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December 3, 2008 3:56 pm

A Wicked World

avatar by Elie Wiesel

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We read the newspapers and our hearts bleed.

I picture the holy Rebbe, R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. What would he have said? “What’s going on in the wicked world?”

Wherever one turns, whatever the pretext, Jews are subject to persecution. Whatever the pretext, wherever one turns, Jews are being hounded. Wherever one turns, whatever the pretext, anywhere Jews live and want to live as Jews, even in distant places, their blood is shed.

India and Pakistan are bitter foes – and Jewish parents become bereaved of children and Jewish children are orphaned.

In truth, it has always been this way. In the Middle Ages, the Christians and the Moslems were at war – and on the way to Jerusalem, the Crusaders slaughtered hundreds and thousands of Jews who did not want to abandon their faith.

Today, the entire world knows that terror and specifically suicide terrorists are the plague that endangers the 21st century.

At first, the terror targeted only Jews in Israel. The world – humanity, so called – barely reacted. People grew accustomed to reading about Jewish blood flowing freely.

The price for that complacency is being paid now: today, other families and nations are also being struck.

How ultimately can this be resolved?

Governments and armies worldwide must mobilize and declare an all-out war on terrorism in general and suicide terrorists in particular.

Three or four years ago, the author of these lines publicly proposed that such murder be declared as a crime against humanity. Together with the Prime Minister of Norway, I organized a summit in New York. Twelve world leaders promptly accepted my proposal.

Will this help?

Above all, Israel must defend itself – with any and all means.

And we Jews must help Israel – with any and all means.

And for you dear friends from Chabad – what can a Jew like me tell you? How can I comfort you?

Your tears are our tears. Your tragedy is ours. Moshe’s tears will leave searing marks in all of our hearts. Nothing will ever wash them away. The pain of a Jewish child, an orphan, who just lost his parents and knows only to cry “Tatie, Mommy,” will accompany us for a long time.

Be strong, shluchim and leaders of Chabad. Your faith is stronger than the hatred of our enemies.

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  • frania kryszpel block

    The children of Holocaust survivors know what their parents went through and how all hope was gone. No institutions,no people to detour the Jews way out of the ovens and killing fields. Believe Wiesel speaks about tears. There is no more room for tears. Melvin Bukiet, a second generation writer, in the anthology Nothing Makes You Free, that the tears of our parents have now turned to concrete. The pain had been that deep and that great. This is what Elie Wiesel knows.

  • Ibrahim Hayani

    I found Elie Wiesel’s article to be deliberately deceptive and morally offensive. It is but a manifestation of a colonial mentality because it puts the entire blame on the victims (i.e., the Palestinians whose land was stolen by European Zionist-Jewish settles, with the assistance of the British colonial power at first and the American taxpayers at present), rather than the victimizer (i.e., Israel, the usurper of Palestinian land).

    Equally important is the fact that the term “anti-Semitism” is used, or rather misused, to refer exclusively to Jews and, thus, to the exclusion of the Palestinian Arabs (be they Christians or Muslims) who are the REAL Semites. Whereas today’s Palestinians are considred the descendants of the ancient Hebrews, today’s European Jews in general and Easteren European Jews in particular are the descendants of the Khazar tribes who inhabited the areas around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and who converted to Judaism in the 8th Century (in the same way as Arabs, Indians, Chinese, and Europeans converted to Christianity, Islam, Judaism and what have you). These pagan tribes were of Turkic and Slavic origin and had very little, if anything, to do both culturally and racially, with the original Semites of the Middle East. This is precisely why the term “anti-Semitism” has become, for all intents and purposes, racist because it excludes the very people who are the real Semites, namely, the Arabs (including Arab Jews of course because there has always been Arab Jews, be they of Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, or Egyptian origin. As a case in point, the late Egyptian-born Arab singer Laila Murad was Jewish).

  • Gevezener Chusid

    I AM a Jew and I agree with what the PissedOffAmerican says.

