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Over 300 Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants Condemn Israel's ‘Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza’

Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip continued on Aug. 20, 2014, targeting a home  in the city of Deir al-Balah. Photo by Hussain Abdel Jawwad. Copyright Demotix
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip continued on Aug. 20, 2014, targeting a home
in the city of Deir al-Balah. Photo by Hussain Abdel Jawwad. Copyright Demotix

By Joey Ayoub
The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) has released an open letter signed by 327 Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide “unequivocally” condemning the “massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.”

The letter was written in response to Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel’s “manipulation of the Nazi Genocide to attempt to justify the attacks on Gaza.” The accusation that Elie Wiesel manipulates the memory of the Holocaust is an old one. In this case, it refers to his New York Times advertisement in which he claimed that “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn,” using biblical imagery by comparing Gazan parents to the Molochites (ancient Canaanites who sacrificed children to their God, Moloch).

Besides his controversial positions supporting Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, Wiesel was chairman of the IR David Foundation, which aims to “strengthen the Jewish connection to Jerusalem” (Hebrew) and create a Jewish majority in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. He was notably accused by Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein in his book “The Holocaust Industry” of promoting the “uniqueness doctrines” whereas all genocides besides the Jewish Holocaust are downplayed.

The letter reads:
As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.

We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.

Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.

We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!
Take a look at the letter on the IJAN's website to see the complete list of signatories.
Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director for Human Rights Watch, tweeted the news to his nearly 17,000 followers:
IJAN also recently announced that their letter will be posted in The New York Times as a half-page ad. Lee Gargagliano of IJAN wrote on Facebook:
We did it! We are placing the letter from survivors of the Nazi genocide and descendants of survivors and victims as a half-page ad in tomorrow's (Saturday 8/23) New York Times! Please spread it far and wide to help maximize the impact and please pass it on to journalists who you think might pick up the story. Thank you to those who signed; thank you to those who contributed; thank you to everyone who will help circulate!
At the time of writing, the death toll in Gaza stood at 2,039, including 540 children and 75 families. Seventy-two percent of Palestinians killed in this offensive are civilians, according to the UN. The death toll for Israel stood at 68, including one child. The percentage of civilians killed is 5 percent, with the majority of deaths being IDF soldiers.


Reprinted with permission from Global Voices.

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