March 23, 2010

Never again - For anyone!

I received a mailout from the International Jewish Anti-zionist Network about the Never again - For anyone tour. I've had to change nearly all the links because, as Sarah in the comments noticed, they were internal googlemail links. Where the links were to unpublished letters I have simply reproduced the letters below:
Dear friends,

Here are some of the press articles & letters arising out of the Never Again - For Anyone tour, beginning with a major piece on Dr Hajo Meyer in the prestigious Huffington Post An Ethical Tradition Betrayed.

The tour began in Scotland - the Glasgow Herald published Auschwitz survivor: ‘Israel acts like Nazis’ but not IJAN's letter in response. The Jewish Chronicle, in one of a number of attacks on the meeting in the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day, wrote Gaza ethnic cleansing talk attacked as ‘an appalling offence’,* and did not publish our letter,** nor would the Independent on Sunday publish Yael Kahn's letter.***

The Camden New Journal wrote a very positive article Auschwitz survivor, 86, takes on the protesters, as did Press TV Auschwitz survivor sees Nazi acts in Israel. The letters column of the Camden New Journal has carried more attacks, and more letters defending Dr Meyer.**** And finally East London Lines reported on the "controversial" Goldsmiths meeting, Holocaust survivor heckled in Lewisham.

For a video of Dr Meyer's speech on the tour, please click here. And for three of Dr Eid's speeches, made especially for this tour, please click here & here & here. See more on the Never Again website.

Following the House of Commons meeting, a number of people who had offered testimony on the genocide of their communities, are continuing to work together. We met at a full-day meeting (no Zionists allowed!). From this came a collective process to challenge the exclusivity of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK, and instead speak of genocide rather than holocaust; to make explicit the genocides and ethnic cleansings historically and today; and to confront Zionism and the many forms of racism we all face. We will soon be giving you a report of this effort, and asking for your input.

Please keep in touch.

Yours against Zionism,

Selma James, Sara Kershnar, Michael Kalmanovitz
Notes and unpublished letters:
*Article seems to have changed from the original. Need to scroll down for the original headline.

**IJAN's unpublished letter to the Jewish Chronicle, 2 February 2010

Dear Letters Editor,

We brought together Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer and Palestinian activist Dr Haidar Eid (via live telephone link from Gaza) and speakers from communities that had suffered and resisted genocide and other forms of mass-murder: Armenian, Irish, Native American, Roma, Rwandan, and others. Our aim is to realise the expression: never again, for anyone, anywhere.

Yet Dr Meyer was insulted and attacked by the JC: Jonathan Hoffman calls Dr Meyer “the Amazing Dancing Bear” (January 24); your article headlines the meeting as “an appalling offence” (28 January); and at the meeting itself Zionists tried – and failed – to prevent Dr Meyer speaking. One Zionist gave the Nazi salute & shouted “Heil Hitler” as MPs had police remove him.

Typically, Zionists try to destroy anti-racist organizing because they think it is also directed at them– and they are right. We know the difference between Judaism and Zionism, between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and between commitment to collective humanity and commitment to the interests of an apartheid State. In coming together to stop the ‘slow-motion genocide of Palestine’ we are Zionism’s enemy, and every day since Gaza more Jewish people are with us.


Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

***Yael Kahn's unpublished letter, Independent on Sunday, 7 February 2010

Anne Karpf rightly says that "philo-Semitism is a form of anti-Semitism" ("Anti-Semitism is at the limits of irony", 7 February). I wonder how she would define abuse of Holocaust survivors and Jewish Rabbis in traditional Jewish garb if the attackers claim to support the rights of Jews?

This is not a hypothetical situation nor from decades ago, but an actual event in the House of Commons and of all days, on Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January 2010). A Jewish Auschwitz survivor was repeatedly shouted at and was stopped many times from speaking about Auschwitz. He and other Jews, including a Rabbi, were persistently attacked, in spite of repeated police warnings, until 4 of them were escorted out. One of the attackers made the Nazi salute and shouted the Nazi obscenity, "sieg heil". While not all the attackers were Christians, they were all Zionists, in fact, mostly Jews. The Jewish victims were all anti-Zionists.

As Anne Karpf rightly says "We should never be complacent about anti-Semitism" - should attacks like that on the 27 Jan 10 be exempted?

Yael Kahn

****Holocaust survivor’s courage

Published: 4 March 2010

I HAD the privilege of seeing Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer’s courage in the face of the repeated attacks at the House of Commons meeting, and he certainly did not look like someone “wheeled out... who has been bamboozled...” (letter by Nicole Segre, February 25).

The attacks at Dr Meyer on the Holocaust Day event escalated until House of Commons police escorted out a Jewish Zionist official.

Then another heckler was escorted out by a policeman but, just when he passed next to us, mainly Jewish people, he shockingly waved his hand in the Nazi salute and shouted “sieg heil”. By contrast, John Gulliver showed his humanity in his compassionate article about the keynote speaker 86-year-old Dr Meyer (February 4).

With dignity Dr Meyer watched the hateful hecklers, only to resume his coherent account of his personal experience and historical analysis.

Unfazed in the face of the Zionist attackers, he told the audience of the lessons on the Siege of Gaza to be learned from the Holocaust.

Dr Meyer’s talk was a special inspiration for me, being an Israeli, currently having regular contact with Gaza, and a daughter of parents who escaped Nazi Germany.

I find Dr Meyer’s lessons poignant, especially when I face denial and silence in spite of the evidence of the death, hunger and suffering caused by the merciless siege of Gaza imposed by Israel.

Yael Kahn
Chair of Islington Friends of Yibna


Published: 11 March 2010

THE treatment of Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer by Zionist Jews comes as no surprise to people like me who have personally experienced the kind of thuggish behaviour they regularly indulge in.

As a Jewish person who has been on the receiving end of their threats and intimidation, I regard it as important for others to know that bullying and cowardice are their stock in trade. The only useful thing to take from their behaviour towards Dr Meyer is that it reveals once again their disdain for civility, the bankruptcy of their politics and the perversity of their claim to speak for the welfare of Jewish people whether they live in Israel or any place else.

Ivor Dembina, SE1

The True meaning of Never Again

Published: 18 March 2010

WE brought together Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer and Palestinian activist Dr Haidar Eid, whom the Israeli blockade prevented from leaving Gaza but who addressed the meeting via live telephone link, (Letters, Yael Kahn, Holocaust survivor’s courage, March 4).

They were joined by speakers from communities who had also suffered and resisted genocide and other forms of mass murder: Armenian, Irish, Native American, the Atlantic slave trade, Roma, Rwandan, and others.

Our aim is to realise the true meaning of Never Again, not only for Jews but for anyone anywhere.

Why did Zionists attack Dr Meyer?

Why do they want Jewish people to be the exception?

It seems that this somehow excuses Israel’s exceptional brutality against Palestinians. How can we allow our history of suffering to hide and even be an excuse for the suffering of others?

Dr Meyer, whom Zionists have always failed to silence, knows the difference between Judaism and Zionism, between anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism and between commitment to collective humanity and commitment to the interests of an apartheid state.

Michael Kalmanovitz
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Good bit of work, theirs not mine. Well done those people.

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