople, not seen.'" Read More: image:

Goldreich went on to found the architecture department at Jerusalem’s renowned Bezalel Academy, from where he saw architecture and planning evolve as tools for territorial expansion after the 1967 war. “I watched Jerusalem with horror and great doubt and fear for the future. There were those who said that what’s happening is architecture, not politics. You can’t talk about planning as an abstraction. It’s called establishing facts on the ground,” he says.Read More:
In 2004, Jerusalem’s council approved the first new masterplan for the city since 1959. The plan acknowledges some of the injustices and problems in East Jerusalem, provides for greater construction of homes in some Arab areas, and criticises Jewish settlement in the east of the city. But critics say that at its core is the same obsession with demography and what the plan describes as “preserving a firm Jewish majority in the city”….

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…A former Jerusalem city councillor, Meir Margalit, says the process was flawed from the start because the steering committee of 31 people who put the plan together included only one Arab. “It is characteristic everywhere of colonial regimes which believe that the ‘natives’ are worthy neither of suitable representation nor of being masters of their own fate. The planning team apparently sets out from the assumption that, in any case, one is dealing with a Jewish city and therefore there is no reason to ask the opinion of anyone who does not belong to the Jewish people,” he says.

“One cannot but receive an impression that behind the document lies an attempt to restrict the natural increase of the Arabs in the east of the city. With their historical experience, the planning team understands that this cannot be achieved through doing away with all the firstborn sons, but the plan assumes that by restricting the Arabs’ living space, they will be compelled to leave the city and move into places in the periphery where they will be able to build without restriction.”

Margalit says that the measures used to bring this about, including restrictions on Palestinians travelling into Jerusalem and preventing women who marry men from the east of the city from moving there, amount to “grey racism”.Read More:
Mandela. Trial excerpt. 1964.:It is perhaps difficult for white South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accept communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences amongst those fighting against oppression is a luxury we cannot afford at this stage. What is more, for many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and their equals; who were prepared to eat with us; talk with us, live with us, and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with the Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society. Because of this, there are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with communism. They are supported in this belief by a legislature which brands all exponents of democratic government and African freedom as communists and bans many of them (who are not communists) under the Suppression of Communism Act. Although I have never been a member of the Communist Party, I myself have been named under that pernicious Act because of the role I played in the Defiance Campaign. I have also been banned and imprisoned under that Act. … Read More:

“a revolutionary career does not lead to banquets and honorary titles, interesting research and professorial wages. It leads to misery, disgrace, ingratitude, prison and a voyage into the unknown, illuminated by only an almost superhuman belief.” Max Horkheimer Read More:


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