|Zanoli Family Source: NYT|
|Hank Zanoli Source: Haaretz|
Henk Zanoli is a 91 year old Dutchman and recipient of the Righteous Gentile award from Yad Vashem. During the recent violence in Gaza, several people to whom Zanoli is distantly related by marriage were killed. Mr. Zanoli decided to return his medal to the Israeli embassy. He sent a letter to the embassy accusing Israel of being the sole cause of problems in the Middle East. He specifically said that Israel is a racist country. He demanded that Israel become, in effect, a borderless, pacifist state, and that it cease defending itself. Only then, he stipulated, would Israel be worthy of the word "righteous," and able to respond appropriately to his own heroism.
Dear Henk Zanoli,
Henk Zanoli when I heard that you, a 91-year-old righteous Gentile, had returned your Yad Vashem medal because you object to Israel defending itself against Hamas, I felt revulsion. My very first thought was, "Oh my God, it's true. They really do like their Jews passive, in gas chambers, and dead, not active, not able to defend themselves against the genocidal forces arrayed against them."
And I thought, too, that at 91 your faculties might not be sharp enough to realize what a propaganda coup you were handing the genocidal antisemites.
I read more about you on the web.
I rapidly saw from your letter to the Israeli embassy that your mind is sharp as a tack.
I read of your heroic sacrifice, and the sacrifices of your family.
You performed awesome feats of bravery, Mr. Zanoli. You smuggled an eleven-year-old Jewish child from Amsterdam into your village and you sheltered that child throughout the war, saving his life. He eventually moved to Israel. You did this in spite of your family being under suspicion. Your father, may God grant him eternal reward, was an active resister of the Nazis. Your father was sent to Dachau concentration camp, and he died at the Mauthausen concentration camp. The rest of your family struggled and sacrificed as well. Your brother-in-law was executed for being part of the resistance. Your brother's Jewish fiancée was deported to certain death.
You are great people, Mr. Zanoli. I respect you.
I am very sorry for the loss of life your family sustained in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
I read the letter that accompanied the medal you sent back to the Israelis.
You wrote, "the Zionist project had from its beginning a racist element aspiring to build a state exclusively for Jews" and "Your state continues to suppress the Palestinian people" Israel, you say, must treat everyone equally. Once Israel does that, you say, it will be a "righteous" state, and able to reward you for your own righteousness.
Sir, with respect, I have to tell you that what you wrote in that letter is not true.
Israel is not the root cause of your relatives' deaths. It is the refusal of Muslim Arabs to accept the existence of Jews as sovereign in their own homeland that caused your relatives' deaths.
If Israelis put down their weapons as you require in order to call them "righteous," they would, within days, all be dead, imprisoned or enslaved.
That would not be the first or the last time a Jewish community was wiped out by Muslims. It would not be the first or the last time a non-Muslim community was wiped out in the Middle East. You've heard of the fate of Christians in Mosul, Iraq? In Syria? In Egypt? You are familiar with the fate of the Yazidi?
Christianity goes back in the Middle East for two thousand years. Judaism goes back in the Middle East four thousand years. The Zoroastrian roots of Yazidi go back even further than that. Islam is a relative newcomer. If you want to support the indigenous group, you would be supporting the Yazidis, Jews, and Christians.
The Muslim Conquest of the Middle east began 1400 years ago, and it is still going strong, and its proponents don't want it to stop till the map is covered by the black flag of jihad, with no interruptions in color.
Hamas, in its charter, calls for the deaths of all Jews. In its long-term goals, it includes the re-establishment of a caliphate and worldwide Muslim domination. Please read the Hamas Charter. Please listen to Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a Hamas founder.
Please acquaint yourself with how Muslim-majority states have treated Jews, who came to be as a people in the land of Israel thousands of years before Arabs left their peninsula for their world conquest. Read Bat Yeor, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer, Bernard Lewis.
Mr. Zanoli, did you know that long before the Nazis required Jews to wear a yellow star, Muslim states required Jews and Christians to wear clothing patches in the shapes of monkeys and pigs? Did you know that as recently as 1834, Sol Hachuel, a Jewish woman in Morrocco was decapitated for refusing to become a Muslim? Did you know that in "Golden Age" Muslim Spain Muslims crucified a Jew, Joseph ibn Naghrela, and massacred thousands of Jews in one day? Did you know that perhaps a million Jews had to leave Muslim countries in 1948? Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya – Do you know they were chased by rioting, murder, theft, rape?
Hamas is not unique and it is not new. Islam has had a huge problem with the mere existence of Jews since Islam's founding. No matter where those Jews were. Remember, this is a belief system that insists that the day will come when even rocks and trees will shout out, "Oh, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come kill him."
When you ignore this, Mr. Zanoli, no matter how heroic your deeds were in World War II, no matter how sad your current bereavement, what you say is garbage. It is worse than not worth listening to. It is an aural toxin that gives a victory to antisemites who are every bit as deadly and as much of a threat to world peace as were the Nazis whom your father fought so bravely.
Whether you can face it or not, Mr. Zanoli, propaganda coups like yours empower bastards like Hamas, and ensure the death of more innocents like your kin who died.
If all of you "Jews are racist baby killers; Hamas are noble freedom fighters" types would shut up, Hamas just might get it that their propaganda war is not working, and they might, they just might, try coexistence.
You fuel the flames of war. Hard to face, I know.
Please educate yourself, Mr. Zanoli, before you speak again in such a public way.
It wasn't Jews who killed your kin. It was Jew-hatred.
You used to fight that, remember?
It's not too late to rejoin the good guys, the folks working for peace for all.
We'll keep a seat at the table for you.