The Black Panthers Haggadah

The following is a translation of the Israeli Black Panthers Haggadah

With a strong hand, two. And with an outstretched arm, two more.

With great terror, two more. With protests, two more. With banners raised, two more. With hunger strikes, two more.

These, then, are 10 plagues that the Black Panthers from Musrara brought upon the government in Jerusalem, and they are:

  1. The founding of the Black Panthers of Jerusalem

  2. The passing out fliers

  3. The demonstrations, with an effort to keep them peaceful

  4. The chained protest at the Knesset building

  1. The hunger strike at the Western Wall for every Jew in Zion to see.

  2. Teddy Kollek, we will not get off the lawn that you supposedly planted “with your own hands”

  3. The protest and solidarity rally in Wise Auditorium

  4. You won’t be able to buy out the leaders as did in the past … Wadi Salib

  5. Millions have now been spent on social welfare

  6. And despite it all the Black Panthers will stand until the goal is reached

The following is a translation of a letter that accompanied each Haggadah

The Black Panthers Organization HaAyin Het St. 5320 Morasha Jerusalem April 4, 1971

In this moment that you are reading the Black Panthers version of the Haggadah, we hope you understand the cause behind the socioeconomic gap.

We call on all those that would care and are faring well to help in any way they think will advance our objectives and our struggle to eliminate the socioeconomic gap; and on all those who cannot offer help due to limited conditions to arrive at the headquarters of the organization for any help we can offer. Our justice struggle has taken a considerable place in the newspapers and on the radio. The government is alert and concerned about the propagation of the phenomenon of the Panthers in the country.

It is willing to pay each of us whatever we demand as long as we keep our deprived brothers apathetic as they are. The government is not willing to take action because it costs tons. The money is what bothers them. A civil war could break out over the terrible conditions in which we are living, but our problem does not worry them at all, they who have forsaken 65% percent of the population in the country and have done nothing for them. We demand that the government fulfill its obligations to its citizenry that is fiercely loyal and devoted to the country.

Give us the minimum and you will get out of us the maximum. But what can you expect from a human being that did not even receive the minimum?

It is a crime to destroy the culture of an entire people. You took our culture that we brought with us from the Diaspora and promised to a different culture in its place. But you forsake us and discriminated against our communities by rendering us without culture and without faith and leaving us suspended in cultureless vacuum.

On April 11, 1971, during Passover there will be a hunger strike at the Western Wall Plaza. We invite anyone to come without regard to ethnicity or class.

Strengthen and grow strong with help of God and of society.

Signed,

Headquarters of the Black Panthers organization

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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The Black Panthers Haggadah

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