    Eretz Yisroel is forever the Land of the Jewish people but until Moshiach comes “mipnei chatoeinu golinu meartzeinu”.Because of our sins we have been exiled from our land. Im HASHEM lo yivneh bayis shov omlu bonov…. Unless it is Hashem who builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.

  • PissedOffAmerican

    As a non-jew who is sick and tired of seeing my tax money subsidize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, I tire of the constant litany of expressions of “victimhood” such as Wiesel offers here.

    Israel actually NURTURES the Palestinian’s hatred. And not all of us Americans are naive enough, or misinformed and uninformed enough to continue to buy into the hasbara.

    Israel is becoming everything it accuses other nations, and peoples, of being. Rascist and fascist proposed legislations. An erosion of democratic ideals.

    And what you are doing to the Palestinians is DESPICABLE. It is your PAST history of victimhood that makes your current policies so inexplicable, so hypocritical, and so contemptable. Jews of character, with integrity, must surely be saddened by what Israel is becoming.

    • American Zion Lover

      In response to the vulgar P***ed off American’s comments of July26, 2011:
      You are surely not naïve, you are however an anti-Semite who chooses blindness to maintain your feelings of contempt for The Jews and Israel. Yes, I know; typical response from a Jew who wines about victimization at the hands of the Arabs and the rest of the world.
      Left-wing chardonnay swilling dilatants always speak of the mistreatment of the Palestinians by Israel. You conveniently forget that western governments have pumped billions of dollars into PA coffers since the Oslo accords. You also fail to mention(uninformed?) that Israel foolishly armed the PA, who then proceeded to murder innocent Israeli Jews, and fail to factor in that the U.S. is training a PA Army and providing high tech weaponry to those honorable Palestinians! I could go on and on but what would be the point. The thing that gets to me is righteous indignation coming from an INFORMED American such as you.
      Let’s remember that these poor Palestinians danced and handed out candies when they heard the 3000 Americans were murdered on 9/11. If you are an American START ACTING LIKE ONE! “He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.”

      • Art_Speigelman

        Why are you calling the aforementioned vulgar poster an anti-Semite? I really don’t get it: pointing out crimes and holding the Israeli government to a standard of justice is anti-Semitic?

        So, would pointing out injustices brought about by the US State make me un-Patriotic?

        • American Zion Lover

          Thew Arabs have violated the Oslo agreement from the beginning:

          1.Failure to Change the PLO Covenant The PLO was obligated to amend the clauses in the Palestinian National Covenant which called for the destruction of Israel no later than 7 May 1996 (Article XXXII (9)). On 24 April 1996, the PLO’s Palestinian National Covenant (PNC) met and approved such an amendment in principle, yet “the vote did not actually change the Covenant, but gave authority to a PNC legal committee to do so or to draw up a completely new charter within six months.” (Jerusalem Post, 25 April 1996) No such changes have been made, nor has the PLO specified which particular articles will be changed or when the changes will go into effect. By leaving the Covenant intact, the PLO sends a clear message that it has not renounced violence nor accepted Israel’s right to exist.
          2. Incitement to Violence Against Israel The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is obligated to refrain from incitement to violence, as part of their commitment to foster mutual understanding and to combat terrorism. Just the tip of the iceberg Art.

          What crimes Art. I love the way you misguided or anti-Semitic or (self- hating yids)Never see the outrageous deeds of these Arabs.
          You are so ready to call Israel the criminal. I certainly have issues with the Israeli government, but I have even greater problems with those who are so quick to blame the Jews and Israeli policy as the reason the Arabs send teenagers to slash the throats of children and their parents;while they sleep in their beds. If you really believe that, I feel sorry for you. Yes, P. O.’d American is an anti-Semite. But you I sense are worse. Morally bankrupt and spiritually dead.

  • fay

    While I agree with everything the author writes in this article- I must point out that I’d find it hard to believe that R’ Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev could ever see this world as “wicked”.

    He was way better than that…