By Suzanne Weiss
I was born in France to a Jewish family during the mass slaughter of Europe's Jews by Hitler and the Nazis. My family fell victim, but I survived. As a child, I came to the United States, where I found racism against Blacks and immigrants, persecution of dissidents, McCarthyism, and the hideous electrocutions of the Rosenbergs.
I also learned that the United States, Canada, and Britain were complicit in the holocaust.
This Jewish holocaust was a by-product of the catastrophic world wars in the last century which are linked to the social system that we call imperialism.
I am horrified that the holocaust is now invoked to breed and justify new wars in the Middle East. This is a crime against the memory of my family and other Jewish victims under Hitler.
In fact, the Zionist state uses many of the methods of Nazism to oppress the Palestinians, including confining them in walled ghettos.
We are told that because Hitler killed the Jews, the Zionist state is needed today—supposedly to protect the Jewish people. But there is no Nazi threat against the Jews in Israel. Rather, the Jewish people are threatened by the aggressive policies of their own government.
There are two important lessons in the story of the murder of European Jews.
First, that there is no limit to the savagery of imperialism. If not opposed, it will dispossess and exterminate entire peoples, like the Palestinians.
Second, to fight back against imperialism, we need a broad unity of peoples of many faiths and nationalities.
In my own background lies an example of this concept. During the Second World War, the French government was rounding up the Jews and deporting them to Hitler's death camps.
My parents belonged to a Jewish resistance organization in France. It was united with other immigrant groups and with French working people – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim together – in the battle against the Nazis.
The resistance saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children in France, including me.
Today we must join in a similar broad alliance, this time to defend the Palestinians and to oppose Zionism.
The Zionists' aggressive policies in the Middle East are against the interests of Jewish people and Palestinians alike, all of whom have a stake in a peaceful and united Middle East.
Palestinian liberation offers the Jewish people in the Middle East the prospect of brotherhood and peace.
In Canada, we have built a broad alliance for Palestinian liberation called the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid. Not In Our Name is one of its Jewish sister organizations and stands for the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland.
The coalition has launched a nation-wide joint campaign for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the Zionist state of Israel. This is a promising beginning.
Let's join in these and other efforts to liberate the Palestinians and to put an end to Israeli apartheid.
Against imperialist wars and Zionist oppression in the Middle East!
See also by Suzanne Weiss - The Three Faces of Anti-Jewish Prejudice