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An Honorable Dutch Man Protests Israel's Crimes

World  (tags: Israel, crimes, war, Dutch, man, 91, year, honored, honoured, shielding, Jew, Jewish, Righteous, Among, Nations, award, medal, Henk, Zanoli )

- 1649 days ago -
A 91-year-old Dutch man honored by Israel for shielding a Jew from the Nazis has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in a Gaza air strike.


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Angelika R (143)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 5:36 am
Thx Sam, applause and respect for this man. Now THIS great and consistent action merits to honor him with a Righteous Among the Nations award ! I hope he will receive a huge response of appreciation, not only from the Dutch people! Kudos to Haaretz as well for publishing this, I wonder if and what reaction there will be in Israeli press.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 6:05 am
Now here's a sample of (expected) Israeli national news report:(
"Yad V'Shem award returned after honoree's family allegedly killed in Gaza; return letter blames Israel for 'war crimes.'
"Zanoli apparently buys into the misnomer that Israel's actions in Gaza violated international law, claiming that the operation has “already resulted in serious accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity." ..
"It has not been confirmed, however, whether the deaths Zanoli's relatives spoke of actually happened - as Hamas in Gaza has been shown again and again to falsify deaths for the media in order to win the "PR war" against Israel."

Sam H (410)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 6:30 am
Thanks Angelika!

I seem them trying to “misnomer” their way out of crimes against humanity.

What if Henk Zanoli considered every child in Gaza as family?

Sam H (410)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 6:37 am
Can a 91-year old man say anything sweeter about his mom than “For me to hold on to the honor granted by the State of Israel, under these circumstances, will be an insult to the memory of my courageous mother who risked her life"?

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 7:11 am
Henk Zanoli is an honourable man!
Thank you for sharing, Sam.

Kathleen M (210)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:12 am
Noted. Thanks, Sam. Henk Zanoli is an honorable and courageous dude!

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:37 am
Noted with great respect for this man!

Freya H (345)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:42 am
Maybe if there are enough protests like this, Israel will stop slaughtering the Palestinians and behave like an honorable nation.

I fear that the current situation is going to encourage anti-Jewish hate. People see Israel committing atrocities, the USA supporting them, the power of the Jewish lobby - you know where that is headed.

fly bird (26)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 11:19 am
Hiding shame solves nothing. Speaking out against a wall of silence and exposing criminal and vile acts is empowering and a catalyst for change.
This man has stood up and publicly demonstrated his outrage and showed his values mean more than a medal, willing to expose shameful bigotry and hypocrisy.
The more people stand against control and speak out, like this elderly gentleman, the more things can change.
IMO, speaking up, when something terrible is happening to neighbours and others does not promote anti-Jewish sentiment, but silence, may.
Never again, means never again, for anyone, anywhere.
Jewish communities that refocus on diversity and human rights for all, rather than exclusivity, control and ostracism, can only benefit, IMO.
Thanks Sam

Angelika R (143)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 1:48 pm
Have you all READ his letter? I find it interesting he is advocating for a one state solution.
(if no access to Haaretz, the NYT also included the letter in their coverage -never mind their usual obedient remarks..

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 4:33 pm
What an amazing man Thanks Sam

Lona G (66)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:20 pm
The Dutch news in general reported along similar lines as Haaretz did, while our largest Right Wing newspaper reported it too, but left much out where Gaza and the killings were concerned and went to lengths to explain the award and the famous people who got it. It shows the dichotomy in the sentiments of the Dutch toward Israel, with more and more people opposing the politics of Israel towards the Palestinians and a quite a few demonstrations have spoken out against Israel's Gaza and West-bank policies.

I think Henk Zanoli is a very brave man with a lot of integrity who still remembers the role he and his family played in WWII, that his father and brother were killed for it and that his mother and he continued to harbor a Jewish boy despite being under large scrutiny, and now in his last years doesn't want to end his life with a lie. His moral courage and integrity is an example to us all.

Sam H (410)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 9:59 pm
Even Tne Animals Didn’t Escape Israel’s Brutality

Bruce C D (89)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 1:25 am
I don't know about brave or courageous. Mr. Zanoli did the right thing, and I credit him for keeping his composure and doing it in a dignified way, but I think most anyone would have done the same in his shoes. I know I would have, even those they apparently weren't blood relatives.

Ellen J (62)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 7:35 am
Thanks for the article, Sam.

Justin Vale (13)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 8:13 am
honorable? how do we know he's honorable? even his name is suspect, zanoli. now that's a suspect name.
you guys act like israel is intentionally trying to kill these arab squatters. they're not. it's hamas playing the deadly game of hide and seek. on the israeli side technology makes choices on the hamas side the choice to hide behind a school is all human.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 8:20 am
The man lost family in Gaza to an Israeli strike. While I don't believe that Israel's acts there were generally criminal, I understand why he could no longer accept anything from the Israeli government. I wish him and his remaining family the best.

