The Jewish Chronicle
Slavery then and now
We add to our ten plagues this year President Xi’s mistreatment of the Uighur as it so closely resembles Pharaoh’s treatment of his Hebrew slaves.
Viz: Exodus1:9 “Look,” Pharoah said to his people, “the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous”.
Whilst we won’t seek reparations from Egypt for our ancestors’ slave labour, should we not insist that Egypt recognizes and honours the Hebrew slaves’ vital contribution to the construction of their treasured Pyramids and monuments?
To this end we should also call for museums to make it a condition of repatriation those treasures that the Egyptian government agrees for them to be displayed in Israel for an agreed period, with an approved statement of apology acknowledging Pharoah’s cruel exploitation of its Jewish slaves and their painful but significant contribution to the construction of Egypt’s historic heritage.
The Haggadah story, like the poem “Ozymandias”, recalls the decay of tyranny monuments and statues and, in contrast, the timeless values that have protected and inspired the Jewish people to progress and survive tyrants over 3500 years.
For, in the moving words of Lord Sacks in 2010: “Our children are the true living monuments”
Trevor Lyttleton MBE London NW11
Please note: we normally only accept letters by email. Individual letters cannot be acknowledged. Letters may be edited. Email address for correspondence is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please supply postal address.
The JC is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation and, as such, we take all complaints seriously. If you have an issue you’d like to raise, Ipso can be contacted on 0300 1232220.