Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Exclusive by Elie Wiesel: The Tragedy in Toulouse

March 21, 2012 4:53 pm 28 comments

8 year old victim Miriam Monsonego. Photo: Facebook.

Will the hatred of the Jews ever finally vanish? Will Jewish children always be in danger?

This time, a murderer slew four Jews: a teacher and three young children.

When a blood-thirsty Jew-hater wants to kill Jews, he goes first to the Jewish schools. Jewish children are his primary target.

It’s always been this way. This is what Pharaoh, King of Egypt did, what Hitler did. And this is what happened now.

This is the background to the tragedy that occurred in the French city, Toulouse.

I have visited that city many times. The Jewish community there is old and well-established – it dates back to the Middle Ages – but it is dynamic.

In the streets, you can see Jews wearing yarmulkas. Nobody thinks of anti-Semitism. Spiritually, it is one of richest Jewish communities in France.

Obviously, the terrible murderous attack evoked tears and rage among both Jews and non-Jews. The President, his ministers, and other political figures in France, as well as all the newspapers, have demanded that the murderer be found and punished.

It often happens like this. Jewish blood is spilled and, temporarily, sympathy for Jews grows; the world warms to them.

But the pain does not go away, nor does the anger. We think about the martyrs: Rabbi Yochanan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and Miriam Monsonego. We say, as is Jewish tradition: “May G-d avenge their blood.” That will be the response from Above.

Our own answer must be concrete and to the point. When we are persecuted, our response must be: We will remain Jewish – and do everything to become more Jewish.

28 Comments

  • “Our own answer must be concrete and to the point. When we are persecuted, our response must be: We will remain Jewish – and do everything to become more Jewish”

    Are white Europeans, like the French allowed the same?

  • “What we dream of is—Jews strong enough and honest enough to hate their killers …” – Ben Hecht

  • Elie is in his response is a bit naive

    Quote” We say, as is Jewish tradition: “May G-d avenge their blood.” That will be the response from Above.”

    God gave us the ability and the knowhow to respond to such atrocities and there are examples in the Prophets

    This killer, gaving admitted his guilt, should be guillotined or shot
    Jail is too good for him !

    • evelyn gross

      All true but at a time like this we must believe in DIvine Justice otherwise we lose everything.

  • The same killer killed 3 french soldiers, 2 muslim among them and a black man. Killing is always terrible, but the killing of children is worse because only a coward can do that.
    On my website I put a candle and wrote that if people do something to a child, he becomes my child. If they do something to somebody because of his religion, I am from his religion. This horrible event made me be a jewish mam. In septembre 1982, more than 900 persons, among them many children were killed by christians in Sabra and Chatila, the responsability of some israelian militaries was obvious because they controled the land around the camps, in 1948 soldiers from irgoun massacred people among them many children in deir yassin.
    In africa, they do mass murders in name of race or religion
    Massacre of innocent have always existed everywherre
    I hope the world will see the end of this one day, but I doubt it happens really.

  • Mariel, how dare you. Chana you’re right on. Take you’re pathetic life elsewhere Mariel

    • You seem like a great Jew and a great person. Obviously something I said obviously hit a nerve, which means I’m on target, or you would not have replied so viscerally. The Jewish community is small and vulnerable enough as it is, and you want to start infighting rather than attempting to engage in discussion? Particularly with someone you know absolutely nothing about? Smart. I’m sure Elie would be proud.

  • Thank you Elie Weisel for using your amazing talents once again to wake us up. When something as awful as this happens, it is every human being’s business to react by doing at least one thing towards making the world a better place.

  • Does anybody remember why the second Temple was destroyed? How about giving in to grief for a few hours instead of taking it out on each other. You can go back to lambasting tomorrow.

  • BS”D

    the attack on the Jews from Toulouse was an attack by Amalek:
    -Chasing the weak and
    -defying G’d’s ownership of this world by doing it in a month Adar where G’d gave us divine power and victory over Haman the Amalekite.

    What we should do:
    Find these murderers and their accomplices, hunt them and their families down, and bring them all to Thora judgment connected to the laws of Amalek: Do NOT forget.

    A war with Amalek from generation to generation.

  • What about the slaughter of Christians going on around the world (e.g. Africa and the Middle East), who are strong supporters of Israel? Where is the outrage over that? And what does it mean to be “more Jewish” and who gets to judge that? I am not orthodox, but I am a direct descendant of a long line of very highy regarded Rabbis. Who is qualified to judge “how Jewish” I am but G-d?

    • Mariel,
      This is hardly the time or place for your discussion. I am certain your ancestors paid for your ability to post and publish your ignorant and insensitive ideas with their blood. You are obviously confused, insecure and fragile about yourself and your Jewish identity. That is a shame. :(

      • Really? Re-read the last paragraph of the article. You may not like or agree with my comment, but that doesn’t make them uninformed. In fact, since you clearly have no idea what I’m referring to and believe from one comment you can characterized me as confused, insecure and fragile, clearly you are the ignorant one. You know nothing about me or my ancestors, and if you’re referring to the right to free speech by “paid for your ability post and publish…ideas with their blood”- that was actually the First Amendment, with which the pogroms, Holocaust, etc. had nothing to do. There are atrocities going on around the world, as badly as those done to Jews, on which the Jewish community is silent. That is a shame.

  • Mr. Wiesel is a liberal, because, by the natures of Judaism, we all should be liberals. Jews value lives, that is liberal. Jews value learning, that is liberal. Jews value freedom, that is liberal. To be liberal is to be open and tolerant. If that is not a Jew, what is?

    • Ephraim is a bit naive; it is the “liberal” left who are the current purveyors of anti-Semitism and Islamophilia worldwide.