Joanne D (37)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 2:23 pm
Another Care2 member pointed out (on his own blog, not on Care2) that Zionism is to Judaism as Dominionism is to Christianity. I think there is a great deal of truth to that. At the very least it's a concept that might provide a little much needed perspective. Any and every nation is capable of committing war crimes for whatever reason. One cannot maintain that Israel is incapable of war crimes because it is Israel. That's like maintaining a police officer couldn't have murdered an unarmed civilian because the officer is police. No. These things happen. They must be evaluated on evidence, which must be factually valid and no respecter of persons.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 3:07 pm
Thanks Sam, for posting this article. The second last paragraph says it all:

"As a retired lawyer, it would be no surprise to me that these accusations could lead to possible convictions if true and unpoliticized justice is able to have its course."

If real justice would be applied in the case of Israel too ... there might be a high chance that we see peace in our lifetime. But the way things are going right now there's little hope that the status quo, which serves Israel's interests best, will change any time soon.

I'd sign to your statement, Lona: "His moral courage and integrity is an example to us all." His action goes hand in hand with the open letter of condemnation of Israel's actions by the Holocaust survivors and their descendants; it must be very difficult for all of them to take such a step. All due respect to them!

Sam H (410)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 5:29 pm
Even Defenseless Animals Didn’t Escape Unspeakable Brutality

Carol French (121)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 6:56 pm
Thanks Sam for yet another action, Mr Zanoli did the right thing. I wish that the Americans & the British would stop sending Israel all kinds of arms, guns extra.......
Can't we they just finally get along .Have Peace just a until they can get their stuff together !! I think it might be called politics.
Both sides should forget the hurt they caused each other in the past it festers, like the black people in America.
They should become the place we want to visit with all your animals thriving!!!!

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 7:17 pm
An honorable man. It is unfortunate he had to end his long life knowing this heartbreak.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 8:37 pm
Mr. Zanoli is a man of honor and moral courage! To disparage his loss of family at this juncture in his life is not acceptable! Mr. Zanoli is 91 years old, what does he have to gain by lying? Why is it that Israel is always 100% correct and the Palestinians always 100% wrong? That scenario does not hold reality. Please remember that Palestinians and Hamas are separate entities and while I abhor Hamas' actions against both Israel and Palestinians I do NOT confuse one with the other. There are Christian Palestinians as well. Palestine also opened the country up to the Armenians fleeing their own holocaust.

S J (130)
Sunday August 17, 2014, 10:45 pm
thank you

Patricia Cunningham (134)
Monday August 18, 2014, 1:39 am
Noted i have great respect for this man

Sandra Penna (135)
Monday August 18, 2014, 5:18 am
Thank you for sharing, Sam. It would be nice if people keep the same coherence and ethics of this man.

Thomas M (8)
Monday August 18, 2014, 6:51 am
Excellent article about an honorable man who did the right thing. Now the world needs to take on the criminal actions of Hamas and Israeli leadership.

Sam H (410)
Monday August 18, 2014, 6:59 am
I hear the ICC is ready to do just that, Thomas.

Esther S (45)
Monday August 18, 2014, 7:21 am
So many of you just seem to see one side of the issue. Don't you know that the fanatic Muslims like Hamas just don't want any country in the Middle East to exist that is not run by Muslims. Those fanatic Muslims have even made it clear that if they have their way and wipe out Israel, they will continue on to other countries around the world to achieve the same thing. They also want all the countries to be run by what they consider to be the "right" kind of Muslim. These fanatic Muslims will kill anyone to achieve their goal and if Israel did not try to defend itself so many Israelis would be killed. In addition, these fanatic Muslims are willing to have Muslim women and children killed by using them as shields, etc. They don't think that they are doing anything wrong because they believe that those Muslim women and children will go to heaven for giving up their lives in such a way. Why doesn't it bother you when the fanatic Muslims will do anything such as throwing rockets into Israel to kill all Israelis including women and children, using bombs on people to kill all Israelis including women and children, etc. They also kill people who are not willing to switch from being a Christian or some other religion to being a Muslim. Oh and they even stone their Muslim women to death. I know that all Muslims are not like that but unfortunately there are many and they cause these wars etc.

Sam H (410)
Monday August 18, 2014, 7:37 am
Assuming what you're saying is correct and does not apply equally to Israel, what does this have to do with this story?

Esther S (45)
Monday August 18, 2014, 8:27 am
This story claims that Israel is just attacking and killing innocent people. The fact is that unfortunately Israel is just fighting in a war that is necessary for them to defend itself. The fact is that other countries including the U.S. when they fought Nazi Germany and Japan during W.W. II have had similar situations. Unfortunately terrible things happen in wars. Also in this case the fanatic Muslims deliberately put themselves in situations in which these things can happen. They do so because they want to use those things as propaganda against Israel.

Sam H (410)
Monday August 18, 2014, 8:35 am
O.K. the world is wrong, Israel is right! Anything else you wanna tell us?

ParsifalAWAY S (99)
Monday August 18, 2014, 10:44 am

In Israel, Thousands Demonstrated For Peace

ParsifalAWAY S (99)
Monday August 18, 2014, 10:46 am

btw, has 'our' 'proud Zionist' posted something similar as the peace rally in TLV ?

(thanks honourable Sam for posting !!!)

