As the New York City Council commemorated the murder of 1.1 million people - nearly all Jews - in Auschwitz at an event last week marking 70 years from the liberation of the Nazi death camp, anti-Israel activists waving flags of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist group protested outside.
Councilman David G. Greenfield, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, gave an impassioned speech, noting that the anti-Semitism inherent in the virulent opposition to Israel was finally unmasked in the protest, and remarking that the protesters are upset "because Hitler did not finish the job - he only wiped out half of my family."
Below is the transcript of Greenfield's speech:
“Thank you Madam Public Advocate. You know, I waited my turn here. I’ve followed protocol in the New York City Council and haven’t spoken out because I respect this chamber. I have to tell you, I’m still shaken to my core. I am upset. I am angry. But I’ll tell you honestly, I am actually somewhat pleased at what we saw here today. If you’re wondering why I’m saying that, it’s because for the last few weeks we’ve heard from people who said, “Oh we don’t dislike Jews, we only dislike the state of Israel. We have no problem with you, we simply don’t want you to go to Israel.”
But we know that’s not really at the core of what they were saying and today they proved it. While we were discussing a resolution regarding the murder of 1.1 million human beings – I will point out that 90% of whom were Jewish, but the other 10 percent were political dissidents, they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, they were gays. Those were the people who were being killed together in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
While we were discussing that, they had the nerve, the chutzpah, the temerity to unfurl a Palestinian flag and to yell at us while we’re discussing that.
And so the reason why I am pleased is because we can stop pretending that this is about Israel, when the reality is that every Middle Eastern country that is in existence today is not Democratic and persecutes people of other faiths, and persecutes gays, and persecutes people who disagree with them, and persecutes people on Twitter and persecutes women who drive, except for one country – which is the State of Israel.
And so what you saw here today was naked, blind Anti-Semitism. That’s what you saw. That’s what you watched. That’s what you witnessed. People who are upset for one reason. Do you want to know know why they are angry? Do you want to know why they are unfurling that flag today? Because Hitler did not finish the job. He only wiped out half of my family. And only by the grace of God is the other half, me, the grand-child, still alive today.
That’s why those people are upset. Shame on them! Shame on them for hating Jews! Shame on them for hating people! Shame on them for disrespecting the most diverse, democratically elected body in the United States of America.
And that’s why we go to Israel. We go to Israel to make a message that is clear: that we will not be cowered by this fear and by this hatred that we have, where these are people who will celebrate the death of Jews rather than mourn the death of innocents. I am embarrassed at what happened here today but I am pleased that we finally see what this is all about: good old fashion Anti-Semitism. Thank you.”