Solidarity Saved Me from Hitler: Now it Must Save Palestine

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 905, by Suzanne Weiss, Dec 4, 2013.

We hear disturbing reports this year from southern Israel. The government proposes to relocate some 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their present homes to government-approved townships. This is called the Prawer Plan, and Israel’s parliament approved it by a three-vote majority in June.

The Prawer Plan would destroy 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev region and extinguish Bedouin claims to land seized from them after the foundation of Israel. The government denies basic services to these villages. Right beside them, in many cases, are new, modern, fully serviced communities for Jewish settlers … //

… Ethnic Cleansing in Occupied France: … //

… What I Learned in Auvergne: … //

… Lessons for Canada Today: … //

… The Palestinian Fight for Human Dignity:

The Prawer Plan to extinguish Bedouin land rights fits into a pattern of Palestinian dispossession over the last century.

When my parents were born, Palestine was a successful, diverse, and tolerant society of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Meanwhile, eastern Europe – tsarist Russia in particular – was wracked by violence against Jews. Many fled the region, and some moved to Palestine. Among them were my father, when he was a young boy, and his family. But guided by the Zionist movement, these refugees came not as immigrants, to enrich Palestinian society, but as colonial settlers, to displace it: a colonial project of ethnic cleansing. This was not to my father’s liking, and he moved as a young man to France. Both he and my mother, and most of their Jewish generation in Europe, were sceptical of the Palestine settler project, and sought safety for Jews through social progress in Europe itself.

Step by step, the Zionist project took Palestinian lands, evicting and dispossessing the residents. Then Hitler’s war and Holocaust destroyed forever the Jewish homeland in Poland and neighbouring countries. The Jewish survivors searched for a new homeland. The Canadian government, with the support of many well-intentioned people, thought it proper to grant them a state in Palestine. It seemed only fair, given what the Jews had suffered. As for the Palestinians, they were callously brushed aside. Indeed the lie was spread that they did not even exist – Palestine was called “a land without a people.”

Dispossessing and persecuting Palestinians became a way to atone for Hitler’s crimes. And so we had the nakba, in 1948, when 750,000 indigenous Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, victims of a new and terrible ethnic cleansing.

The process continues even today. Jewish settlements are imposed on the remaining fragments of Palestinian lands on the West Bank. The Gaza Strip is cruelly blockaded. Palestinians in Israel suffer legal discrimination. Palestinian refugees continue to endure forced exile. Israel wages repeated aggressive wars. And the Prawer Plan targets remaining Bedouin lands.

And still, today, Israeli oppression of the Palestinians is often justified as necessary to prevent a ‘second Holocaust’ against the Jews. What a lie! The very idea is a monstrosity. It is the Palestinians who suffer mistreatment often reminiscent of what Hitler imposed on the Jews. The real threat to Israel’s Jewish population comes from their own government’s cruelty, its apartheid policies, its land grabs, its theft of resources, its long-term drive for ethnic cleansing.

If we have learned one thing from Hitler’s crimes against the Jews, it is that ethnic cleansing, ethnic slaughter and genocide must be opposed today wherever it occurs – and above all in Palestine. To be true to the memory of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and of all Hitler’s victims, we must defend the Palestinians.

Palestine and the Environment: … //

… How Can We Aid the Palestinians?

We are building a united world campaign to get out the truth about Palestine. Palestinians must have the right to speak up. The media, manipulated by the elite who control Canada, pervasively confront us with a wall of silence. We face continual challenges to the rights granted to us by Canada’s Charter of Rights, free speech and assembly.

At York University in Toronto, for instance, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) had its official club status revoked for holding a protest which called on the York administration to divest from Israeli Apartheid. One of the students was actually expelled. It was an arbitrary decision and an abuse of power. The administration refuses to release the supposed evidence against him and against SAIA.

Defending the right to speak, discuss and voice an opinion is central to our efforts to defend the Palestinians.

During my trip to Auvergne last month, I was struck by the magical power of human solidarity, expressed in varied and resourceful resistance movement that saved the lives of ten thousand Jewish children, including me. Let that same spirit of solidarity inspire us today in supporting victims of oppression here and worldwide, beginning in Palestine … //

… (full long text with many hyper-links).


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