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Palestine group BDS SA commemorates Holocaust Day

26 January 2015

Today the Palestine solidarity and human rights organization BDS South Africa (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa) joins the millions of people around the world in commemorating the 10th International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

We as BDS South Africa (a primarily Palestine solidarity-focused human rights organizations) commemorate this day, firstly, in the recognition that the Nazi Holocaust was a human tragedy of unspeakable proportions. Secondly, Holocaust denial and even anti-Semitism, rarely but occasionally does emerge within Palestine solidarity circles. This needs to be dealt with and confronted head-on. Finally, we are tired of the Nazi Holocaust being monopolized to serve a pro-Israeli narrow, racist and ethnic interests; we want to mourn and commemorate with those who truly believe that an injury to one is an injury to all - that when we say, `Never Again!` we mean ‘Never Again!’ to any and all groups of people.

This year BDS South Africa specifically salutes the growing number of Nazi Holocaust survivors (and descendants of those targeted by Nazi Germany) who have come out in recent months joining the call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel.

Last year, in August, 40 survivors of the Nazi Holocaust published an open letter in the New York Times (with 287 descendants of victims of the Nazi Holocaust) slamming the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Gaza strip and supporting the non-violent BDS boycott against Israel. Signatories to the New York Times open letter by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust included: Nazi Holocaust survivor Suzanne Weiss, whose mother was murdered in Auschwitz and who was hidden by French peasants; and Liliane Kaczerginski, whose father Schmerke was a Jewish fighter against the Nazis in Lithuania; and Nazi Holocaust suvivor Edith Bell, whose parents died in concentration camps and who was taken to four camps herself. Nazi Holocaust survivor Edith Bell said: “I resent anybody who will use those events [of the Nazi Holocaust] as an excuse to exterminate Palestinians”.

Last year`s New York Times letter by the suvivors of the Nazi Holocaust read: “As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine…we call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. ‘Never again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”

In the past BDS South Africa has held public events to mark the the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 2013 BDS South Africa held a Holocaust Remembrance Day event on Sunday the 27th of January at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg (click here for more information with BDS SA videos of that Holocaust Remembrance Day event).

ISSUED BY Muhammed Desai on behalf of BDS South Africa

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