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Pathetic Elie Wiesel
By: Michael Warschawski
The Alternative Information Center
25 April 2010

http://www.alternativenews.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2558:pathetic-elie-wiesel&catid=143:michael-warschawski&Itemid=916

On Israelís Holocaust Remembrance Day, Haaretz published a letter penned by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, a letter which also appeared in the Washington Post and other media outlets. My personal encounter with the reality of the extermination of European Jewry was through Wieselís testimony in The Night, published shortly after the war. The Night is a very strong book and may be one the best ever written on the Nazi concentration camps.

Wiesel embodies the memory of the Jewish genocide. I do not share the opinion of many critics who charge him with rendering the genocide into a personal identity and even a business. The Auschwitz experience is so extreme that I don`t feel the right to judge what a survivor is doing from and because of it.

The success of The Night convinced Wiesel that he is a great writer, and since then he has published many other books, one worse than the other. Even the Nobel Prize Committee understood this and despite many pressures, rejected the demands to give Wiesel the Nobel Prize for literature.. Instead he receivedÖ the Nobel Prize for Peace.

I have always asked myself what could justify a Nobel Peace Prize for Elie Wiesel: not only has he done nothing for peace anywhere on our planet, but the only political topic on which he has expressed himself strongly, he unconditionally justified and supported war: the wars of Israel which, by definition, is always the victim and has therefore the right to launch preemptive war in order to avoid a new Auschwitz.

The article from Elie Wiesel published in Haaretz and other newspapers had nothing to with the genocide of European Jews by the Nazis. It was a recycle of an already published articleÖ on Jerusalem, and the place of Jerusalem in Jewish identity. From the winner of a prestigious international peace award, one would have expected some empathy with the Palestinian occupied population of Jerusalem, some criticism of the brutal settlement policy of the present ultra-right wing government, an appeal ďto both sidesĒ for moderation and mutual respect. What we got was a mere repetition of all the slogans of petty Israeli politicians aimed at justifying the denial of Palestinianís rights in the city.

With such an aggressive position, isnít it scandalous to honored Elie Wiesel with the Nobel Peace prize? This was my first reaction. But then I remembered that great peace activists such as Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres and Menachem Begin were also awarded the Nobel Prize. Definitely, Elie Wiesel is not as bad as they have been and, unlike the others, has no blood on his hands. He is just one mediocre singer among many others in the military choir hailing every crime committed by the State of Israel and justifying them under the slogan of ďnever againĒ.

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