year old Hedy Epstein, a survivor of an extermination camp, has been particular
active in the fight against racism. She
was on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and was recently arrested in Ferguson,
Missouri protesting against Police racism.
Hedy Epstein – Extermination Camp Survivor still fighting racism – arrested in Ferguson, Missouri
the exception of a few disgusting individuals like Elie Wiesel, who repeats the
old canard, previously used against the Jews, that the Palestinians are guilty
of child sacrifices, most holocaust survivors understand that the racism they
experienced at the hands of the Nazis should not be visited on the Palestinians.
Henk Zanoli, who helped save a Jewish child from
deportation to concentration camps, said holding on to the medal would be an
‘insult to the family.’
Hass, Ha’aretz, August 15 2014
91-year-old Dutch man who was declared a Righteous Among the Nations for saving
a Jew during the German occupation on Thursday returned his medal and
certificate because six of his relatives were killed by an Israeli bombing in
the Gaza Strip last month.
the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum declared Henk Zanoli and his late mother,
Johana Zanoli-Smit, Righteous Among the Nations for having saved a Jewish
child, Elhanan Pinto, during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Pinto, born in
1932, was hidden by the Zanoli family from the spring of 1943 until the Allies
liberated Holland in 1945. His parents perished in Nazi death camps.
a Jewish child, the Zanoli family took a double risk, because it was already
under Nazi scrutiny for having opposed the German occupation. Zanoli’s father
was sent to the Dachau concentration camp in 1941 due to his opposition to the
occupation, and he subsequently died at the Mauthausen concentration camp in
February 1945. Henk Zanoli’s brother-in-law was executed because of his
involvement in the Dutch resistance, and one of his brothers had a Jewish
fiancée, who was also killed by the Nazis.
Suzanne Weiss speaking at the “Lift The Siege” rally in Toronto, 10 January 2009
great-niece, Angelique Eijpe, is a Dutch diplomat who currently serves as
deputy head of her country’s diplomatic mission in Oman. Her husband, economist
Isma’il Ziadah, was born in the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. The
couple has three children. Ziadah’s parents were born in Fallujah, on whose
lands the town of Kiryat Gat now sits. His father died in 1987.
Sunday, July 20, an Israeli fighter jet dropped a bomb on the Ziadah family’s
home in al-Bureij. The bomb killed the family matriarch, Muftiyah, 70; three of
her sons, Jamil, Omar and Youssef; Jamil’s wife, Bayan; and their 12-year-old
son, Shaaban. The bombing thus orphaned Jamal and Bayan’s other five children,
four daughters and a son, while bereaving Omar’s two sons and Youssef’s three
sons and a daughter of their fathers. The bombing also killed Mohammed
Maqadmeh, who happened to be visiting the family that day.
an attorney by profession, heard about the killing of the Ziadah family from
his niece. As a way of expressing his shock and pain, he decided to return the
medal and certificate that were awarded to him and his mother (posthumously) as
Righteous Among the Nations. Because of his age and poor health, he did not do
so in person, but sent them by messenger to the Israeli Embassy in The Hague –
the same place where he received them in an official ceremony three years ago.
accompanying letter, addressed to Ambassador Haim Davon, Zanoli began by describing
the price his family paid for resisting the Nazis and their successful effort
to save a Jewish child.
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,” he wrote.
great- great grandchildren of my mother have lost their [Palestinian]
grandmother, three uncles, an aunt and a cousin at the hands of the Israeli
army … For me to hold on to the honour granted by the State of Israel, under
these circumstances, will be both an insult to the memory of my courageous
mother who risked her life and that of her children fighting against
suppression and for the preservation of human life as well as an insult to those
in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives
in Gaza at the hands of the State of Israel.”
that Israel’s actions in Gaza “have already resulted in serious accusations of
war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he continued, “as a retired lawyer it
would be no surprise to me that these accusations could lead to possible
convictions if true and unpoliticized justice is able to have its course. What
happened to our kin in Gaza will no doubt be brought to the table at such a
time as well.”
Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit did not answer Haaretz’s questions as
to whether the Ziadah home was bombed by mistake, or if not, who in the house
was a target and whether the IDF’s legal department considers the death of six
civilians to be legitimate collateral damage. Its response said merely that the
IDF invests great efforts in trying to avoid civilian casualties, is currently
working to investigate all allegations of irregular incidents and will publish
its conclusions after this investigation is completed.