Evelyn B (63)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:12 am
Let's face it:
Fanatics and extremists are very dangerous
But it is equally dangerous to classify a whole people, or a whole religious community, by what extremists and fanatics do. Otherwise, we'd be categorising all Israelis and all Jews by the acts of extremist settlers who set light to a live teenager ... go on rampages destroying land & millenia-old olive groves, damage churches & property of Palestinians (irrespective of their religion), wear T-Shirts showing a pregnant Palestinian in the cross-hairs of a rifle with the message "2 for the price of 1" etc, etc. BUT - most of us know better than that - and so do most Palestinians. Although they pay the price of acts by such extremists ... daily. Israeli peace activists also pay the price of being threatened by these extremists ... but accept this price, standing up for Jewish principles and human rights.

Evelyn B (63)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:19 am
See also Righteous in Holland and Gaza: Dutch Nonagenarian Returns Righteous Among the Nations Medal

Gillian M (218)
Monday August 18, 2014, 12:36 pm
Evelyn, I quite agree that fanatics are dangerous and there are many on this board, including you, who want to see the destruction of Israel. All of you make it clear that Israel should not protect itself from the ongoing rain of rockets, the stones thrown at cars, the terrorists who enter and kill citizens as well as suicide bombers/attackers eg a man with a bulldozer who tried to kill people in a bus. It seems that every lie Hamas utters is totally believed by each and everyone of you.

Yet I have absolutely no doubt that if someone in your country killed a member of your family that you would be screaming for justice. But Israelis mustn't, their dead children must be ignored.

Then, which of you mentions the Hamas charter which clearly states that the reason for their existence is the total destruction of Israel. I have yet to see Israel with an equivalent charter!

If this Dutch man had compalined about Hamas then he would have been in the right ball park!

Sam H (410)
Monday August 18, 2014, 1:15 pm
which charter predates the other, Likud's or Hamas's?

The Likud Party Charter states:

a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

Elizabeth brown (20)
Monday August 18, 2014, 1:23 pm
This man is living proof of the kindness and courage of some members of mankind. Israeli's are just like the Gestapo if not worse.No one likes to say this but at this point it is so evident. How dare they the( persecuted) keep people in a concentration camp called Gaza,kill at random,feed at random,bomb at random,give medication at random.They are the rulers of the world through wealth and stealth and through sheer arrogance . One only has to see the concentration camps that hold the Palestinians.Blood is oozing from every Israeli .. If the 3 world war broke out what do they care as long as they can run with their treasure as they did when they left Germany or Iraq or from whichever country they were slung out from because ordinary mortals had,had their full of their greed. There are few good ones most of them are evil and although they already have the world in their hands it is just not sufficient. One would have thought that they would have a little compassion but it just is not within their nature. I do not agree with Muslim extremism but i understand how it develops and is a threat to us all,have you seen Jews come forward and help Christians in Iraq? Yet during WW2 many Christians helped them i know because my Dutch uncle's family was one of them.They got no thanks. They did not look for it but it would have been nice to receive a thank you note after the war.Selfish,racist,extremist and certainly only their OWN friends with no care for others.After all we are GENTILES unclean and unworthy.Mr Henk Zanoli did well to tell them where to stuff this award. What an awful outcome to a wonderful act of human kindness.

Gillian M (218)
Monday August 18, 2014, 3:31 pm
And where in the Likud statement does it say that Israel must wipe out all Palestinians? I guess I missed that one.

I guess you lot missed out the Muslim controlled countries in the Middle East where the Palestinians are not wanted or welcome and abused. I never hear a peep about any of that from you.

Sam H (410)
Monday August 18, 2014, 3:43 pm
Hi Molly,

I could feel that sense of betrayal that you mention with the same clarity with which I could hear Mr. Zanoli’s answer to whether he would do it again. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Mr. Zanoli was presented with the same situation(s) again that he would risk his life to save the Jewish boy and return the medal for all the reasons that he mentioned. His humanity was what drove him to do these two things—a quality his attackers don’t seem to be able to relate to.

But it is his qualities that I like to emulate rather than the qualities of his attackers. To “hitlerize” our views is very dangerous, for we would be establishing commonality with those we’re criticizing and at the same time diminishing our own humanity.

People can be good or bad not because of their religious beliefs, but in spite of them. The Zanolis of the world do exist in every color, shape, form, religious belief or ethnicity. To discount the good because we’re overwhelmed by the bad amounts to giving up on humanity and allowing the hatemongers to set the tone of how people should behave towards each other—not the outcome you and I may wish for.

Guilt cannot be assigned on the basis of religious beliefs or ethnicities. Doing so will secure our place among the hatemongers of the world. I’m sure that wasn’t your intent, but somehow it seems to have been implied.

And there’s, of course, the possibility that misunderstood everything you said.

Sam H (410)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 1:29 pm
Medals, Fruits, Vegetables…Return to Sender


Ondine J (134)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 8:48 pm
An honorable soul, thanks Sam

Jane H (139)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 3:01 pm
Giving back the medal was a simple act by this good Dutchman. Look at the discussion it produced.
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