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...

  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.