- Joe Biden on Shalom TV: ‘I am a ZIONIST’
From January 24th to February 19th Dr. Hajo Meyer traveled through twelve cities in the US as well as Toronto on a speaking tour titled “Never Again for Anyone,” discussing his own experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust and his perceptions of Zionism and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. For more information about the tour you can visit www.NeverAgainForAnyone.com.
Dr. Meyer sat down with me for a video interview before the last stop of the tour in Los Angeles. You can view an 8 minute edited selection of the video here. What follows is an edited transcription of part of the interview.
Los Angeles, February 19, 2011–
DZ: Could you start by introducing yourself, stating your name and giving a bit of background about yourself?
HM: My name is Hajo Meyer, I was born in August 1924 in Beilefeld, western Germany. And so I am 86 years old. And I had to leave Germany in January 1939 because from November 1938 on I was not allowed to go to school anymore. When in the Netherlands I made my entrance examination to the university still under the German occupation. They allowed that for Jews to be done. Even the German occupation allowed it, under a special setting of Jewish state examination. It occurred in April ’43. Then I went underground and about a year later I was caught and brought to Auschwitz and survived 10 months in Auschwitz.
Could you summarize this idea that you’ve often spoken and written about, the “ethical tradition of Judaism?”
So now we come to a very important point. In my view—I was educated in the tradition of enlightened Reform Judaism, without any relation to the prescripts of Halacha [Jewish religious law] but just to the socio-cultural heritage and the enlightened parts of Judaism…
This ethical tradition is absolutely contrary to everything which is at the basis of Zionism. Because Zionism was created by Mr. [Theodor] Herzel and others at the end of the 19th Century, and in that era it was commonplace to be colonialist, to be racist, to be super-nationalist, to adore the nation-state–so the idea of France for the French, Germany for the Germanics, and then some state for the Jews. This all formed the basis for Zionism.
Zionism and Judaism are contrary to each other. Because Judaism is universal and humane, and Zionism is exactly the opposite. It is very narrow, very nationalistic, racist, colonialist, and all this. There is no “National Judaism.” There is Zionism and there is Judaism, and they are completely different.
[Zionism] has nothing to do with Judaism. Because Judaism, as I learned it–the Reform Movement–that is highly, highly ethical. And so, you cannot connect Zionism with “highly ethical.” You can only connect the words “aggressive,” “oppressive,” “stealing,” “robbing” with Zionism. But not “highly ethical.”
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Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Government, Holocaust, Israel, Judaism, Nazi Germany, Nazis, Palestine, Palestinians, Politics, Religion, Society, Zionism