February 13, 2009


Open letter to the President of Israel by Jean-Moïse Braitberg, Writer and Author.

(Appeared in Le Monde Jan.28.09)

Mr. President of the State of Israel,

I am writing to ask you to intervene on my behalf to whom ever it may concern, to withdraw from the Yad Vashem Memorial dedicated to the memory of Jewish victims of Nazism, the name of my grandfather Moshe Bratberg, gassed in Treblinka in 1943, as well as the other members of my family who perished in different Nazi concentration camps during the second world war.

I ask of you Mr. President, to accede to my demand, because what happened in Gaza recently, and in a wider perspective, the fate imposed on the Palestinian people over the past sixty years, disqualifies totally, in my view, Israel as the center on Remembrance of the Evil done to the Jews and therefore to all of Humanity.

Let me explain; since Infancy I have been surrounded by survivors of the Death Camps. I have seen the tattooed numbers on peoples' arms. I heard horrible stories of tortures. I felt their impossible mourning and shared their nightmares.

I was taught, that these crimes should never be allowed to be repeated; that a Human being, proud to be a member of an Ethnic or Religious group, should not be allowed to despise another Human being or trample all over his most elementary human Rights that should translate in a dignified and secure life with total absence of obstacles or hindrances but with a light, of a serene and prospering future, at the end of a tunnel whatever the length of it may be.

However, Mr. President, I note that in spite of tens of resolutions taken by the International Community, in spite of the obvious evidence of the injustice done to the Palestinian People since 1948 and despite the flickers of Hope that were lit at Oslo and despite the recognition of the Right for the Jewish Israelis to live in peace and security, reasserted many a time and regularly by the
Palestinian Authority, the only responses, given by your countries successive governments, have been Violence, Blood spills, Internments, continuous Check Points, Colonization, and Spoliations.

You may say, Mr. President, that it is within your country's legitimate right to defend itself against
those who fire rockets on Israel or the Kamikazes who take with them numerous innocent Israeli lives. To which I would answer, that my human sensitivity does not vary according to victims' citizenship.

On the other hand, Mr. President, you are leading a country that claims to represent, not only, all Jews as a nation but also the memory of those who were the victims of the Nazi.

This is exactly what concerns me and disturbs me immensely; Retaining the names of my family at the Yad Vashem Memorial in the heart of the Jewish State, your country is holding, my cherished family's memory hostage, behind Zionism barbed wire, of a so-called Moral Authority that commits on a daily basis the Abomination of the denial of Justice.

So please, Mr. President, withdraw the name of my Grand Father from the sanctuary dedicated to the cruelty committed against Jews so that it does not justify the cruelty committed against Palestinians.

Best respectful regards,

Jean-Moïse Braitberg,
Author, writer

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