Raleigh, NC (January 27, 2024) — Descendants of Holocaust survivors and Jewish Voice for Peace Triangle NC Chapter hosted an afternoon vigil in Moore Square in Raleigh NC for Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a message to President Biden to stop funding and enabling the genocide of Palestinians.
The “Never Again is Now: Holocaust Remembrance Day Vigil” took place one day after the International Court of Justice’s historic ruling, which found South Africa’s claim that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza to be plausible, and ordered the Israeli government to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts.
The group recited the traditional Jewish mourning prayer to honor the countless lives lost to genocides around the world, led by Student Rabbi Noah Ruben-Blose. As the crowd listened to reflections by descendents of Holocaust survivors and Palestinian community members, a bell rang out every 5.75 minutes, marking yet another Palestinian death at the hands of the Israeli government.
Organizer of the event, Marlo Kalb, read a letter from her grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust, who Kalb stated, “passed away much too soon due to multiple sclerosis, a disease that she and I share. Like many others who’ve survived genocide, our family was hit hard with disease and disability – trauma changes a person’s dna and it is passed down through generations.”
Kalb went on to assert that, “It is precisely because of my family’s history that I say ‘never again is now’. Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians. I reject the weaponization of my grandmother, an anti-war activist traumatized by the horrors of the Holocaust, and her story to further a genocide.”
Giant hand-painted art in the colors of the Palestinian flag (red, white, black and green) read “Never Again is Now” and “Never Again for Anyone”, with symbols expressing the interconnection between
Palestinian and Jewish safety and freedom. Attendees wore traditional Jewish prayer garments, keffiyehs and shirts with “Not in Our Name” and “Jews Say: Ceasefire Now!”
Kevin Georgas, a descendent of Holocaust survivors, addressed the crowd:
The government of Israel has dropped so many bombs on Gaza that more than 25,000 Palestinians are dead, thousands and thousands of them children, but when we cry out for them, we’re told that we can’t use the term “genocide” because of what our own relatives went through.
As we come together today to say “Never again for anyone,” I want us all to hear loud and clear that we know exactly what we’re seeing, and we’re not going to stop crying out and disrupting until there is justice for Palestine. My family didn’t struggle to survive so that their grandson could be silenced and sit by while Palestinians are bombed and displaced in their name.