Times Rejects Ad by Eli Wiesel Condemning Hamas

Nobel Prize-winner's ad slammed Hamas' use of human shields as 'child sacrifice'; Times accused of 'catering to bigotry'.

Ari Soffer ,

"Jews rejected child sacrifce - now it's Hama
"Jews rejected child sacrifce - now it's Hama
Part of the ad rejected by The Times

London's Times newspaper has refused to run an ad featuring Nobel Prize-winner Eli Wiesel opposing Hamas's use of children as human shields in its war with Israel.

The ad campaign, run by high-profile US Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has already appeared in leading American publications such as the New York Times, New York ObserverWashington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

It calls on "true Muslims", as well as world leaders, to condemn what it brands as Hamas’ use of "child sacrifices", and is entitled: "Jews Rejected Human Sacrifice 3,500 Years Ago. Now It's Hamas' Turn". 

According to the New York Observer, in rejecting the ad "a representative of The Times wrote to the Rabbi’s ad-buying firm saying, 'In brief, [The Times] [feels] that the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers'."

Precisely what kind of readers would be "concerned" about an advert condemning the use of human shields - which is forbidden under international law - is not clear. 

The advertisement was written by both Elie Weisel and Rabbi Boteach, and an unnamed source told the Observer it had even been seen by President Barack Obama, claiming that "Elie Wiesel had lunch with President Obama on Friday and presented the ad into his hand," whereby the president "literally read it in front of Eli Wiesel's face."

Snippet from the rejected ad

Rabbi Boteach said he was "appalled" at the decision, and accused The Times of catering to "bigotry".

"At a time when Israel is fighting for its very existence against the genocidal terrorists of Hamas, the British media, already infamously skewed against Israel, refuses a paid ad that every major American outlet – including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Times sister publication The Wall Street Journal – was proud to run as a full page ad," he told the Observer.

"Elie Wiesel is one of the most respected human beings alive, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and is the living face of the [H]olocaust. No greater expert on genocide exists in the whole world.

"His call for the end of child sacrifice by Hamas who use children as human shields and a stop to their genocidal charter which calls for the murder of Jews everywhere could only offend the sensibilities of the most die-hard anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites,” Rabbi Shmuley noted.

"I am shocked that The Times would engage in censorship of the worst kind to cater to such bigotry."

Hamas use of human shields throughout the conflict has been well-documented - whether by firing missiles from heavily-populated areas; using schools, hospitals, cemeteries and mosques as arms depots, rocket launchpads and military bases; or simply encouraging Gazans to act as human shields.

A Hamas "urban warfare" manual captured recently by the IDF shed further light on how Hamas uses Gaza's civilian population in its fight against Israel.