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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Barriers to peace

The following statement has been issued by "Jews Against Genocide":

"On January 19th we, a group of concerned Jews, spray painted the infamous Nazi slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frie' ('Work Makes You Free') on a sign placed by the Israeli occupation authorities at the Kalandia checkpoint that read 'The Hope of Us All'.

"The Sign 'The hope of us all' and the New Ramallah Terminal were inaugurated on the 20th of Dec 2005. The new terminal is set up so that there is no physical contact between the soldiers and the Palestinians. The soldiers scream commands to the Palestinians over loud speakers as they are made to go through a series of electronic gates and turnstiles. The new Terminal embodies the occupation in its alienated, bureaucratically cruel form. It is situated between one Palestinian area and another and flanked on both sides by the annexation barrier effectively turning Ramallah into a ghetto.

"'Arbeit Meicht Frie' was written at the entrance of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. In spray painting on that sign we did not mean to say that Ramallah is Auschwitz. We did, however, wish to point out that there are many disturbing parallels between the tactics used by the occupation and those used by the Nazis. For example, the attempt to beautify dehumanising institutions through empty phrases like 'The Hope of Us All' and 'Arbeit Macht Frie'. We believe that it is important to heed these disturbing parallels as warning signals in order for another Holocaust never to happen again, to any people. We wrote a paragraph explaining our action in Arabic and English and distributed it to people as we were painting the sign, and we posted that paragraph next to the slogan.

"Unfortunately the Israeli authorities have decided to use our action for their own purposes and are accusing the Israeli human rights group Machsom Watch of 'defacing the checkpoint'. (See Kalandia terminal crossing compared to Auschwitz by Margot Dudkevitch.) These accusations are baseless. None of the people involved in writing the slogan have anything to do with Machsom Watch. The Israeli Military is attempting to find excuses to deny witnesses access to the checkpoints where human rights are systematically violated."

Read this for a typical example of how checkpoints are destroying Palestinian lives and the "security fence" is harming both Israelis and Palestinians.


Blogger smiths said...

thats the thing i have always found hardest to understand and hardest to forgive of the istraeli people,
if anyone would understand what it was like to be dehumanised and herded into concentration camps you would think it would be jews and israeli's,
and if anyone, it would be them working hardest to make sure it never happened to anyone else,
(obviously noting that we should all be working to make sure it happens to no-one),
its almost like familial abuse, the abused grows up to be the abuser

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 2:22:00 pm  
Blogger Melanie said...

My father was in Auschwitz and most of my family on dad's side were gassed there on the day they arrived, including his 10 year old sister. Thousands arrive to camps everyday only to go straight to gas chambers.
That fact that Israel has to have fences and checkpost because they are surrounded by genocidal maniacs is totally irrelevant to you. The fence is preventing a another Genocide of the Jews. To compare this to the Death Camps is utterly disgusting.
So what's the point of this. So there are other totally deranged Jews just like Antony? Point made.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 8:32:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...


If he so called security fence was legitimate, ti woudl nto have been used to grab even more land and also cordon off vital fresh water supplies, which are largely being denied to the Palestinians.

You r families tragedy is profound and deserves the upmost respect, however to perenially link the Death Camps to the situation with the Palestinians is dissengenuous and misleading.

The Israeli's are infinitely more powerful than their abversarives. There is no connection whatsoever other than perhaps that the Israeli Jews find themselves in the other side of the equation this time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:38:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

melanie, truly a tragedy and sorry about your family. I appreciate where one with this type of family history would stand in the debate regarding Israel. However as was posted above, someone who has experienced such treatment would be able to identify it. In the Israel/Palestine troubles Israel is definitely not the victim and "The fence is preventing a another Genocide of the Jews." comment has no credibility.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:11:00 pm  
Blogger Melanie said...

addammo : "however to perenially link the Death Camps to the situation with the Palestinians is dissengenuous and misleading"

Typical spin. Look at the picture -It's the sign at Aushwitz. I didn't make the connection - I said the connection was disgusting!

And just because the Palestinians are in a crappy situation it doesn't mean they are in the right. The Arab world has to take most of the blame for their problem.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 8:47:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...


My appologies for the misunderstanding re the sign at Aushwitz.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 9:40:00 am  

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