Hajo Meyer was a survivor of Auschwitz, a theoretical physicist and a prominent Jewish political activist who wrote a book denouncing Zionism. Earlier this month he passed away at the age of 90, but not before making one last stand for the people of Palestine.
Dr Meyer was one of 300 Holocaust families who over the weekend signed a letter condemning Israel’s war on Gaza, its ongoing occupation in Palestine and the United States’ military and financial support.
“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 conolisation of historic Palestine,” the letter reads.
Dr Meyer was an initial signatory to the letter.
“The dehumanisation of Jews is what made possible the Nazi genocide,” he said.
“In the same we are witnessing the escalating dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society.”
Dr Meyer passed away over the weekend, the day before the letter ran in the New York Times.
He was born in Bielefeld, Germany and in 1938 escaped to the Netherlands. He was captured in 1944 and sent to Auschwitz.
The letter was written in response to an ad campaign by Holocaust survivor and Noble laureate Elie Wiesel which accused Hamas of “sacrificing children”.
The campaign was published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and New York Observer. It was rejected by The Times newspaper in Britain, and controversially ran in the traditionally left-leaning The Guardian newspaper.
This open letter pleads for an end to the “ongoing genocide of Palestinian people” and condemns the Elie Wisel letter, stating nothing can justify the current assault on the people of Gaza.
It is signed by 327 Jewish survivors and descendants of the Holocaust, spread across 26 countries.
“We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanisation of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch,” the letter reads.
“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 Wisel’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!”
The letter ran at not cost in The Guardian newspaper after the publication came under fire for publishing the original Wisel ad.
Earlier this month, a Dutch man who, along with his late mother, was named a Righteous Among the Nations in Israel for protecting a Jewish child during World War II, handed back his medal after six members of his extended family were killed during an Israeli fighter jet in Gaza.
Henk Zanoli, 91, said in a letter to the Israeli embassy in Hague that “against this background it is particularly shocking and tragic that today, four generations on, our family is faced with the murder of our kin in Gaza. Murder carried out by the State of Israel”.
Also earlier this month, 164 Australian Jews spoke out, calling on fellow Jews to “end the silence” over the “slaughter of Innocents” in Gaza.
The latest report from the UN’s OCHA said that the Palestinian death toll now stands at 2,042. At least 1,444 of them are civilians.
The number of internally displaced persons has risen to 460,000 – which is more than a quarter of the entire Palestinian population in Gaza. Of that, 280,000 are taking shelter in UNRWA schools.
“Since July 7, at least 140 Palestinian families in Gaza have had three or more members killed in the same incident, for a total of 735 fatalities,” the report says.
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