August 23 2014 Half Page Ad in NYTimes
I had to read it, and then read it several times again.
The IJAN identifies itself on its website as the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
That in and of itself is an oxymoron. Zion is within the heart and soul of every person who is Jewish. There are many people who are Anti-Zionist and in a free society they are entitled to be just that, but they are not Jewish. Sorry.
The half page ad, signed by “Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide…” was placed by the IJAN and it included many signatures. It did NOT include my signature.
On my father’s side of the family, every five out of eight family members were murdered by the Nazis. My father, his parents, his brothers and his sister, all of his cousins, aunts and uncles, were driven from Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
A Gestapo officer purged the Jewish students from my father’s high school in Vienna. The Gestapo officer slapped my father’s face, warned him to flee for his life and promised to murder him if he ever saw him again. My father and his Jewish youth group escaped to Palestine, where at the age of fifteen, without his parents, without his brothers and his sister, he began a new life.
My signature is NOT on the ad.
My father’s brothers and parents fled to Portugal. One brother stayed there and began a new life. Another continued his medical studies, moved to England to further those studies, and then emigrated to the USA where he became a successful anesthesiologist. My father survived being murdered, gassed, persecuted, and turned into ashes in the crematoria of the Third Reich by emigrating to Palestine.
The ad claims and condemns the “massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” by Israel. My father, who up until May 1948 was himself a Palestinian, never massacred a single Palestinian, even when he fought as a soldier in the Alexandroni Brigade during Israel’s War of Independence. I never massacred a single Palestinian, throughout my many years of military service in the IDF. My son, a career officer in the IDF, never massacred a single Palestinian. In 2005 he was a part of the IDF contingent given the responsibility of evacuating all Israeli citizens who had settled in the Gaza strip.
On my mother’s side of the family, only her father survived. My mother was on a train that left Germany for Italy, and from there, along with other girls and boys, she arrived in Palestine at the age of thirteen. Brought to Kibbutz Ginossar, she began a life without mother, father, brother or sister. My mother was a Palestinian until May 1948.
My mother’s father, my grandfather Max, tried to escape to Palestine. He fled arrest by the Gestapo by jumping from a Berlin prison window. He gained passage on a boat bound for Palestine. That boat was forced to turn away by the British naval blockade of Palestine. The British had implemented a new “quota” system that prevented Jews from entering Palestine while hundreds of thousands were being burned and turned to ashes by the Nazis of the Third Reich. Max and the people on that boat eventually arrived in Shanghai, China. He lived there for ten years, laboring as a stevedore until 1949, when he emigrated to Toronto, Canada to begin a new life.
My signature is NOT on that ad.
I met with, and worked with, many Palestinian Arabs. We got along just fine. We supported each other’s ideas and wishes for co-existence. We agreed that both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs needed their own homeland.
I served in the IDF, and I saw firsthand the horrors of war when in 1973 the Syrian army came racing into Israel on the most holy day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. The intent of the Syrian military was to eradicate Israel and to wipe it off the face of the earth.
My friends who fought on the Egyptian front were similarly faced with an Egyptian army that wanted to destroy the Jewish people. They wanted to make Gamal Nasser’s dream of a world without Jews a reality.
This ad claims that Israel is causing a “massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” and that there is an “ongoing occupation”. This is nothing but a blatant lie, exposed again and again by the very organization that is causing this massacre: HAMAS. It is Hamas and its documented instruction manual on how to fight the IDF that clearly states to use children, women and the infirm as shields, knowing full well that these deplorable deaths will fuel outrage against Israel and the Jewish people.
Many Israelis have stated again, and yet again, that they support a neighbor, a Palestinian Arab neighbor. Israel is willing to provide 98% of the land currently under Palestinian Authority autonomous rule, land known as Judea and Sameria. This land was captured from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War, when, despite Israel’s overtures to King Hussein of Jordan to not join Egypt and Syria in this war, he did so anyways.
Erroneously, this ad claims “Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza” which again is an outrageous and blatant lie. Israel in fact provides electricity, water, infrastructure, medical and humanitarian aid and more to the people of the Gaza strip. It is Hamas and its military terrorist wing that are depriving the people of Gaza of all of these things, and more. Hamas is depriving the people of Gaza of freedom. Hamas is depriving the people of Gaza of hope.
My signature is NOT on the list of descendants of Jewish victims of the Nazi holocaust, although I certainly qualify. I am a Zionist. I am a Jewish person who supports the creation of a country for the Palestinian people who will live in peace with Israel. There are many just like me.
I ask, where will those who signed this ad of condemnation go, without an Israel to safeguard their very existence? Where will they live? Will they live in France or Spain, where there are towns that have names such as LAMORTAUXJUIFS, death to the Jews? Will they live in the Arab and Muslim nations where they will achieve, at best, second class “citizen” status, living as Dhimmi?
As far as this ad’s call to boycott Israel’s economy, culture and academia, I dare those who signed it to realize that boycott. Give back all of the benefits you enjoy today. The chip in your computer. The uses of your cellphone. The cures for your illnesses. The art in your museums. The agricultural and industrial innovations making your lives so much better. Give them back. Go ahead, make my day.
Finally, like my father before me, and like my son now serving in the IDF, I swore an oath to defend Israel and to defend the lives of all Jews. While I continue to hope and pray that it will never come to that, I will uphold my oath, my promise, even to those so uninformed as to put their names on such an ad as this one we saw published in the August 23rd 2014 edition of the New York Times.