Gilad Atzmon

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Once A Humanist, Always A Humanist

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

Hank Zanoli has returned a medal awarded by Israel to non-Jews who protected Jewish people during the Holocaust, after six of his relatives were killed in an airstrike in Gaza.

Hank and his late mother Johana Zanoli-Smit were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations, after their family hid a Jewish boy during the Nazi occupation of Holland until the Allied liberation in 1945.

Mr Zanoli was initially a supporter of Zionism but along the years his enthusiasm faded away.

In a letter addressed to the Israeli ambassador Zanoli wrote: “After the horror of the Holocaust my family strongly supported the Jewish people… with regard to their aspirations to build a national home.” But the penny dropped eventually,  Zanoli concludes, “over more than six decades I have however slowly come to realize that the Zionist project had from its beginning a racist element in it in aspiring to build a state exclusively for Jews."

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