Suzanne Weiss: “Al Quds [rally] explains the difference between Judaism and Zionism”

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Suzanne Weiss speaking at Al-Quds Day in Toronto (1 June 2019)

Suzanne Weiss is a long time pro Palestinian Jewish activist and a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.

On June 1, 2019 Suzanne Weiss was a speaker at Al-Quds Day rally held in Toronto.

Suzanne Weiss posted the text of her speech on her Facebook page:

Today, June 1, was a great success for the Al Quds rally which gathered more than 1,000 people in support of Palestinian freedom and free speech. I was honoured to be one of the speakers. Here is what I said:

My name is Suzanne Weiss. I am a Holocaust survivor. As a Jewish infant, I was marked down by the Nazis for death. All my life I have worked to prevent another Holocaust through pursuit of social justice and free speech. We meet today in the cause of human rights for the Palestinian peoples. Their lands are seized, their homes destroyed; they are confined by walls and checkpoints; they are arbitrarily jailed. In Gaza – they suffer a brutal and murderous blockade without the medications, water, and food needed to enjoy life.

How can we help put an end to these evils?

Through the global campaign to end Israeli apartheid. A campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the Israeli government! To end apartheid, we have three demands:

** End the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

** Let the exiled Palestinians return to their homeland.

** Grant equal rights to all in Israel- including the Palestinians.

Some tell us that to speak of Israeli apartheid is hateful. Some want to make it a crime even to say the words “Israeli apartheid.”

But we must speak the truth. It is Israeli apartheid that is the crime. The call to end Israeli apartheid is a non-violent effort to achieve justice and reconciliation. The call to end Israeli apartheid affirms our hope and trust that the Israeli people, like the Palestinians, will come to embrace an agenda of equality. Our goal is for Palestinians to be free to pursue their dreams in their homeland, in equality and reconciliation with their Jewish sisters and brothers.

I welcome the efforts of the Al-Quds organizers, our Muslim and Palestinian friends, to achieve this goal. Al Quds explains the difference between Judaism and Zionism. Al Quds seeks to overcome anti-Jewish and anti-Palestinian prejudice. They say “Judaism yes, Zionism no!” These efforts deserve constructive engagement, dialogue, and respect for free speech. In this spirit, we say: “Free — free Palestine!”