AJC Outraged by New York Councilman's Gaza Comments

Jun 02, 2010, 16:53 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC expressed outrage over a New York City Councilman's incendiary remarks regarding the situation in Gaza.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Councilman Charles Barron called Gaza "a concentration death camp." When asked by the reporter if he really meant to compare Gaza to Holocaust concentration camps, Barron replied affirmatively.

"We urge Councilman Barron to retract his offensive and baseless accusation," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

"It is common knowledge that Israel transports almost daily into Gaza tons and tons of the most basic humanitarian necessities, including food, clothing and medicine," said Harris. "Councilman Barron's comments show an appalling lack of understanding of what a Nazi death camp actually was – and a totally exaggerated and self-serving description of conditions in Gaza."

"The international community, not Israel alone, imposed an economic blockade on Gaza after Hamas, declared a terrorist group by the U.S. and EU, violently seized control of the territory from the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas," said Harris.

Councilman Barron visited Gaza last July with British MP George Galloway, a longtime, outspoken fundraiser and mouthpiece for Hamas.

"If Councilman Barron truly desires to see a day when Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace, then he would do well to encourage the Gazans to abandon the dead-end politics of Hamas and embrace the vision of a two-state solution with Israel," Harris said.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee