The Anti-Zionist Network's False Claim to Represent Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants

The Anti-Zionist Network is a small fringe group of radical left-wing activists who want to end the "racism" and "apartheid" of Israel. In September of 2014 they took out an ad in the New York Times claiming "40 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and 287 descendants of Holocaust survivors" ... "condemn Israel's actions in Gaza".

They concluded by attacking a Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, and said, "We are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel's abuse of our history ... to justify the unjustifiable." Mr. Wiesel, the most well-known and respected survivor in the world, had previously published an ad of his own in American newspapers criticizing Hamas for its brutality.

This letter from the Anti-Zionist Network was signed by many different people. Here are some of the people who signed the letter:

- Lillian Rosengarten, who is falsely listed as a Holocaust survivor. Rosengarten's family had fled Germany before she was born in 1941. Rosengarten, like the others who signed the petition, is a left-wing activist.

- Hedy Epstein, a child who spent most of the war in England and was raised a Christian. Epstein was recently arrested for protesting against the U.S. government in Ferguson, Missouri.

- Hajo Meyer, a supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement who said "Israel wants to create anti-Semitism in the world to encourage more Jews to migrate to Israel". (He recently passed away.)

- Bernard Swierszcz, who lives in the United States but says, "[The] U.S. is a police, oligarch state. We have no democracy". He also says Israel is an "apartheid state". He calls the Prime Minister of Israel "Satanyahu".

None of them -- or the others listed -- were beyond the age of 10 when Hitler set his plan to destroy European Jewry into action. Because of this, they had no parents to share Jewish history with them, no opportunity to have their bar or bat mitzvah, and had their lives uprooted without any real connection to their own families. A travesty.

What's also a travesty is that the letter and its signers display no interest in condemning the deeds of Nazi Germany. Instead, they focus their wrath -- from the start of their letter until its last word -- on attacking the Jewish people and the only country in the world with a population higher than 2%.

Generations of the Shoah International, a group that represents children and grandchildren of survivors internationally, made the following statement regarding the ad in the Times:
"The overwhelming majority of the worldwide intergenerational Holocaust survivor community, including GSI's Coordinating Council, agrees with Elie Wiesel's recent statement in the New York Times that affirms Israel's absolute right to self defense. The tragic loss of innocent lives -- Israelis as well as Palestinians, who have been used as human shields by Hamas -- is heartbreaking. The way for the conflict in Gaza to end and to insure the safety of Israel and its citizens, both Jews and Arabs, is for Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel and stop attacking Israel through tunnels. During the Holocaust, Jews often weren't able to defend themselves, and the world saw what happened. Our parents and grandparents lived through a time when virulent anti-Semitism was accepted by their neighbors. We cannot, and will not, stand idly by as anti-Semitism once again threatens the existence of Israel and the Jewish people.

We remember that when the U.S. was attacked on 9/11, Hamas leaders cheered. We remember that when the U.S. killed Bin Laden, Hamas condemned us. And we know that when Israel fights Hamas, Israel defends us all" (source).
The Anti-Zionist Network, founded in 2008, wants to rewrite history for their own purposes. They are using deceptive tactics to gain sympathy in the same way that the organization Jews for Jesus twists scripture to indoctrinate people for their cause. As Alvin H. Rosenfeld states, "In inflating and exploiting a status they regard as privileged, they are guilty of doing precisely what they falsely accuse Elie Wiesel of doing: “manipulating the legacy of the Nazi genocide to justify the unjustifiable."

Israel and the Jewish people are under attack from many corners. We not only have to deal with these antisemitic liars who wish to eliminate Israel while claiming they are the true representatives of Holocaust survivors' families, but there are a number of other self-loathing groups (ranging from "Messianic Jews" to right-wing Hasidim who claim they are the "real Jews".

The real Jews -- 99% of us -- support Israel as the one and only place that Jews can turn to when under attack. We will defend Israel, the only free country in the Middle East, until our last breathes. As Rosenfeld concludes,
"The endorsement of the most reckless charges against Israel -- e.g., Israelis are like Nazis and are carrying out a genocide against Palestinians -- by members of a people who themselves were victims of the twentieth century's most determined attempt at genocide is unprecedented and can be hugely harmful unless it is seen for what it is: an unseemly exercise in the spread of propagandistic lies.

Sanctioning such propaganda by stamping it with the moral authority that supposedly belongs to Holocaust survivors does not turn these lies into truth. What it does instead is expose as fraudulent the claims of certain Holocaust survivors and their kin to possessing an enlarged moral and political consciousness."