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 (Scroll to sign).

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; trauma psychotherapist

Alan Minsky, executive director, Progressive Democrats of America

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

Additional Signatories

Rae Abileah, San Francisco, CA

Susan Ackoff Ortega, NYC, NY

Anna Adams, Mexico, Ph.D

Michael Adler, Los Angeles, CA

Shannon Ahern, Brooklyn, NY, roots in Germany & Poland

Emily Albert, Toronto, Canada

Amelia Alter, Caracas, Venezuela

Lexine Alpert, Oakland, CA

Kira Appelman, Detroit, MI.

Susan Apter-McKevitt, Bradford, UK

Daniele Armaleo, Durham, North Carolina

Sylvia Aroth, Los Angeles, CA, child of Holocaust survivors

Peta Arthurs (neeLevy), Belize City, Belize

Gary Atkins, Santa Barbara, CA

Bryan Atinsky, Milwaukee, WI.

Ted Auerbach, NYC, NY

Hazik Ali Baloch, Karachi, Pakistan

Barbara Barefield, Detroit, MI

Jennifer Baumstein, New York

Mark Bell, Fairfax, USA

Rebecca Bell-Gurwitz, Northampton

Marc Bender, Woodland Hills, CA., attorney representing sweatshop workers

Trude Bennett, Durham, North Carolina

Anna Berg, NYC, NY 

Wendy Bilgen, Cleveland, OH

Victoria Best, Santa Monica, CA

Boris Birnbach, Philadelphia, PA.

Max Bleich, Cleveland, OH

Barbara Bloch, Sydney, Australia, Anti-Zionist Jewish activist and scholar

Nicole Born Crow, Lakewood,  US, dual citizen of US and Austria 

Zevulon Boukhobza, NYC, NY, descendant of Tunisian Holocaust survivors

Anne Bowers, NYC, NY

Larry Bragman, Fairfax, VA., US. attorney

Gloria Brandman, Brooklyn, NY

Renate Bridenthal, NYC, NY

Jackie Brookman, Portland, OR

Allison Brown,  Brooklyn, NY

Beth Bruch, Durham, NC

Buddy Gottlieb, Santa Barbara, CA, attorney

Mike Caggiano, San Mateo, CA

Danny Caine, Cleveland, OH

Mary Cantoral, Warrenville, ILL 

Morgan Carolin, San Antonio, TX

Sheila Carrillo, Santa Cruz, CA 

Dena Chertoff, Los Angeles, CA

Rick Chertoff, Los Angeles, CA

Antonie Churg, Torrance, CA. Ph.D

Rand Clark, Santa Barbara, CA, Chair, Jewish Voice for Peace-Santa Barbara

Cynthia Clarkson, Point Reyes, CA.

Melanie Cohen, Redondo Beach, CA

Robin Cohen, NYC, NY

Terri Cohen, Richmond, VA

Barbara Conn, Brooklyn, NY.

Jeffrey Cooper, Los Angeles, CA., professor emeritus

Elyse Crystall, Durham, NC

Aryeh Davidson, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jewish anti-Zionist.

Ellen Davidson, New York City, NY

Linval DePass, Palo Alto, CA, Ph.D

Kristoph DiMaria, Troy, NY

Danielle Detraz, Banos, France

Wendy Dishman, Santa Barbara, CA, professor of sociology 

Tina Dobsevage, New York, MD

Luise Eichenbaum, NYC, NY

Alexa Eisenberg, Detroit, MI. PhD

Jack Elkhalayleh, Hollywood, CA. 

Susan Epstein, Brooklyn, NY

Kathy Engel, New York, co-founder, MADRE

Ella Engel-Snow, Sagaponack, NY

Rita Erickson, Albuquerque, NM

Aria Ertz, San Francisco, CA. 

