Let’s be Frank.

From the first time I saw it, I was unable to get it out of my head.

A picture.

credit: Kay Wilson. Twitter.

It was of a participant at a Women’s Solidarity March earlier this year in America.  She wore a keffiyeh and a Palestinian flag draped around her, and a t-shirt with the image of Anne Frank on the front.  Next to her, stood another woman holding a sign that read “Free Palestine”.  There were similar signs among other marchers with maps of the region in the colour green to signify a vision of one state – Palestine – with no room for Israel.I was baffled in the first place as to why one of the organisers had singled out the cause of the Palestinians when there are so many women suffering throughout the Middle East (and this includes Israeli women and girls murdered and attacked in their homes and their streets by Palestinian terrorists) and elsewhere on the face of this earth?

I was also mystified as to why this woman, quite clearly pro-Palestinian, had appropriated the image of a Jewish child victim of the Shoah and one of its most enduring symbols to her cause.  What exactly what she trying to say?

I managed to trace it back to a piece of graffiti art in Denmark produced over five years ago and subsequently used by BDS activists there and elsewhere to further their cause.

On the face of it, this seemed absurd – anti-Israeli activists using a young Jewish woman, a victim of the Holocaust, as their poster child.

I investigated further and found an article claiming that Anne was known for a deep empathy to the suffering of others and therefore if she were alive today, she would identify with the cause of the Palestinian people.

These was no hesitation among these BDS groups in using Anne’s image to draw parallels between her situation and the situation of Palestinians living in Gaza – that she was virtually imprisoned in an enclosed space in the same way that the Palestinians are “imprisoned” in Gaza.

This is of course, absurd on a number of levels and particularly because of the very things for which the BDS movement stands.  It is immoral and monstrous to appropriate a dead victim of the Nazi horror and to use it as a weapon for a cause whose ultimate aim is destroy the very same people who were the victims of that horror.  It is typical of the lies and distortions levelled against Israel and the Jewish people by the BDS gangs operating around the world today.

The Diary of Anne Frank is widely read.  We know full well that she spent much of the war years in hiding in a house in Amsterdam.  At that very time, the spiritual leader of the Arab Muslims in mandatory Palestine was Nazi sympathiser and rampant antisemite Grand Mufti Haj Amin Haj al-Husseini, who was hosted by Hitler and Eichmann and who collaborated with their war effort.  Historians acknowledge that it was the lobbying of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Husseini which pushed the Arab League states and the Palestinian Arabs into war with the nascent Jewish State after the UN voted in favour of partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Hamas which today rules Gaza with an iron fist,  is a terrorist organisation with roots in the same Muslim Brotherhood and is responsible for much of the misery and suffering of the people in the region.  The record of the Palestine Authority with its own corrupt leadership which honours terrorists who murder Jews and incites violence against them is hardly any better.

Palestinian women, while legally supposed to have equal rights, are not even allowed to take a walk along the beach in Gaza or smoke in public.  And when it comes to political protest – they are harassed by the Hamas regime.  They suffer many injustices at the hands of their own men under both forms of Palestinian rule and yet there are rallies in America where women stand up and talk of “freeing Palestine” when what they really are after is the destruction of the Jewish State.

In the month or so since the Women’s March, it seems that Palestinian activists have upped the ante and this comes as no surprise given that one of the leading lights and organisers of this movement is one Linda Sarsour who last month feasted on publicly helping fund raise to make a show of rehabilitating a desecrated Jewish cemetery in America.  She remains however, an outspoken critic of Israel where women have equal rights, she supports the BDS movement and has made her opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state clear, once tweeting “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and falsely maintaining that “Palestine existed before the State of Israel.”

credit: Hamas on Campus.

International Women’s Day was celebrated this week with a strike arranged to show the world what would happen if women, for even one day, did not contribute to society in the way that they ordinarily do.  One of the leading signatories in a letter penned by its organisers was Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian woman now living in the United States but who was convicted and served time in jail for planning terrorist attacks in Israel in 1969 including the murder of two young civilians shopping in a supermarket. Odeh was released as a part of a prisoner exchange and subsequently lied her way into the United States.  She is currently out bail awaiting a trial for her deportation out of the States after being convicted of fraud.