      • 100% Jewish Liberal

        Sami it is you who is naive…the left is all about peace, love and tolerance….there is no room for hate, discrimination or intolerance.

        • Oh, please “100% Jewish Liberal”. The liberal Left, throughout the world, represents the largest educated voice against Israel and the Jews. The boycott and divestment movement singles out one country in the entire world for its censure: Israel. Heard anything about boycotting Iran, Syria, Sudan, etc. lately? The silence is deafening. The legacy of the liberal Left is one of hatred towards Jews and all the stand for. If you really don’t know this, do your homework rather than spouting liberal talking points.

      • It is no coincidence that the vast majority of the Jewish vote went to the Democrats last election. As a minority population in the United States, we have a long reputation of standing on the side of Social Justice in our community especially on the subjects of Civil Rights. The problem comes with the Left’s idea that because the Palestinians are not the victors, they must be the victims.

  • Susanne (Sanne) Kalter DeWitt

    I was born in Germany in 1934 and deported to Poland in 1938 because I was a Jew and my father had been born in Poland. The Poles sent me back to Germany and I was incarcerated (briefly) in Dachau and then was then hidden in Holland. I ask myself this question: “Is This The Beginning of the next Holocaust?

  • Excellent point Dan. How long shall we allow our blood to be so cheap? The time for dialogue with the nations of the world seems long past. If we must be killed , let us die not as defenseless victims. Let us die as people who rose up against their enemies in all 4 corners of the globe not just in Israel. We must defend ourselves everywhere and kill those who would kill us. Is that not what our holy Torah advocates? That is true Jewish identity.

  • Only a Jew like Wiesel can go thru Hell and come out a liberal.

    • I don’t understand how you see from this article that he’s a liberal (it may be true in his personal life, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem that way in this article). It is one of the best responses to the wacko jew haters, LET US AL BECOME MORE JEWISH! Let’s not hide or cower because of them!
      Let all our dress & actions scream out “I’m a jew, & I’m proud!”
      And yes, sometimes being jewish entails belief in G-d’s salvation, as well as our obligation to stand up to our enemies & protect ourselves!

      • Hatred for Jews is “wacko”? If you have a good knowledge/understanding of history, there are clear reasons why this hatred exists. People like you only enforce negativity towards Jews. This whole things is making me want to convert to Christianity.

        • How can you critisize one for saying hatred for Jews is “wacko”? I applaud Mark for being so mild. Iii

        • Mariel,
          With self-hating Jews who claim Rabbis as descendants, who needs enemies? BTW, why would the Christians want you?

        • Mariel, four innocent people were just murdered and it was clearly a hate crime. So are you saying that these innocent Jews were killed for a reason and that this murderer is justified? Are you crazy? Your comments seem selfish and pretentious. I have learnt history and there is no reason for hatred towards Jews and the cruelty that results from it. We do not need to hear about you and the reasons why you are clearly a self hating Jew. This article is about the four innocent people who were murdered and it is not an article for you to be venting about your anger towards Judaism.

        • It sounds as if your mind is already made up. Merry Christmas and Happy Easter to you.

        • Hatred is always unjust and becomes atrocious when one’s identity, be it religion ethnicity or nationality, becomes the basis for blind hatred. That is indeed ‘Wacko’

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Book Reviews Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    It is cocktail hour on an April afternoon in 2004. The sun is hot on Amsterdam’s canals, and I am sitting at Café den Leeuw on the Herengracht with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is still a member of the Dutch Parliament, and we talk about Islam. Specifically, we talk about the concept of “moderate Islam,” or what she calls “liberal Islam.” And she has one word for it. “It’s absurd,” she says. “It’s complete nonsense. There is no ‘liberal […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    Everybody knows that cooking varies from country to country. There are Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. We associate different styles of cuisine with different languages. Do we also think of the association of different cuisines with different dialects? We should, because cooking also varies from region to region. Litvaks and Galitsyaners have their own traditions of preparing gefilte fish. Marvin I. Herzog, in his book The Yiddish Language in Northern Poland: Its Geography and History (Indiana University, Bloomington, and Mouton & Co., The […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    An analysis of New York Times wedding announcements showed that women married in Jewish ceremonies were less likely to take their husband’s last names than those married in Roman Catholic ceremonies, the Times reported on Saturday. The largest gap between the two groups was in 1995 when 66 percent of Catholic women took their husband’s names and 33 percent of Jewish women did the same. Nearly half of the women featured in the publication’s wedding pages since 1985 took their husband’s name after marriage, while about […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    JNS.org – Through appreciation of both his comedy and humanitarian work, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis is staying relevant at age 89. The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Lewis added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli athletes marked a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts won multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku. The Gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Neta Rivkin, an Israeli Olympic gymnast, won bronze for the Solo Hoops event. Sunday’s gymnastics wins follow Sergey Richter’s bronze on June 16 for the Men’s 10 meter air-rifle, and Ilana Kratysh’s silver for women’s freestyle wrestling. The 2015 European Games in Baku are […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Russian-American Jews are some of the most successful ballroom dancing competitors in the U.S., South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Radio reported on Thursday. Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, said their success can be traced back to Jewish discrimination in the former Soviet Union. Because of the prejudice they faced, Russian Jews had to perform better than their peers in every field, including dancing, in order to have a chance of getting ahead. “They knew that if they […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday. At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    JNS.org – A fairytale ending to Jewish basketball coach David Blatt’s first season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was not meant to be, as the Blatt-led Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night dropped Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 105-97, to lose the best-of-seven series 4-2. Blatt, who just last year coached Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv franchise to a European basketball championship, failed to finish a second straight hoops season on top. But after the Cavaliers began the NBA […]

    Read more →