Open Letter from Jews to the German Government & other European Nations: Support South Africa at the World Court-Do Not Aid & Abet Israel’s Genocide in Gaza


This is Germany where descendents of the Master Race today decide which Jews are anti-Semitic and which aren’t

As Jews of conscience, we  join with those who lament the government of Germany’s betrayal of Jewish values– empathy and kindness– in its intervention on Israel’s behalf at the International Court of Justice, where South Africa has filed an 84-page application accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

We call on the governments of Germany, Austria and all European nations involved in the Nazi Holocaust to stand on the right side of history, to stand with South Africa in its courageous appeal to the highest court in the United Nations to stop Israel’s slaughter and ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

We ask the nations of Europe to join many in the Global South–Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Malaysia, Namibia, Nicaragua, Jordan, Turkey and others –to issue a public statement in support of South Africa’s case at the World Court and to follow up after the Court’s preliminary ruling with submission of a Declaration of Intervention, analogous to a friend of court brief, to become a third party in support of South Africa.

All 153 parties to the UN Convention on Genocide have a stake in the court’s prelimary and final rulings and a responsibility to not only punish countries that perpetrate genocide but prevent genocide, as well.

Like millions of other Jews around the world, we read with disgust the press statement from German Secretary of State Steffen Hebestreit who said, “The German government supports the International Court of Justice in its work, as it has done for many decades. The government intends to intervene as a third party in the main hearing … The German government firmly and explicitly rejects the accusation of genocide that has now been made against Israel before the International Court of Justice.”

How dare the leaders of the German government deny what we see live streamed into our living rooms every day: Israel turning Gaza into a graveyard for children, where mass starvation threatens to exponentially increase the horrific death toll, which has already reached 24,000, at least 10,000 of them children. With 1.9 million homeless, as Israel withholds food, water, medicine and fuel, this brutality violates the UN Convention on Genocide by “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

The announcement that Germany will intervene as a third party on Israel’s behalf undermines the safety and security of all Jews who find Israel’s actions–supposedly perpetrated to make the world safe for Jews–a driver of growing anti-semitism as Israel and Germany conflate Judaism with Zionism.

Judaism is a religion characterized by the belief in one God, while Zionism is support for a Jewish-only state.

Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza–ordering mass evacuations only to bomb escape routes– reminds us of the first Nakba, the one we never learned of in Sunday school, when in 1948 Israel destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages, burning some to the ground, to make way for a Jewish-supremacist state that would bar the return of 750,000 indigenous Palestinians who fled in fear for their lives.

Germany’s intention to support Israel at the highest judicial court of the United Nations puts Germany on record as perpetrating, collaborating and supporting three separate holocausts.

First came the Namibian genocide in the early 1900s, when Germany committeed atrocities in Namibia against the Indigenous population. Next came Germany’s Nazi extermination campaign targeting 11-million people, including Jews, communists, socialists, gay people, the blind and disabled and Roma. Now comes Germany’s support of Israel as it bombs Gaza into a wasteland of carnage and rubble and rampant disease.

Germany, however, insists that none of this constitutes a case for genocide, arguing that its support for Israel stems from its special responsibility towards Israel due to the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II.

“In view of Germany’s history, crimes against humanity, and Shoah (catastrophe in English), the government is particularly committed to the UN Genocide Convention,” Hebestreit said.

If the German government were committed to upholding the UN Convention on Genocide it would not support the perpetrator of genocide.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government is working to facilitate the ‘voluntary migration’ –an odd euphemism for brutal forced displacement–of Palestinians out of Gaza, heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said on November 5 that throwing a nuclear bomb on Gaza was “an option”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has stated: “There is only one place for Germany: firmly at the side of Israel. This is what we mean when we say that the security of Israel is and will remain the prime motivation for the actions of the state of Germany…Our own history, the responsibility we bear as a result of the Holocaust, make it our permanent task to stand up for the existence and security of the state of Israel. This responsibility is our guide.”

But by standing by Israel as it commits genocide, Germany does the opposite of what Scholz claims. Instead of  taking its responsibility for the Holocaust as a mandate to prevent the recurrence of such horrors,Germany commits to continuing its shameful unbroken legacy of genocide, from Namibia 1904-1908 to present-day Gaza.

It is time for Germany to come to terms with its past, not by aiding and abetting another genocide but by supporting South Africa at the International Court of Justice where Israel must be held to account for its crime of genocide and ordered to cease its military operation.

Initial Signatories

Jewish Voice for Peace: Vermont/New Hampshire Chapter

IfNotNowHighland Park, Highland Park, NJ


Josef Avesar, Los Angeles, CA. Israeli Palestinian Confederation

Rabbi David Basior, Seattle, WA. Kadima Reconstructionist Community, JVP Rabbinical Council

Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK

Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

David Cannon, Chair of Jewish network for Palestine (UK)

Estee Chandler, host, Middle East in Focus (KPFK)

Jeff Cohen, co-founder, RootsAction

Marjorie Cohn, dean, People’s Academy of International Law

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, CA. Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Barbara Koppel, Academy Award Winning Documentary Film Director (Harlan County USA)

Gabor Maté, Holocaust survivor

Adrienne Pine, co-coordinator, International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine

Karen Pomer, co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, granddaughter of Holocaust survivor

Immanuel Ness, NYC, NY, professor, scholar of workers’ organizations

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Tzedek Chicago, JVP Rabbinical Council

Maya Schenwar, Chicago, Ill. director., Truthout Center for Grassroots Journalism

Joan Sekler, documentary filmmaker, “Unprecedented: The 2,000 Presidential Election”

Norman Solomon, national director, RootsAction

Jeff Warner, action coordinator, LA Jews for Peace

Mark Weber, Solon, OH, Board Member, American Council for Judaism

Marcy Winograd, co-host, CODEPINK Congress

Rabbi May Ye, New Haven, CT., JVP Rabbinical Council

Dave Zirin, journalist, Washington DC

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