The following is an article that began to circulate on the Chinese Internet over 20 years ago. Many versions attributed the piece to Mr. Shui Junyi (水均益), a well-known journalist and producer for China Central Television, the official news outlet for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In an interview in 2003, Shui Junyi denied that he had written the article.
Shui Junyi is a professional journalist with experience in the Communist Party system. He has covered the Gulf War and the Iraq War, and is familiar with Middle Eastern affairs. In the wake of Hamas's terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, the article below reappeared on China's WeChat platform, but was quickly deleted by the authorities in Beijing.
A young Jewish refugee with her Chinese playmates in Shanghai. (Source: Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum)
Following are excerpts from the article:
"What Is Wrong With A People Demanding The Right To Live?"
"To those who oppose Israel, I would like to ask you to answer a few questions: What is wrong with a people demanding the right to live? The surrounding peoples are always harassing them, throwing stones at them, and throwing Molotov cocktails at them, bombing their civilians, committing terrorist acts. Shouldn't these acts be stopped?
"... Why did the Arab countries not say peace when Israel was founded, but on the second day of the establishment of the State of Israel, they gathered the entire Arab world's strength against Israel and against the troubled Jewish people who had just restored their state? The disparity in power did not make the indomitable Jewish nation compromise. In the end, they prevailed, enabling Israel, the only non-Arab state in the Middle East, to exist for more than five decades...
"Do you know the real Israel? During World War II, Nazi Germany persecuted and attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish people. Jews who wanted to escape from Europe found bitterly that the whole world, fearful of Hitler's tyranny, had coldly closed its doors to them; only a small door in Shanghai, China, remains open. In a short period of time, 50,000 Jews from all over the world fled to Shanghai for refuge. Shanghai was beyond Hitler's reach. Shanghai was an open, undefended city. No one needed a visa to come to Shanghai."
"If You Are Looking For A Friendly Atmosphere, The First Destination Should Be Israel"
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"After the fall of Shanghai, the Japanese cozied up to Hitler and also planned to exterminate Jews in Shanghai. Two of the most densely populated alleys, where Jews lived, were once [barricaded by welded]... iron gates at the front and back exits by the Japanese. [Jews] were barred from entering or leaving for a year! Most of the more than 2,000 people trapped in the alley miraculously survived. At that time, it was the Shanghainese living in the surrounding area who courageously helped their Jewish neighbors through the most primitive method of 'airdropping,' that is, throwing bread and other food over the roofs.
"Nowadays, more and more Chinese people are traveling overseas, and if you are looking for a friendly atmosphere, the first destination should be Israel. When you stand on the streets of Tel Aviv, feel free to declare that you are Chinese! Or just say you are from Shanghai! You may find that many Israeli men, women and children, whom you have never met, could invite you to their homes for tea or dinner!
"We often hear some Chinese people blurt out to scold the United States, but rarely hear them blame Canada. That is due to a Canadian doctor, Norman Bethune, who helped China in the war of resistance against the Japanese invasion. Similarly, in Israel, the history of Jewish refugees in Shanghai, China, is written in textbooks. It is written in the genealogy or family history of some Israelis! In Israel, there is a monument which reads: 'Chinese people, we will not forget your grace and kindness!'
"In fact, we not only saved more than 20,000 Israelis, but we gained the respect of their whole country and [have received] great help in the fields of military, science and technology for so many years."
"They Have Become Accustomed To Scold Israel; They Are Addicted To It!"
"Israel regards every individual as its most precious asset, and Israel has hunted down Nazi war criminals over the decades. We cannot help but be awed by these people and their character: having a clear-cut stand on what to love and what to hate. For a long time, whenever something happened in the Middle East, mainstream public opinion always blamed Israel, making many people firmly believe that Israel is bad.
"Fifty years have passed, and many Chinese people still accuse Israel, in the same way that their older generation did. Yet this very country, Israel, has been scolded by us for decades and still can bear it!
"While Hamas and other organizations use 'human bombs' to bomb Israeli civilians, some people in China still scold Israel with their eyes closed! What did they scold? They are scolding Israel for its audacity to retaliate! They have become accustomed to scolding Israel. They are addicted to it!
"Why don't they think about what kind of people they are to scold a country that never talks back?! Remember, China used to have many 'friends,' [but] some of them cheated our country of ten billion or 20 billion yuan, and then turned against China! Israel, for 50 years, has not taken a penny from us, yet has always been a worthy friend of China!
"When we saw a group of Palestinian teenagers throwing stones at Israeli tanks, were those kids really brave, or were they just showing off? If it had been the other way around – if the tanks had been Palestinian -- the Israeli boys would not have been able to pick up the stones, because the machine guns would have been firing at them! Yes, that's the difference!
"If Israel did not have its tanks, it would face extinction as a nation! Now when we watch from afar, little Israel in a sea of rage, yet proudly standing tall!"
"Let's Stop Railing Against Israel"
"It is a traditional Chinese virtue to cherish friends.
"We can certainly approach the Arab or Islamic world, although the extremism of Islam has also brought us great harm – the ghosts of the Chinese slaughtered in Indonesia in 1998 are still crying. But at the same time, let us stop railing against Israel. They have made great contributions to us in the field of modern military technology and equipment, but we have opposed Israel at every turn internationally: We are the first to recognize the Palestinian state and [we are] the country that supports it the most. Wouldn't that overshadow our traditional virtue of being grateful?
"Thank you, Israel! Over the years, I've been the one to yell at you. From my teenage years to my youth, I learned from our news media to call you names many times. But today, I want to say to you: 'I'm sorry, Israel! I will always regard you as our most precious friend! Because the help you have given us in the past under Western pressure has been too much for us to bear, just for helping more than 20,000 Jews in Shanghai!"
 Club.6parkbbs.com/bolun/index.php?app=forum&act=threadview&tid=16272858; Tv.cctv.com/2017/04/24/ARTIq2twrbbpIMbVNk2Pb8c0170424.shtml.
 Mp.weixin.qq.com/mp/secitptpagepub?action=getpage&scene=41. Wechat account: Expo City, published in Fujian, China, 2023-10-14. Sources: Sohu, Zhao Peng and friends, Sina.cn.
 The actual number is approximately 20,000.
 Fleeing Europe did require a visa, and the Chinese consul general in Vienna, Mr. Ho Feng-Shan, issued thousands of life-saving visas to Jews between 1938 and 1940, against the orders of his boss, Chen Jie, the Chinese minister in Berlin.