A Dutch man who risked his life by hiding a Jewish child in his home during the Holocaust has given back his honorary medal as a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.
91 year-old Henk Zenoli returned his medal to the Israeli embassy in the Hague after six of his relatives of his were killed by an Israeli air strike on the Gaza strip, Hareetz reported.
The family of his great-niece was living in the al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza, where six family members were reportedly killed by an Israeli bomb last month. Zenoli and his mother were awarded the medal by Yad Vashem in 2011 for his actions during the war.
“It is particularly shocking and tragic that today, four generations on, our family is faced with the murder of our kin in Gaza. Murder carried out by the State of Israel,” Zanoli explained in a letter to the Israeli embassy.
“For me to hold on to the honour granted by the State of Israel, under these circumstances, will be both an insult to the memory of my courageous mother who risked her life,” and to relatives in mourning in Gaza, he added.
Meanwhile, over 300 Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants have signed an open letter unequivocally condemning the “massacre of Palestinians in Gaza” and the “ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine” by Israel.
The letter also criticises the advert placed last week by Elie Wiesel in the Guardian, New York Times and other papers, accusing it of “abusing” their history “to promote blatant falsehoods used to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children.”
“Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities,” it continued.
Published on the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s website, the letter currently has 313 signatories from across Europe, the US and Israel.
“We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanisation of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch,” the letter reads. It goes on to denounce “the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people” while calling for an “immediate end to the blockade of Gaza” and “a full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel.”
“’Never again’ must mean never again for anyone,” it concludes.