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I Do Not Mourn for Elie Wiesel

I Do Not Mourn for Elie Wiesel

I was first introduced to Elie Wiesel as a junior in high school.
Our teacher – like the other thousands of teachers across the globe – assigned us to read his Memoir Night with the intention of exposing us to the horrors of the Holocaust. I had been introduced to the subject multiple times before, but this memoir was indeed a different glimpse into one of the most tragic periods in human history. I was outraged by the gross atrocities committed by the Nazi regime, and was completely blown away by the words of Eliezer, the narrator of the story, who believed that “human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.” Eliezer believed that “those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”
I immediately began to think of how those statements were so relevant even today, where the cold murder of thousands of innocent Palestinian people by Zionist forces has gone unnoticed by humanity. But my class did not touch upon these ideas and my teacher did not bring them up.

I immediately began to think of how those statements were so relevant even today, where the cold murder of thousands of innocent Palestinian people by Zionist forces has gone unnoticed by humanity. 

To more of my surprise, the author of this remarkable work also did not share thoughts similar to mine in the slightest. What I found instead was a walking contradiction. I found a man who talked of the importance of justice and unity for all of mankind, but acted upon his racial ties and actively supported the gross horrors afflicting the innocent lives taken away by the Israeli-occcupation in Palestine. I found a man who was a willful participant in the genocide of a group of people who were not his own. I found a man who used the Holocaust Card to advance his ideas, while ignoring the dehumanization of thousands of Palestinian victims.

 I found a man who talked of the importance of justice and unity for all of mankind, but acted upon his racial ties and actively supported the gross horrors afflicting the innocent lives taken away by the Israeli-occcupation in Palestine. I found a man who was a willful participant in the genocide of a group of people who were not his own. I found a man who used the Holocaust Card to advance his ideas, while ignoring the dehumanization of thousands of Palestinian victims.

I cannot be taught to love a man who was selective when condemning violence against a particular group of people. Wiesel cannot stand and talk about compassion, anti-genocide activism, and the suffering of the innocents, while choosing to stand by Zionist principles that encourage this very same violence against the innocent Palestinian masses.

Wiesel cannot stand and talk about compassion, anti-genocide activism, and the suffering of the innocents, while choosing to stand by Zionist principles that encourage this very same violence against the innocent Palestinian masses.

Elie Wiesel once stated, as he must have countless other times (this one was at a lecture at Boston University): “I think that is the greatest danger – ignorance which leads to indifference and therefore detachment. If someone suffers and I don’t do anything to diminish his or her suffering something is wrong with me.” Wiesel’s crime had not been indifference to the unjust Israeli occupation of Palestine; he had been strongly vocal and voiced active support of the killing of thousands of children. He supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and continued, during his lifetime, to support the ideas of Netanyahu – a President who has gone above and beyond to deny the rights of the Palestinian people. Wiesel went as far as to accuse the Palestinian people of Hamas of child sacrifice when all they have been trying to do is defend themselves with sticks and stones against the guns and bombs of their oppressive Israeli occupiers.

Wiesel went as far as to accuse the Palestinian people of Hamas of child sacrifice when all they have been trying to do is defend themselves with sticks and stones against the guns and bombs of their oppressive Israeli occupiers.

The so-called “messenger of peace” cannot, at the very same time, support an organization that evicts thousands of Palestinians from their home country. Wiesel had denied the human rights abuses against the the Palestinian people, who also deserve their history, identity and safety, just as much as the Jewish people.

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Wiesel had denied the human rights abuses against the the Palestinian people, who also deserve their history, identity and safety, just as much as the Jewish people.

The lessons I took from reading Night are not the same lessons the author had wished to impart on me, I’m sure. I do not mourn for the lies myself and all of my classmates have been fed of the heroic Elie Wiesel and his plight of justice for mankind, when all of it has amounted to is further hate and the genocide of another race. We cannot use Israeli propaganda to teach our children the atrocities of the Holocaust, while ignoring all other genocides, including that of the Palestinians. Wiesel cannot speak for the many Holocaust survivors who are both disgusted and appalled by the Israeli terrors along the Gaza Strip and beyond. I do not place Wiesel along with great leaders – Dr. Hajo Meyer, Hedy Epstein, Irene Klepfisz, and Susan Slyomovics – who have used their Holocaust experiences to both uplift their communities, and make sure that such atrocities are “never again” for anyone, including the Palestinian people.

We cannot use Israeli propaganda to teach our children the atrocities of the Holocaust, while ignoring all other genocides, including that of the Palestinians.

I do not mourn for Elie Wiesel.

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  • Although I understand your frustration with the problems of the middle east do not think that genocide is only the preserve of western cultures. I witnessed in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) the genocide of non muslims by muslims in 1971 (Christian calendar). Genocide is genocide and belittles all mankind whatever our race or creed and we should fight against it at all times and honour all those who try to fight against it.

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