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Decent People Everywhere Should Denounce the Hateful “Never Again For Anyone” Tour

DECENT PEOPLE EVERYWHERE SHOULD DENOUNCE THE HATEFUL “NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE” TOUR,

FEB. 4 PROGRAM AT DEPAUL UNIVERSITY SPREAD LIES, PERVERTED HISTORY, AND INCITED PREJUDICE

 

Anti-Israel campaigners have sunk to new depths with their “Never Again for Anyone” tour. It shamelessly perverts the post-Holocaust motto “Never Again” and showcases elderly Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer in order to demonize and dehumanize Israel and Jews and accuse them of being the “new Nazis.” The tour, which put on its program at DePaul University on Feb. 4, is scheduled to visit other cities over the next month.
 
“The most despicable and anti-Semitic aspects of the Feb. 4 event were that speakers claimed that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis and anti-Semites in order to force European Jews to go to the Palestine Mandate. They even asserted that Lord Balfour, who gave official British endorsement to Zionism, was anti-Semitic. In effect, the speakers accused the victims of being the victimizers and used the Holocaust as a weapon against Jews and survivors who support Israel. Equally disturbing, Hajo Meyer repeatedly demonized the vast majority of the world’s Jewish population, claiming that any Jews who support Israel, no matter where they are on the left-right political spectrum, are not ‘authentic’ Jews but, rather, are ‘dehumanized’ and ‘Nazi-Jews.’ This kind of presentation replicates 1930s’ hate propaganda, which isolated and demonized Jews and, tragically, paved the way for the Nazi program of ethnic cleansing and genocide. People can disagree about Israeli and Palestinian policies and debate the issues reasonably, but no respectable institution should allow itself to be tainted by hosting this reprehensible program,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization. 
 
Extremist anti-Israel groups organized the tour, including the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA); the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is headed by Palestinian-American Hatem Bazian, a leader of the Boycott Israel movement; and the fringe International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN). All of them oppose a two-state solution and call for the dismantling of the Jewish state.

The organizers created an intimidating atmosphere. One attendee likened it to a Ku Klux Klan rally. No audience members were allowed to record, film, or photograph the speakers. Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which sponsored the event, patrolled the aisles looking for “contraband” recording devices. “This created a tense atmosphere, which one audience member described as fascist,” observed Brett Cohen, StandWithUs Midwest campus coordinator. “It’s surprising that a university like DePaul would allow the organizers to deprive audience members of the freedom to record at an open university event and that they would permit such strong-arm tactics,” added Cohen.

The speakers—Meyer, Bazian, and IJAN member Sara Karshnar—vilified current peace efforts and praised the terrorist group Hamas. They repeatedly attacked the moderate Palestinian Authority for “collaborating” with Israel by engaging in peace talks and extolled Hamas as “the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people,” even though Hamas’ founding document calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel, and its replacement with a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy, and even though Hamas’ electoral term ended a year ago and it has refused to participate in new elections. They attacked Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, with Bazian claiming that the treaties were simply an Israeli plot to “extend its strategic borders all the way up to Iraq.”
 
The speakers systematically perverted or invented facts to draw a parallel between Zionism and the Nazi program. Without a shred of evidence, Bazian claimed that the Palestinians in 1948 wanted a unitary state that would “include everyone.” He ignored the mob riots against Jews that occurred throughout the 1920s and 1930s, notably the massacre of Hebron’s Jewish community in 1929, and the fact that the Palestinian leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem, collaborated with Hitler and hoped to bring the “Final Solution” to the Middle East. He even blamed Israel for the Arab-Israeli wars that were unleashed by Arab states, not Israel. He claimed that in 1948, “the entry of the Arab armies was actually to secure areas that were meant to be a Palestinian state,” when in fact historical documents confirm that it was a war of extermination against the newly reestablished Jewish state, as Arab leaders at the time openly declared to the world. Speakers equated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization in Lebanon, claiming both are “right wing.” Bazian did not shy away from recommending some ethnic cleansing of Jews, declaring that Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor “Lieberman should go back to Russia.”

Hajo Meyer made the Nazi-Israeli equation more explicit. Exploiting his status as a Holocaust survivor, he compared IDF soldiers to Auschwitz guards. He denigrated Jews and Judaism. “The Jewish people are not a civilization,” he charged. The only religion that pro-Israel Jews share is the “Holocaust religion. . . . They cannot claim they are Jewish, so therefore they had to invent the Holocaust religion, that is, with its high priest Elie Wiesel,” he said. Meyer even indulged in trivialization of the Holocaust in order to equate Israeli and Nazi actions. He claimed that “in 1941 the Germans had no other plans than the mass deportation of the Jews from Germany and from the countries that they conquered.” The implicit ominous warning is that Israel is possibly on the road to genocide of Palestinians—hence the tour’s name: Never Again for Anyone.

“This program, with its lies and portrayal of pro-Israel Jews as diabolical, is dangerous. Its conspiratorial theories about a powerful, evil Zionist cabal echo the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In a tragic and toxic paradox, the speakers say “Never Again for Anyone” but work hard to foment a Nazi-like hatred of Jews. In their deranged worldview, Israeli Jews are evil foreign interlopers, just as the Nazis once regarded Jews as a “foreign element” that contaminated their country and caused all its woes. This is unacceptable and a dangerous effort to isolate the Jewish people. Anyone who hosts this program is an enemy of peaceful coexistence and is helping promote a vicious new anti-Semitism," said Rothstein.

 

 

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