web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Wiesel Versus Netanyahu

Elie-Weisel-050412

We were dismayed by the criticism Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel leveled at Prime Minister Netanyahu following the latter’s speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Mr. Wiesel took issue with what he said was the prime minister’s likening of the Holocaust to the threat posed to Israel by Iran. Obviously whatever Mr. Wiesel says about the Holocaust is worth listening to. But we are nonetheless puzzled.

Mr. Wiesel said:

Iran is a threat, but can we say that it will make a second Auschwitz? I don’t compare anything to the Holocaust…. Only Auschwitz was Auschwitz. I went to Yugoslavia when reporters said that there was a Holocaust starting there. There was genocide, but not an Auschwitz. When you make a comparison to the Holocaust it works both ways, and soon people will say what happened in Auschwitz was “only what happened in Bosnia.”

But Mr. Netanyahu did no such thing. Here is part of what he said:

On this day, when our entire nation gathers together to remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the six million Jews who were murdered, we must fulfill our most sacred obligation.This obligation is not merely an obligation to remember the past. It is an obligation to learn its lessons, and, most importantly, to apply them to the present in order to secure the future of our people. We must remember the past and secure the future by applying the lessons of the past.

This is especially true for this generation – a generation that once again is faced with calls to annihilate the Jewish state. One day, I hope that the state of Israel will enjoy peace with all the countries and all the peoples in our region. One day, I hope that we will read about his calls to destroy the Jews only in history books and not in daily newspapers. But that day has not yet come.

Today, the regime in Iran openly calls and determinedly works for our destruction. And it is feverishly working to develop atomic weapons to achieve that goal…. I know there are also those who believe that the unique evil of the Holocaust should never be invoked in discussing other threats facing the Jewish people. To do so, they argue, is to belittle the Holocaust and to offend its victims.

I totally disagree. On the contrary. To cower from speaking the uncomfortable truth – that today like then, there are those who want to destroy millions of Jewish people – that is to belittle the Holocaust, that is to offend its victims and that is to ignore the lessons.

Clearly Mr. Netanyahu was not focusing on the human horrors of Auschwitz but rather on the Nazis’ end goal of eradicating the Jewish people and Iran’s vow to obliterate seven and a half million Jews living in Israel.

But what really rankles is that Mr. Wiesel was standing near Barak Obama as the president delivered his own remarks at the United States Holocaust Museum on April 23. Mr. Obama spoke about millions of people sent to their deaths “just for being Jewish.” He also noted the “millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten.” He mentioned the killings in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Libya, Central Africa and South Sudan. He spoke of the phrase “never again” as “a challenge to reject hatred in all its forms – including anti-Semitism” and as “a challenge to defend the fundamental right of free people and free nations to exist in peace and security and that includes the state of Israel.”

And he characterized “never again” as “a challenge to nations. It’s a bitter truth – too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop in the lives we did not save.”

So here was the president of the United States speaking of the Holocaust – at an event memorializing the Holocaust – as one of a series of tragic and bloody events in recent history. Talk about minimizing the uniqueness of the Shoah!

And yet Mr. Wiesel said nothing at the time. Perhaps he felt it wasn’t his place to take issue with the president at such a sober gathering. But we have heard nothing from Mr. Wiesel on the subject since then. Given his sharp response to what Mr. Netanyahu said, his silence over President Obama’s far more egregious remarks is deafening.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Wiesel Versus Netanyahu”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Editorial Board

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/wiesel-versus-netanyahu/2012/05/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: