Op-Ed: "Holocaust Victims" Challenge Elie Wiesel
Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient...
On August 23, 2014 a paid ad/open letter appeared in the New York Times taking Elie Wiesel to task for playing the “Holocaust trump” card and for trying to “justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2000 Palestinians.”
The open letter was in response to Wiesel's ad, which appeared in a number of newspapers including the "Paper of Record" but which was rejected by the Times of London, and called upon "President Obama and the leaders of the world to condemn Hamas’s use of children as human shields.”
Saturday's ad is an open letter by “Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide.”
One signatory is listed as the “spouse of a hidden child;” some are identified as the children of survivors, as child refugees, or as relatives of refugees (who escaped the Holocaust); some are listed as the grandchildren of survivors and refugees, some are described as the great-grandchildren of survivors, and some merely as “relatives” of survivors and of victims.
Three hundred and twenty-seven names are classified in this way. Are these signatories playing the Holocaust trump card too? Do they have Wiesel’s credentials or gravitas?
Who are these signatories? Why do they hesitate to proudly list the name of the organization which has sponsored this ad? To find who that might be, the reader is directed to a mysterious website listed at the bottom of the ad.
Only then will you will learn that the ad has been bought and paid for by IJAN – The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
Why would they hide the name of their sponsoring organization – an organization which is calling for the destruction of the Jewish National Fund?
Alas, some of the signatories are recognizable to me as people who are serial condemners of Israel and who have already signed any number of petitions condemning Israel.
The names that immediately leap out are Berkeley Professor Daniel Boyarin (the great-grandchild of “victims”); Barnard Professor Irena Klepfisz (a survivor); Brooklyn College professor and historian Renate Bridenthal (a child refugee); non-stop anti-Zionist Holocaust activist who was recently arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, when she blamed the police for causing the violence, 90-year-old Hedy Epstein (Kindertransport, a child refugee); and Bard Professor Emeritus and author of Overcoming Zionism Joel Kovel (a “relative.”)
These presumably august figures and their allies “condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.”
There never was a “Palestine” – and these are intellectuals, professors, poets, authors – educated people.
They “are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society which has reached fever-pitch… [resulting in open calls for] the genocide of Palestinians; right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.”
These are all Blood Libels, the product of inflamed imaginations that have been so well rewarded for their politically correct views, so poisoned by propaganda, so blinded by groupthink that they honestly believe that such a letter is an act of courage, not a declaration of anti-Semitism.
Today, anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism. There is no doubt about it.
Also appeared on Breitbart.com