Holocaust survivors say ‘Never again, for anyone’

Published December 24, 2023
police speak to Holocaust survivors Rene Lichtman and Nabil Sater as they block traffic during a march in Farmington Hills, Michigan, for a ceasefire in Gaza.—Reuters
police speak to Holocaust survivors Rene Lichtman and Nabil Sater as they block traffic during a march in Farmington Hills, Michigan, for a ceasefire in Gaza.—Reuters

WASHINGTON: About 40 members of the Jewish Voice for Peace, including Holocaust survivors, protested in a Michigan town on Friday, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The gathering, which centred outside the Zekelman Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, witnessed passionate chants of “Never again, for anyone!” as protesters marched toward a major highway intersection.

Among the voices was 86-year-old Holocaust survivor Renee Lichtman, who drew parallels between the plight of Palestinians and the Warsaw ghetto prisoners.

He argued that it was important to distinguish between innocent Palestinians being killed in Gaza and Hamas fighters. Lichtman directly pointed at the Israeli military, Israeli politicians, and the Biden administration, condemning their role in perpetuating the conflict through military aid.

Marione Ingram, an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, staged a protest outside the White House last month, condemning Israel’s actions and advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Having experienced anti-Jewish hate, lost family members to the Nazi regime, and survived Allied bombings as a child, Ingram passionately declared that Israel’s current approach would only worsen the conflict.

Omer Bartov, a leading Holocaust scholar, recently signed an open letter warning of the potential for genocide in Israel’s assault on Gaza.

“The refusal of the Israeli government to find any kind of compromise with the Palestinians … is what led and keeps leading to this ongoing and increasingly violent confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians,” he wrote.

In August 2014, a powerful statement emerged as 327 Holocaust survivors and their descendants boldly condemned the “massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” in an impactful New York Times advertisement.

This collective denouncement was spurred by a Jewish rights acrivist Elie Wiesel’s widely published accusation against Hamas, likening them to Nazis and alleging “child sacrifice”.

Sponsored by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, the survivors’ letter accused Wiesel of distorting history to justify Israel’s actions in Gaza, shedding light on a complex narrative that extends beyond conventional perspectives.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2023

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