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Elie Wiesel Speaks Out

Elie Wiesel Speaks Out

Our dreams of peace have gone up in the smoke of ransacked synagogues and blood-thirsty mobs.

by

Transcript of Elie Wiesel's speech given at the Israel Solidarity rally in New York.

We have gathered here to affirm our solidarity with Israel. We are outraged by the hypocritical vote in the Security Council, which did not condemn Palestinian excessive reactions but condemned Israel's response to them. We stand by Israel whose present struggle was imposed upon her by the intransigence of the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

Those of us who reject hatred and fanaticism as options and who consider peace as the noblest of efforts finally recognize Yasir Arafat for what he is: ignorant, devious and unworthy of trust.

We had hoped for a genuine peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. We had dreams of Israeli and Palestinian children playing together, studying together, laughing together, and discovering each other's worlds. The pain, the agony, the death of any child, Palestinian or Jewish, is a torment to us. But why does Chairman Arafat not protect them but instead uses them as shields for adults throwing stones and worse?

Yes, it is with a heavy heart that we say that our dreams of peace have gone up in the smoke of ransacked synagogues, in the lynching of Israeli prisoners and of blood-thirsty mobs shouting their version of a Jerusalem without Jews and a Middle East without Israel. And I blame the supreme leader of the Palestinians, Yasir Arafat.

By rejecting Israel's unprecedented generous territorial concessions, he is burying the peace process; in so doing, he has betrayed the confidence not only of his negotiating partners but of President Clinton and other western leaders, just as he has betrayed the highest honor society can bestow upon a person. How can a leader, any leader in Israel renew discussions with him before all the kidnapped soldiers are returned to their families?

By unleashing mob violence and bloodshed in the streets rather than guiding his frustrated people toward coexistence and peace, he renounced their legitimate aspirations for a future free of suffering and hatred.

I hold him responsible for the murder of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman and the lynching of two young reservists. All his promises were lies; all his commitments were false. Indeed many peace activists here and in Israel are now reassessing the Oslo accords.

Under Israel sovereignty, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike could pray without fear in Jerusalem, our capital, which is at the center of Jewish history. A Jew may be Jewish far from Jerusalem; but not without Jerusalem. Though a Jew may not live in Jerusalem, Jerusalem lives inside him.

No other nation's memory is as identified with its memory as ours. No people have been as faithful to its name, or have celebrated its past with as much fervor. None of our prayers are as passionate as those that speak of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the dream of our dreams, the light that illuminates our hopeless moments. Its legitimacy lies in its sovereignty. To oppose one is to deny the other. Israel will never give up either. I accuse him of being morally weak, politically shortsighted and an obstacle to peace.

I accuse him of murdering the hopes of an entire generation. His and ours.

Published: October 21, 2000


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Visitor Comments: 16

(16) Anonymous, March 27, 2011 8:16 PM

Both the Nazis and Communists had strict "gun control."

Su., 03/27/11 common era I understand that Mr. Wiesel is a strong advocate for more "gun control." That is very sad; and to that extent, he hasn't learned the complete lesson of the Holocaust. Pacifism and turning the other cheek are definitely not Torah philosophies.

(15) ivlyndy, February 27, 2010 8:20 PM

Elie the survieor

When I read your book of your existance in the holocaust it was not my first foray into the holocaust I will never forget your love for your father and your agony and will never forget who and what you are and were. You came into my heart and life.

(14) Jeremiah, March 25, 2008 8:50 PM

Who do you think you are "Yoni" that you should talk to anyone that way, let alone an enlightened, knowledgable, and wise survivor? You sound like a child who is so sure of everything, yet knows nothing.
Go read a book.

(13) Nathan Fox, February 10, 2002 12:00 AM

a moment of your time

My name is Nathan. I am Jewish and live in Boulder, CO. I have heard many great things about you Elie and hope to know you personally. A project was assigned to me where I had to pick a hero. I choose you. I don't care what anybody says, someone who lives threw the Holocaust and doesn't hide from the public should always be announced as a hero in my book. I feel very in touch with my religion. I try to go to the synogague on a regular basis and go to sunday school. I have your biography and will soon be acquiring many of your own books. Your speech brought me closer to reality and for that I thank you. A moment of your time is all I ask. I would like to get to know a hero. So if you can please e-mail me as soon as possible.



p.s. I know you get thousands of these e-mails a say and this is probably the last one you'll read but I promise I won't waste your time. I hope to hear from you very soon.



Nathan

(12) Yoni Gershon, December 25, 2001 12:00 AM

Dreams of peace

Wiesel wrote:
"We had hoped for a genuine peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. We had dreams of Israeli and Palestinian children playing together, studying together, laughing together"

He goes on to (finally) blame Arafat.
I am not surprised that Wiesel and his ilk are suffering a rude awakening.

They are ostriches. They never believed in God but in Arafat. They did not believe in the Land for the Jews but in some Disneyesque vision of savage dogs turning into puppies.

How can someone who experienced the holocaust perpetrate upon themselves such a level of self-delusion? Liberal Jews excuse such fantasies as a result of their "passionate yearning for peace" which the see as the essence of their Judaism.

This is a very incomplete picture. "Shalom" means the completeness of harmony. It starts by the REMOVAL, EXPUNGING and DESTRUCTION of the disharmonious elements. Thus fighting a battle to destroy evil is often the first (and necessary) step towards true peace.

The Torah teaches: "uviarta hara mkirbecha" Expunge the evil from your midst. and: "Sur merah vasei tov" First remove yourself from evil and then do good.

You can't laugh and play with people who passionately dream of your destruction. Who teach their children to hate and kill us. Who refer to the founding of the State of Israel as "the Nakba" (catastrophe).

Liberal ostriches: Wake up and smell the Kaffiyeh! (feh!) As far as they are concerned it's us or them. Our response must be: It will be us.

bBracha,

Yoni

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