Cody Esterle, USA (French)

Esther Farmer, Brooklyn, NY

Hannah Fox, New Paltz, NY

Laurie Fox, Durham, NC

Harriet Fraad, NYC, NY

Temim Fruchter, Brooklyn, NY

Doug Gary, San Jose, CA

Roger Geller, Brookline, MA

Sally Jane Gellert, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Emmaia Gelman, NY., director, Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism

Audrey Georg, Santa Monica, CA

Hana Georg, Santa Monica, CA

Baljeet Gill, London, England

Michael Gordy, Champagnac-de-Belair

Joan Glickman, New Rochelle, NY

Steven Goldfield, Oakland, CA, Ph.D

Zoe Goorman, Mill Valley, CA. artist

Jerk Goudsmit, Coogee, Australia

Dorothy Grahm, Oakland, CA

Bobby Greenberg, Brooklyn, NY., teacher

Wendy Greenfield, San Jose, CA, Jewish Voice for Peace

Adam Grumbach, Brooklyn, NY

Marta Guttenberg, Philadelphia, PA

Roger Harris, Corte Madera, CA.

Emma Hartung, San Jose, CA

Jenny Heinz, NY, USA, psychotherapist

Ellen Hellman, Santa Monica, CA

Katherine Herman, New York City

Randall Heyn-Lamb, Pasadena, CA

Karen Hilfman, Los Angeles, CA

Ben Himovitz, Santa Barbara, CA 

Claire Hirsch, Los Angeles, CA. Holocaust survivor

Diane Hirsch Garcia,  Los Angeles, daughter of Holocaust survivor

Joan Hirsch, Brooklyn, NY

Jane Hirschmann, daughter of Holocaust survivors

Leta Hirschmann-Levy, NYC, NY. grandchild of Holocaust survivor

Nell Hirschmann-Levy, NYC, NY. descendant of Holocaust survivor

Amanda Jane Hoffman, Madison, WI

Marla Hoffman, New Hyde Park, NY

Elizabeth Holzman, Merion Station 

Julia Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

Brian Huser, Cleveland, OH

Rachel Ida Buff, Milwaukee, WI

Laurie Izaks MacSween, Sydney, Australia

Sarah Jacobus, Los Angeles, CA

Glen Janken, Los Angeles, CA. teacher

Robert Jereski, New York City, NY

 Zul Jivani, Vancouver, Canada, actor

Tami Kashia Gold, Brooklyn, NY

Laura Kandle, New York City, NY

Sophia Kaplan, Queens, NY, German citizen by Article 116 restoration

Deborah Kapell, Brooklyn, NY 

Stanley Kaster, Brooklyn, New York

Lauren Katzman, Brooklyn, New York

Wynd Kaufmyn, Berkeley, CA.

