As many of you know, I am a refugee from Nazi Germany and a Jew. I was also on a small catamaran with 4 elderly Jews in September 2010 with a goal to break the siege of Gaza. We were Jews who wanted to convey our hopes, our dreams for Palestinian freedom and dignity. They looked forward to our arrival and yes, we yearned to feel a connection and love.
I had felt this love and tragedy when I did finally get to Gaza in 2012. No one can imagine the horror of the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead and 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. More came soon after. Bombing and horrible destruction continues now. Unimaginable horror plus the use of phosphates and deadly chemicals dropped down on defenseless ones and too many children and pregnant women.
So many in this country (as well as Germany) have tragically identified with the psychotic rantings of a country that is now aligned with evil forces to create a most horrifying group of war mongers. It is the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, all known as countries of mass destruction.
Our small boat never made it. Instead we were brutally captured in international waters and ultimately imprisoned by our Israeli captives, treated like terrorists. I felt at times as if I were escaping the Nazis, it was so surreal I escaped to another time. This time instead, I was still a Jewish refugee from Germany and it did not matter to our intruders. I felt these people, the Israelis were living an odd kind of psychosis, as I was interrogated for several hours. Nothing mattered to them except an allegiance to a broken down system that imprisoned its Palestinian brothers, sisters and children. Nothing mattered for them except to understand Palestinians as vicious terrorists to be destroyed in order for the Jewish State to control all of Israel. Their psychosis manifests as a chronic belief system, a ludicrous invention the state uses and distorts. These are lies and manipulations that echoes another insanity, the 1930’s of Germany.
Some of my family got out of Germany before they were murdered. Some of them died. My parents’ relatives were scattered and what is left is a tiny family consisting of refugees in South America whom I do not know. We are alone, my son, daughter and two grandchildren. My first born son died of a drug overdose. My parents could never forget their privileged life in Germany and died tragically through suicide and grief.
And so it was, after many visits to Israel, watching the growth of settlers taking the place of Palestine, colonial settlers who grew on the land, stolen land– settlers, racists and taught to hate. These settlers helped create a “Jewish Nation” that ostensibly welcomed all Jews of the world as a homeland while continuing as a country without a soul, without a heart, a country that supports apartheid, racism and weapons both physical and emotional to use on anyone who resists. It is a country that uses anti-Semitism as a perverse decree on those who dare to support Palestine Justice.
We who support Palestinian rights must condemn Zionism and vile, endless apartheid denied to the rest of the world. It is bizarre, ludicrous– that to condemn the response to the brutality inflicted by the Zionists is called anti-Semitic. Of course there is a large degree of anti-Semitism that has grown towards Jews because of the hatred being created.
In this atmosphere of hate and mistrust, it remains critically important to remember the use of the non violent BDS campaign, created to protect the Natural Rights of Palestinians. BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, is grossly delegitimized by the very country that has for over 70 years tragically succeeded in large part to systematically destroy Palestinian life. The use of the Holocaust to defend this action is both dishonest and destructive.
Who shall raise their voices for Palestinians, for freedom from intolerable suffering, for their land? We have a government that supports a rogue country creating its own nightmare. Evil loves the darkness and hates the light of truth. Is the support for human rights anti-Semitic? It is a scandal, a humiliation that must be ended. It is fear and hysteria that has eluded rational discourse and has created unnerving hatred.
We who see Zionism as a destroyer of souls, a place where poetry and true love have been stamped out by an arrogant pretense at democracy, a place of hell with bombs and spies that exist for the lies to continue, this painful place of injustice and death — we will never stop our support and hope for a free Palestine. Hate and revenge must be strangers for all of us who struggle for Palestinian freedom. There can not be a Jewish State born out of apartheid and destruction. Israel and Palestine must live together in freedom.