International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2009
Mourning & Resistance, from Warsaw to Gaza

How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow!...
She weeps sore into the night, and her tears are on her cheeks:
among all who loved her she has none to comfort her.

(Book of Lamentations)

Last week, after murdering 1400 people – of whom 400 were children –after bombing hospitals and mosques, schools, universities andhumanitarian supplies, and tens of thousand of homes, Israel declared acease-fire. A shameful parade of European leaders immediately went toJerusalem to embrace the mass murderers and to pledge their support forthe continuing siege of Gaza.

The primary purpose of this massacre was to break the spirit of thePalestinian people until they surrender and accept their fate as lesserhuman beings. As former Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon said in 2002, "ThePalestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses oftheir consciousness that they are a defeated people." European leaderssupport this goal, as did previous U.S. administrations, as do theruling elites of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi-Arabia, despite the fury oftheir peoples. We wait to see if the freshly inaugurated ObamaAdministration will break with sixty long years of attack on thePalestinian people armed and financed by the U.S. and Europe.

We grieve with the people of Gaza. We see the faces of the children, ofthe women and the men; we hear their voices. We also hear the silenceof the leaders of Western countries, intermittently broken by evasiveplatitudes. And we are reminded of the time when the world turned ablind eye while our forebears, our families, were slaughtered.

100,000 Palestinians were made homeless in Gaza this month. Most ofthem became refugees in 1948 when they were expelled at gunpoint fromtheir towns and villages. Now they are homeless again, even in theirland of exile, and at risk of being driven out from Palestinealtogether.

Yet on January 27, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the leaders of the U.S.and Europe will be joined in honoring the memory of our dead. Even aswe seek to remember and to honor the immensity of that loss, westruggle to find words to convey the hypocrisy of these ceremonies, inwhich those who are silent today pay homage to the victims ofyesterday’s silence.

The radical Jewish writer Walter Benjamin, who died while fleeing theNazis, wrote, "not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he isvictorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious." The ThirdReich was defeated, and yet, "the enemy has not ceased to bevictorious." Racism, mass murder, and genocide continue to be acceptedtools of statecraft. Even our dead are not safe. They have been calledup, disturbed, dredged from their mass graves and forced to testifyagainst their fellow human beings in pain, to confess a hatred that wasalien to them and to offer themselves up as justification for a newcycle of suffering in Palestine. Their ghosts have been enlisted tohelp displace fellow Jews from Arab homelands, and to bequeath to them thatsame alien hatred, conscripting those of us descending from Arablands to become enemies of our own memory and past.

The Jewish British MP Gerald Kaufman spoke in anguish while themassacres in Gaza were taking place: "My grandmother did not die toprovide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothersin Gaza." We share and echo that refusal. Let not the memory of Jewsmurdered by the Nazi regime serve as cover for the attempteddestruction of the Palestinian people!

Although the guns are relatively silent, this genocidal assault on thePalestinian people isn’t over. The siege, the lack of food and freshwater, the disease-threatening broken sewage system, and economiccollapse and humanitarian crisis persist in Gaza with the full supportof the U.S., Europe and the Egyptian government. As the siege of Gazacontinues, so does the slow ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and EastJerusalem, the home demolitions, the building of the apartheid wall,the settlement build-up, the economic devastation of the towns andvillages strangled by checkpoints, the assault on Palestinianneighborhoods in Jaffa, Akka, Lydda, the Galilee and the Negev, themass imprisonment of Palestinians (over 11,000), and all the large andsmall ways by which Israel is seeking to crush the spirit and erase thepresence of the Palestinian people in their homeland.

Faced with the threat of annihilation in Europe, Jews resisted. Fromghettos to concentration camps and within countries under occupation,Jews led resistance to the Nazi regime. Today, from the ghetto of Gazato the Bantustans of the West Bank and from the neighborhoods of Jaffaand Akka to cities across the globe, Palestinians resist Israel’sattempt to destroy them as a people. On January 27th, honoring thememory of our dead is for us inseparable from honoring more than sixtyyears of Palestinian survival and resistance. Only when the Palestinianpeople regain their freedom will the dead rest safely. Then we will allcelebrate another victory for life.





Click here to download the 120-report which exposes the funders of Zionist backlash on campuses and in communities