Benjamin Kersten, West Hollywood, CA

Lynn Kessler, Los Angeles, CA

Chip Kimura, Brooklyn, NY

Mark Kleiman, Los Angeles, CA, attorney

Frederick Klein, Somerville 

Sherryl Kleinman, Chapel Hill, NC

Bert Knorr, Berkeley, CA

Aiyana Knauer, Queens, NY

Richard Koch, San Francisco, CA., attorney

Wendy Koran, Berkeley, CA

Dana Kornberg, Detroit, MI. , professor

Hannah Kornblut, Cleveland, OH

Francine Korotzer, NYC, NY

Dennis Kortheuer, Long Beach, CA

Laura Kraftowitz, Detroit, MI. non-profit leader

Stephanie Kristal, Hurley, US 

Steven Kupferman, Berkeley CA

Juliette Leak, Raleigh, NC

James Leas, South Burlington, VT

Steve Leeds, San Francisco, CA

Clyde Leland, Berkeley, CA

Michael Letwin, Brooklyn, NY

Rebecca Levi, Nashville, TN

Alan Levine, Miami, FL., civil rights lawyer

Eleanor Levine, Oakland, CA. PhD

Julie Levine, Los Angeles, CA

Gail Lerner, USA

Judy Levitt, Los Angeles, CA

Rachel Levitsky, professor, Brooklyn, NY

Paul Lewis, San Antonio, TX, philosophy professor

Andrew Liberman, Santa Monica, CA

Dave Lippman, New York, songwriter

Brooke Lober, Oakland, CA. PhD

Michel Loewenthal, Portland

Yosefa Loshitzky, London, UK

Henie Lustgarten, London, UK, child of Holocaust Survivors

Leah Mack, Brooklyn, NY

Eos Mahassine, Mill Valley, CA. climate steward

David Mandel, Sacramento, CA., candidate for US House of Representatives 

Liat Mayer, Milwaukee, WI

Jodi Melamed, Milwaukee, USA

Emily Merchant, Sacramento, CA, Ph.D

Eli Meyerhoff, Brooklyn, NY

Linda Milazzo, Los Angeles, CA

Lorraine Malcoe, Milwaukee, WI

Rachel Marandett, NYC, NY

Carol Marsh, Brooklyn, NY

Haroun Mansour, USA

Laura Marom, Freetown, US

Iña Martinez, Los Angeles, CA

Sally McMillan, Iowa City, IA

Ira Mintz, Highland Park, NJ, President Emeritus, I.L. Peretz Secular Jewish Community

Tina Weishaus, Highland Park, NY

Jeanne Mirer, New York, attorney

Judith Mirkinson, San Francisco, CA

Nancy Morgan, Denver, CO.

Esther Moroze, New York City

Seth Morrison, United States

Lisa Mullenneaux, NY. professor

Sarah Mumford, Alexandria, Scotland, retired RN

Haskell Musry, Darwin, Australia

Emily Naftalin, Seattle, WA.

Nathan Newburn, Los Angeles, CA

Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX, Jewish Voice for Peace

Henry Norr, Berkeley, CA. 

Michael Novick, Los Angeles, CA., interim general manager, KPFK

Eli Oberman, Brooklyn, NY

Susan Oberman, Woodhaven, NY

Peter Oppenheimer, Forest Knolls, CA

Michal Osterweil, Carrboro, NC

Karin Pally, Santa Monica, CA

Michael Palm, Chapel Hill, NC

Thea Paneth, Arlington, VA

Cynthia Papermaster, Berkeley, CA

Sandra Pasch, Fox Point, WI

Lois Pearlman, Guerneville, CA

Emily Pek, Cleveland, OH

Lailah Pepe, Brooklyn, NY

Catherine Peterd, Sydney, Australia, daughter of holocaust survivor and German citizen

Lindsay Peters, Sydney, Australia

Ava Petersen, NYC, NY

Koby Picker, Cleveland, OH

Mike Pincus, San Francisco, CA

Nancy Puchner, Stony Brook, NY

Udi Pladott, Brooklyn, NY., Israeli-American

Sivan Philo, Brooklyn, NY

Karen Platt, Albany, CA

Jennifer Plevin, Milwaukee, WI

Laurie Pollack, Philadelphia, PA

Vivienne Porzsolt, Australia, Jews against the Occupation '48

Cory Potash, Boulder, CO

Lenny Potash, Los Angeles, CA

Jessica Ralli, NYC., NY., author

Estelle Raskin, Cleveland

Michele Rayvid, Brooklyn, NY 

Emma Reed, Cleveland, OH

Ellen Resnik, Brookline, MA

Denise Rickles, New York

Jules Rose, New York, synagogue worker

Dorah Rosen, Santa Cruz, CA.

