American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Feb. 29, 2008
Washington, DC- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemns the deplorable comments made by Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai. Speaking on Israel's army radio yesterday, Vilnai said: "They (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." ADC calls on the US and Israeli governments to take immediate action and publicly condemn, reject, and repudiate the Holocaust comment made by Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai.
Vilnai’s comments were reported in numerous international media sources, see below:
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “The Holocaust represents the darkest moment in human history. It included the systematic detainment, torture, and extermination of approximately six million European Jews by the Nazi regime during the Second World War. The statement made by Vilnai echoes the darkest of eras and should be immediately rejected.” Shora added, ”During this horrible time in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it is shameful for an Israeli Government official to say the Palestinians are bringing a Holocaust upon themselves. Israel should be working to end its 41-year occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
According to reports, in the three months since the peace talks at Annapolis, Maryland more than 205 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians and children; and five Israelis have been killed. Additionally, Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in effect since January 12, has left the Gaza Strip without supplies essential to purify water, increasing the risk of contamination and disease. Residents in Gaza are being urged to boil all drinking water to avoid the spread of disease because more than one-third of Gaza's water supply is now untreated. United Nations officials have warned the situation could lead to a health disaster for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. Now, media reports indicate Israel is believed to be preparing a major military ground operation in Gaza.