On the one hand we have Anne Frank, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, stolen from the grave to support a cause that deprives her own peoplehood and on the other, a convicted terrorist, who managed to sign a letter about women’s rights and non-violence with Jewish blood on her hands.

And so the noble endeavour of celebrating women and supporting their rights has been hijacked for a single cause against another people supporting a cause whose agenda has nothing to do with helping women or bringing peace to this particular part of the world whilst remaining silent about the misogynist jihadi forces in the region and elsewhere who murder, rape and oppress women as a matter of routine.

Another day and another cause, the memory of a beautiful soul stolen from her grave by evil people stooping to the lowest form of propaganda.  What does this all say for the women who march under their banner and of the future of their movement?

Emily Gian is the Media & Advocacy Director for the Zionist Federation of Australia. 

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  1. Otto Waldmann

    It may look elitist to say that people from a totally different background, with mores, general cultural origins, what Claude Levi-Strauss would have called a distinct ” anthropological structure”, could not penetrate intellectually values of other cultural ethical entities.
    After decades of farcical palestinian propaganda, it is decent, safe to say that there is a massive yawning gap between what civilised Jewish cultural background , however varied, considers ethically valuable and what a group of desert dwellers of our contemporary times, the so called palestinians, understand about decency, valid human behaviour.
    The very exploitation in a perverse manner by the palestinian PR system of such important symbols of victims of antisemitic persecution, as Anne Frank , can only reveal a similar criminal mind- set found at those purveyors of Jew hate among the palestinians as their Western “inspiration”.
    Sadly, we must accept that these PR tactics find today a disturbing degree of ready resonance with the still active deep prejudices of the traditional Western antisemitism, the very same ones guilty of Anne Frank’s tragedy.
    It looks like these palestinian twisted minds are not that mistaken in their MO, after all……..

  2. The Palestinians and their supporters have been appropriating other people’s narratives for decades. When I was still in high school in the 70s they claimed commonality with the Viet Cong, as if warring against the world’s most technically advance army was somehow the moral equivalent of hijacking a Boeing filled with unarmed civilians.

    At various times I have seen them play the same trick, not necessarily with their approval or permission, with Australian Aborigines, Native Americans and most ironically with the Jews.

    The ‘Anne Frank in a Keffiya’ graffiti was possibly stenciled, not as a comment on Israel-Palestine but on the then fashion trend of the keffiya. It in turn was appropriated by a Dutch company Boomerang for T-shirts and greeting cards distributed free throughout the Netherlands, Only later did BDS appropriate it, yet again, for a ‘What the Nazis did to the Jews , the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians’ message.

    The Palestinians have never really known what to do with the Holocaust believing it to be a propaganda asset for Israel. Their responses range from denial that it happened (somehow the Jews fooled the world), through denial of Palestinian responsibility (we are paying for the West’s guilt), a sign of preemptive retribution (punishment in advance for what the do Jews would inflict on the Palestinians – time shift works in Islamic theology), identification with Hitler and his aims and finally to appropriation (we are the new Jews).

    Even with Anne Frank, they are conflicted. On one hand the image has been adopted for BDS. On the other they spread revisionist Dr. Robert Faurisson’s claim that the Diary was written post WWII as pro Israel propaganda and/or a money making scheme by Otto Frank.

    Had Anne Frank survived the war she most likely would have ended in Israel and today as a grandmother be worrying about her grandchildren doing their compulsory IDF service.

    BTW Anne Frank mentions Zionism in only one paragraph in her diaries. In her own words, “I’m not a fanatic Zionist, but it interests me.” SHe would not support BDS.

    “Now my grandmother wants me to see Ursul and not you, but I don’t agree and I’m not going to. Sometimes old people have really old-fashioned ideas, but that doesn’t mean I have to go along with them. I need my grandparents, but in a certain sense they need me too. From now on I’ll be free on Wednesday evenings. You see, my grandparents made me sign up for a wood-carving class, but actually I go to a club organized by the Zionists. My grandparents don’t want me to go, because they’re anti-Zionists. I’m not a fanatic Zionist, but it interests me. Anyway, it’s been such a mess lately that I’m planning to quit. So next Wednesday will be my last meeting.That means I can see you Wednesday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon and maybe even more.”