Wiesenthal Center Briefings from Durban II / Number 2

Wiesenthal Center Briefings from Durban II / Number 2


Geneva, 22 April, 2009


The Geneva Jewish Community welcomed visiting personalities and Jewish organizations to mourn the victims of the Holocaust on this Yom HaShoah commemoration day, which coincided with the 120th anniversary of Hitler’s birth.


Over 2000 gathered in prayer and outrage opposite the United Nations, just following the speech given there by Holocaust denier, terrorist patron and today’s Hitler aspirant, Iranian President Ahmadinejad.


Across town, at the Uni Mail University, some 200 pro-Palestinian activists were invited by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), for a counter-Yom HaShoah: “From Warsaw to Gaza – Memory and Responsibility”.


French Jewish writer, Eric Hazan – author of Notes on the Occupation: Nablus, Kalkilya, Hebron and American professor of Jewish History, Marc Ellis – author of Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes – described the Holocaust as “a Zionist defence of Israel”.


While Elie Wiesel, at the official ceremony, spoke emotionally of his own deportation and despair at current antisemitism, the Jewish anti-Zionists slammed his misuse of that experience for Zionist ends, and Claude Lanzmann, Alain Finkielkraut and Bernard Henri – Levi as “stooges for the United States and Israel”.


Ellis claimed to have been warned, as a foreigner, “not to advocate, on Swiss soil, the end of a State with which Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations” (ironically, Israel that same day withdrew its Ambassador from Berne, due to the Swiss President’s welcome to Ahmadinejad).


“We Jews must combat the Americanization of the Holocaust and its instrumentalization for empire… Jewish forces with their dollar millions of funding (Elie Wiesel is at a better hotel than mine) have hijacked a UN anti-racism conference to impose their imperialist agenda”.


IJAN claimed its Yom HaShoah as “a prophetic event”, to match the 19 April anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising with the fate of resistance in Gaza.


Their failed prophets were Buber, Magnes and Hannah Arendt. But even these were “misguided colonialists who believed Jewish settlements in Palestine would profit the indigenous Arabs…” Settlements became imperialist after “the disruption of the Holocaust” which legitimized the Jewish State.


The public consensus was for a one-State solution “to end the ethnic cleansing and segregation of Palestinians… that Jews could live therein as a minority, just as other minorities in the region”.


The speakers attacked the Zionist Jewish left, especially Amos Oz, as “the friendly face of Zionism”. They then turned to boycott and campaigns to rupture diplomatic relations with Israel in praise of Venezuelan and Bolivian Presidents Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales.


IJAN’s bottom line was: “as a Jew, I do not accept Zionist crimes committed in my name”.


Wiesenthal Center officials, Dr. Shimon Samuels (Director for International Relations) and Sergio Widder (Director for Latin America) expressed their disgust at this obscenity, stating “after Ahmadinejad in the UN plenary, we found solace in Elie Wiesel’s passionate plea “for hope in the generation of our children and children’s children”.


“To end this horrific day in the fetid atmosphere of psychotic self-hating Jews, bent on harming the Jewish State, was a desecration of Yom HaShoah and a nightmare scenario bereft of hope”, concluded Samuels and Widder.


Photo attached: IJAN’s Charter: The picture shows 20 Jewish activists disrupting Israel’s 60th anniversary event in San Francisco. This anti-Zionist protest led to the foundation the group.


For further information contact Shimon Samuels at +41 (0)76 7443491 or Sergio Widder +41 (0)76 7595477.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.