Gaza Settlers to End Orange Star of David Protest Against Pullout

Gaza settlers to cease distributing orange Star of David to protest pullout after fierce criticism of campaign from the public.

Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent
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Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent

Settlers who wear an orange Star of David are Holocaust deniers, Major General Elazar Stern, head of the Israel Defense Forces Manpower Division said Thursday.

In an interview on the Channel Two news program "Meet the Press," Stern called the phenomenon "madness" and noted that "It will make it difficult for me to prevent soldiers from gloating over their [the settlers'] misfortune. Stern also said, "These are not our people. Settlers who wear an orange star are Holocaust deniers, because if what was done in the Holocaust resembles what we are doing to them, it means the Holocaust was not so terrible or unique."

"I spoke to my parents about it," Stern said. "My mother came to Auchwitz with her twin sisters, one in her arms and the other in the arms of her mother. Mengele was standing there. He dragged the twin away from my mother and tried to grab the other twin from my grandmother.

When he wasn't able to, he dragged all three to the side and my mother never saw them again. My father was on the Death March and ate horse carcass the whole way. When I spoke to them about the orange star they used the word "'madness.'"

"Let it be clear to everyone that when they tell us to evacuate, we will evacuate, and no threats, no equation to anything will deter us from our job as soldiers in the only Jewish country in the world, which is also a democratic country," Stern said.

Gaza settlers to end orange Star of David protest against pullout Gush Katif settlers who initiated a controversial campaign of protest against the disengagement plan by pinning orange Stars of David on their clothing announced Thursday that they will cease distributing the patch.

Nonetheless, the settlers stopped short of calling on the public to stop wearing the symbol.

Prior to making an official announcement, the group which introduced the initiative also apologized to Holocaust survivors who were offended by the campaign.

The settlers had held a lengthy discussion on the matter one day after the Yesha Council and National Religious Party MK Effi Eitam called for an end to the initiative.

"As of now the patch achieved its goal, which was to shock people so that they would think how Holocaust survivors in Gush Katif feel today," said Roni Bakshi, one of the settlers who launched the plan.

Bakshi added that the number of responses was larger than had been anticipated.

"The Yesha Council could not have not condemned this matter and I understand them," Bakshi said. "I will continue wearing the patch in any event."

"We are not telling anyone what to do," Bakshi said. "Whoever wants to continue walking around with it is invited to do so, but we are not distributing it."



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