KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – What follows is the apology issued by Rana Zaman in June 2019, immediately after people complained about the tweets that compared some actions of Israel against Palestinians to the actions of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
For the Atlantic Jewish Council, the organization that pressured the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission into rescinding Rana’s Human Rights award, the apology isn’t good enough. You be the judge.
Amid the controversy over my twitter comments I have reached out to leaders and friends in the Jewish community from different groups to ask for their input and advice. I am grateful to them for taking the time to share personal stories of the horrors their families suffered in the Holocaust.
Thanks to their kindness, patience and willingness to educate me on the significance of using words like “Nazis” conjures up for so many.
I now appreciate that my tweets comparing Israeli actions to those of Nazi Germany were inappropriate, hurtful and sadly may be perceived as anti-Semitic.
I respect, empathize and care for all people regardless of colour, religion and ethnicity and have tried my best to support anyone in need and am therefore dismayed that my tweets may be perceived this way! My intention was to raise awareness, engage others in a conversation and dialogue that would be productive. Instead I have inadvertently caused pain using such language and I humbly apologize for that. My emotions at the sight of so many innocent Palestinians being shot, maimed or killed during the March of Return overwhelmed me. I have learned an important lesson, the need to be mindful and not to use this analogy in the future!
It is an unfortunate fact of current political discourse that the words we use to describe injustice are often perceived as worse than the injustice itself. For me activism is a self learning process and as a result riddled with pitfalls. No one else can be held accountable nor should be expected to be responsible for the words or actions of another. I’m learning each day and it’s clear to me that social activists must also be extremely careful in their choice of words. Words do hurt!
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