Transcript of Brooke Goldstein’s Speech at The Nuremberg Symposium


The Nuremberg Symposium

435 Brooke Goldstein, March of the Living Alumna, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project

Brooke Goldstein: Good afternoon, I am extremely humbled to have been asked to speak today along with the distinguished speakers that we heard. Incredibly thankful to Richard Heideman, to David Machlis, to Professor Dershowitz, and Professor Cotler for organizing this important conference, for inviting me, and especially thankful to Edward Mosberg who gave us his moving testimony. It takes a lot of courage to speak today and I do so to honor my great-grandmother and my great-aunts who were gassed to death in concentration camps, my great-grandfather who was worked to death in a Nazi slave labor camp in Poland, my grandmother who survived slave labor and concentration camps, and my grandfather who was a commander of a Polish partisan unit. I draw courage and strength from their memory. We are taught that God commands every Jew, in every generation, to speak about the presence of evil, what we call Amalek. Why? Because no matter how much we would like to deny it, evil is always present; there is, as Hannah Arendt told us, a banality of evil and we are commanded to speak about it every day, in every generation, because Amalek—or evil—exists in every instance where man turns a good person into a monster and a monster into what is generally accepted. The Pharaoh we study every Passover was a monster who literally bathed himself in the blood of Jewish babies, who ordered the murder of every Jewish first-born child, and who condemned the Jews to torturous slavery. If Amalek told the story of Passover, however, it would sound something like this: “Look how nice Pharaoh was to the Jews. He took a starving nation, he welcomed them into Egypt, he clothed them, he fed them, and only after a hundred years did the Pharaoh ask the Jewish people, ‘Pay your share, pay some taxes,’ but the Jews refused. So Pharaoh asked them, ‘At least work hard for this state, build some infrastructure, do some community service,’ but the Jews again refused. So Pharaoh had to hire staff to force the Jews to work. He made them build and contribute to the city that they lived in. He had no choice; he had to pay thousands of guards to make sure the Jews paid their taxes. And sure it’s possible that some guards abused the Jews—you can’t control everyone. But Pharaoh had to take care of his country and his citizens. And Moses the magician destroyed the whole economy; he sent frogs, he sent blood, he destroyed the vegetation, he made magic, and he killed all the Egyptian babies. Then, in the darkness, the Jews went into the Egyptian coffers and took the treasures and stole all the coins, and they ran away. And after three days waiting for them to *THE NUREMBERG SYMPOSIUM MACRO (FINAL).DOCX (DO NOT DELETE) 1/25/17 11:29 AM 436 Loy. L.A. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. [Vol. 39:307 return, and after the Jews didn’t come back, Pharaoh had to spend more money; he had to mobilize the army and chase the Jews until Moses dried out the ocean, killed all of Pharaoh’s men, and left all of the women and children of Egypt to starve.” Well, if you put it that way, maybe Pharaoh wasn’t so bad after all. Hitler was a monster. The Jews were good for Germany. The Jews brought prosperity and innovation to every single nation that accepted them. The Jews were incredible doctors; they were amazing economists and scientists. As Malcolm Hoenlein said earlier, a higher percentage of German Jews fought in World War I than any other ethnic, religious, or political group in Germany. And what was the story the Nazis ended up telling? They told the story of Amalek, the story of the destructive Jew. And, using this twisted story, Hitler and the Germans and their collaborators tried to destroy our eternal nation. The same thing is happening today with Israel. Instead of appreciating the genuine good the Jewish people and the Israeli nation contribute to the world, the innovation that they contribute to the world, the media and student groups and politicians are spreading dangerously false narratives. Writing articles, twisting the truth: Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria are illegal, the Jewish state is illegal, the Isreal Defense Force is immoral, terrorists are called “freedom fighters,” Jews are called Nazis, and calls for Israel’s destruction are disguised as proPalestinian “human rights” advocacy. The media is turning the truth on its head and rationalizing anti-Semitism. All you have to do is go to your hotel rooms tonight, turn on Al Jazeera English, and see how Qatar—a state sponsor of terrorism, the second largest state sponsor of terrorism besides Iran—is feeding through a news outlet propaganda that humanizes and creates sympathy for terrorism. And, frankly, even Jews are being fooled. I look around at what’s happening today, the promotion by the EU of a targeted racist boycott movement—the chutzpah of Europe, still fresh from the Holocaust, not just to label Jewish goods from Judea and Samaria, but to all-out ban them! We see targeted violent attacks on Jewish synagogues in the UK, and on kosher supermarkets in France. I know that the peace that we, as western Jews, have had the privilege to enjoy since World War II is a historical anomaly. It’s a temporary respite from violent anti-Semitic hatred, a hiatus from Amalek’s reach. Because “never again” does not mean that never again will we experience anti-Semitism. We see how Imams from Gaza, to Egypt, to Lebanon, to Saudi Arabia preach death to the Jews and all infidels. And how the Islamists teach their children, their future generations, to *THE NUREMBERG SYMPOSIUM MACRO (FINAL).DOCX (DO NOT DELETE) 1/25/17 11:29 AM 2017] The Nuremberg Symposium 437 engage in violent jihad. “Never again” doesn’t just mean that we must never forget the past; it means that we must not ignore the present. At Northeastern University in Boston, four hundred students gathered and chanted Hamas’s genocidal chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Free of Jews is what they mean. At Temple University, a Jewish student was punched in the face by so-called pro-Palestinian activists. At Rutgers University, Islamist students threatened to beat Jewish students with crowbars and forcefully segregated Jewish students at a University event. At Berkeley, a Jewish girl was sent to the hospital after being rammed in the back with a shopping cart while she was holding a sign that said “Israel wants peace.” And if you raise the issue of anti-Semitism with some in my generation, if you talk about Islamo-facism and the roots of Islamo-facism within Nazi ideology, you are called an Islamophobe, you are called a fear monger, you are accused of exaggerating, you are told pure evil is no longer present