Jonah Ross, Cleveland, OH

Judith Ross, United States

Lily Roth, Chapel Hill, NC

Rachel Rubin, Chicago, ILL., physician

Stephanie Rugoff, New York 

Richard Sack, Paris, France

Barry Saks, Long Beach, California 

Jo Salas, New Paltz, New York

Ana Santoyo Yassky, Norristown, PA

Hedi Saraf, Alameda, CA

Alec Schachner, New York 

Robin Beth Schaer, Oberlin, OH

Michael Scheinberg, Collingswood, NJ

Julia Schles, Oakland, CA

Diana Scott, San Francisco, CA

Ghita SCHWARZ, NYC, NY., daughter of Holocaust survivors

Shawn Setaro, Brooklyn, NY

Hannah Siegel, NYC, NY

Beverly Shalom, Oakland, CA

Sarah Shapiro, Brooklyn, NY

Ann Shirazi, NYC, NY

Dani Shuster, USA

Sam Sills, Brooklyn

Rachel Sene, Santa Monica,CA

Sarah Shapiro, Brooklyn, NY

Steve Schatz, Lakewood, CA

Arielle Shorr, NYC, NY

Margo Schulter, Sacramento, CA., Nakba abolitionist 

Leslie Simon, Los Angeles, CA, union advocate

Alice Slater, NYC, NY., attorney

Abba A Solomon, Seattle, WA, writer

Nancy Stern, NJ, US

Michael Steven Smith, Kerhonkson, New, York., attorney

Alissa Schwartz, Brooklyn, NY. PhD

Steve Shapiro, Ashland, OR

David Shavin, Leesburg, VA

Deborah Shelton, Kingston, NY., child of two Holocaust survivors

Genie Silver, Wynnewood, PA

Maureen Silverman, NYC, NY

Melinda Smith, Albuquerque, NM

Rebecca Smith, Jersey City, NJ

Phylece Snyder, Oakland, CA

Sarah Snyder, Portland, ME

Louisa Solomon, Queens, NY

Nicole Solomon, Brooklyn, NY

Judy Somberg, Cambridge, MA.

Marcia Steinbock, Cinnaminson, NJ

Renée Steinhagen, Jersey City

Robert Suberi, St. Louis, MO 

Yifat Susskind, Montclair, NJ., Exec. Dir., MADRE

David St. Jean, Little Britain, Ontario

Sallye Steiner Bowyer, Soquel, CA

Alexis Stern, New York, NY

Mark Stern, Sommerville, MA., attorney

Karen Stevens, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Roger Stoll, San Rafael, CA.

Valerie Stoll Schwimmer,  Berkeley, CA

Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos, Monroe, NY. 

Lauren Steiner, Asheville, NC

Uri Strauss, Amherst, MA

Alice Sturm Sutter, NYC, NY

Marjorie Suisman, Brookline, MA 

Marge Sussman, Berkeley CA

Pat Swyney, Los Angeles, CA

Ella Tabasky, Brunswick, ME

Elise Tak, Brooklyn, NY (Dutch), artist

Yuval Talby, New York, USA

Paul Thomas, Granville

Clifford Tasner, Los Angeles, CA, President, Americans for Democratic Action of Southern California

André Trilling, Ilsede, Germany

Terry, Sydney, Australia

Alberto DanielTeszkiewicz, Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Julieanna Thompson, Culver City, CA

Joseph Tillotson, Redondo Beach, CA

André Trilling, Ilsede, Germany 

Alana Turnbull, Cleveland, OH

Lori Tuttle, Santa Rosa, CA

Robin Van Tassell, Summerland, CA

Abigail W, Brooklyn, NY

Donna Wallach, San Jose, CA

Eléonore Weill, NYC, NY

Jenna Weiss-Berman, Brooklyn, NY

Tina Weishaus, Highland Park, NY

Adam Weissman, Teaneck, NJ

Eileen Weitzman, Brooklyn, NY., attorney

Ky Whitehead, Chicago, ILL

Ruth Laurie Winestock, Berkeley, CA. Israeli-American

Devera Witkin, Brooklyn, NY

Ron Witton, Sydney, Australia

Marco Wohlfarth, Distroff, France

Elliot Wolf, Brooklyn, NY

Karen Zelermyer, Brooklyn, NY 

Sheila Zukowsky, New York-

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