Over the New Year break, you may have followed the relatively unsuccessful attempt by anti-Israel activists to pass from Egypt into Gaza as part of a 1-year anniversary of the Gaza war.
Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the men and women featured in the limelight are Jewish. One activist garnering much publicity is Hedy Epstein, an 85-year old who associates Israeli action with that of Nazi Germany. The “star cache” that makes her an anti-Israel media favourite, is that besides being Jewish she identifies as a Holocaust Survivor. She spent the war years in England, as part of Kindertransport, while her staunchly anti-Zionist Jewish-German parents were killed in concentration camps.
Benjamin Weinthal wrote a good article about her genre in the Jerusalem Post. In the article, he writes that
“The US State Department and the European Union both define parallels between Nazi Germany and Israel as a form of modern anti-Semitism.
To circumvent the unsavory Nazi-equals-Israel comparison, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli groups in Europe frequently outsource the new anti-Semitism to a minuscule group of anti-Zionist Jews who seek to strip Israel’s legitimacy as a nation. A Holocaust survivor as spokesperson helps to insulate the “Free Gaza movement” from charges of anti-Semitism. The problem, however, for the anti-Zionist market is more a question of supply than demand. The fringe group of anti-Zionist Jews who fled the Hitler movement or survived the extermination camps are passing out of existence because of their age”.
The reaction from the Egyptians for their planned march into Gaza was decidedly less supportive than they expected – even for Hedy Epstein. Is that Hedy or Hedley?
The activists squirmed to attribute their negative response to Zionist “control” of Egypts moves but the attempt fell on its face as did some of the activists in a skirmish with Egyptian police. Hopefully some of the activists will get a dose of reality from their New Year reception in Cairo, but that’s doubtful.