in the world. We are told that if we subscribe to the appeasement narrative, if we only give land back, if we stop building houses, if we end the “occupation,” if we end Western colonialization, those who are evil won’t hate us anymore. And the greatest lie that has been repeated since the Holocaust to marginalize the Jewish people is the myth of the “Palestinian refugee.” The myth of a Palestinian “right of return,” and the false narrative behind the push to create another Islamic state in a sea of failed Islamic dictatorships by carving out the Jewish homeland and reducing it to what can only be described as foolishly indefensible borders. The story of a Palestinian people as distinct from other Arab nations is revisionist history: the Palestinian nation was invented by Yasser Arafat and his cohorts in the 1970s solely as a means to claim parity with the Jewish people and challenge our right to self-determination. This is historical fact. This is admitted by the Palestinian Authority. And the PA has been given more money to resettle and aid the so-called Palestinian refugees than the entire amount given to Germany to rebuild after World War II. “Never again” means that you must never ignore the clear and obvious signs of rising hatred. As Professor Dershowitz reminded us recently in an Algemeiner article, Arafat’s hero and mentor was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, or Hitler’s Mufti, who entered into a pact with Hitler and promised his assistance if the Nazis massacred the Jews in Judea and Samaria. And when the Palestinian people first greeted Arafat in self-rule areas, granted to the PA by the Israelis, they offered Arafat the infamous Nazi salute. Today, Hitler’s Mein Kampf currently reigns sixth on the best- *THE NUREMBERG SYMPOSIUM MACRO (FINAL).DOCX (DO NOT DELETE) 1/25/17 11:29 AM 438 Loy. L.A. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. [Vol. 39:307 seller list among so-called Palestinian Arabs. In May of 1943, the Nazis declared Germany Judenrein. Let us not be fooled: anyone who says the Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria are an obstacle to peace, anyone who says that we must remove Jews from Judea and Samaria in order to have peace, anyone who today calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state under the current Arab leadership, what they are really calling for is a Judenrein West Bank. My friends, when Jewish lives are on the line, when the security of the State of Israel is on the line, we must tell the truth no matter how politically incorrect the truth has become, no matter how fashionable revisionist history has become. The two greatest honors that we can give the memories of those who perished in the Holocaust are, first, making sure we teach the next generation the truth. As Professor Berenbaum said earlier today, the pursuit of truth is what we must engage in. Truth education, no matter how painful that truth is. And the second thing that we must do is empower our community to use every tool at its disposal to proudly declare and enforce our civil and human rights. We are commanded by the Torah, “Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof”—justice shall we pursue so we may live. And it’s ironic we’re here to commemorate the use of the legal system via the Nuremberg Trials to achieve some measure of justice for the victims of the Holocaust. But if we fast-forward seventy years, we are seeing the legal system inspired by Nuremberg perverted by lawfare. The international legal system is not used to pursue justice, it is used to compliment terrorism and to demonize the Jewish state. When the International Court of Justice releases an advisory opinion that declares Israel’s security fence—brick, mortar, and wire—a violation of international law and, at the same time, refuses to enter into evidence the very relevant fact that the fence contributed to a sharp decline in the loss of human lives, refuses to enter into evidence testimony of terror victims, that’s not due process, that’s not justice—that’s lawfare. When there are over one hundred UN resolutions condemning Israel, more than any other nation, more than the resolutions condemning Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran combined, that’s not justice. When there are war crimes charges against Israeli officials and dozens of nations including the UK, Spain, Brussels, Switzerland, Canada, and yet members of Hamas and Hezbollah cross European borders with impunity, that’s not justice. That’s the betrayal of justice. So I’ll conclude with this. As the founder and director of The Lawfare Project—a not-for-profit legal advocacy group in New York with a network of over 250 lawyers worldwide, who have dedicated *THE NUREMBERG SYMPOSIUM MACRO (FINAL).DOCX (DO NOT DELETE) 1/25/17 11:29 AM 2017] The Nuremberg Symposium 439 their services to our community to work pro bono—we are engaged now in the pursuit of justice. We are filing war crimes charges in Canada against the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Iran for their support of terror. We are currently taking legal actions against universities that failed to protect the civil rights of their Jewish students on campus. We have brought hate speech charges in Europe against professors that deny the Holocaust. We have enabled the criminal prosecution of terror-connected media outlets that illegally broadcast Hamas and Hezbollah TV and incite violence and genocide against the Jewish people. We stopped the provision of funding to proterror groups at Rutgers University and, just recently, in a major victory against the Arab League, The Lawfare Project shut down all interEuropean flights of Kuwait Airways, the state airline of Kuwait, which is engaged in the Arab League Boycott. We shut down all the interEuropean flights of Kuwait Airways in addition to their JFK–London leg for their unlawful discrimination against and refusal to fly Israeli nationals. I want to make special mention of the attorney Nathan Gelbart, who is German counsel to The Lawfare Project, who was instrumental in this victory. And we will continue to use the courts and other tools available to us to secure the rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and to live in safety and security while enjoying equal protection under the law. Because if we allow our basic civil and human rights to be violated, our lives will be next. So, let it be known today that those who would demonize the Jewish people, those who engage in unlawful racist commercial boycotts, those who penetrate college campuses to harass and assault Jewish students: let it be known today that you will fail. Because we are fortunate to live in a time and a place where the truth and the law are on our side, and we have the power, and we have the will, and we have the ability to defeat you. The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Thank you.