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January 15, 2019 3:54 pm

Elie Wiesel’s Family Welcomes Signing of Anti-Genocide Act Named After Late Nobel Laureate

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Late Holocaust survivor and Noble Laureate Elie Wiesel speaks about a report he helped prepare discussing the situation in North Korea at the United Nations in New York, Nov. 16, 2006. Photo: Reuters / Chip East / File.

The signing on Monday of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act by President Donald Trump was welcomed by the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate’s family.

The new law — passed with bipartisan support — determines that it is US policy to “regard the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes as a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility.”

It also mandates the establishment of a Mass Atrocities Task Force to “strengthen State Department efforts and assist other agency efforts at atrocity prevention and response.”

“My family and I are deeply moved that my father’s name and life’s mission will be enshrined in this important piece of legislation,” Wiesel’s son, Elisha, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “My father loved this country and believed in it as a powerful moral force in the world. We are grateful on his behalf to the many in Congress who sponsored and invested in passing this law.”

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“The thought that the prevention of atrocities is in our national interest — because of what it means for our national character — is a profound idea indeed,” Elisha Wiesel added. “We owe it to the dead and the living to call atrocities by name and tilt the balance toward action.”

“Twenty-five years ago,” he noted, “our country’s leadership studiously avoided using the word genocide to describe what was happening in Rwanda for fear of obligating ourselves to action. But ignoring only serves the enemy. Hitler famously said shortly before invading Poland: ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’”

“Whether it is to address a historical wrong by finally recognizing that a genocide took place in Armenia, or by engaging in preventing modern-day atrocities in Myanmar and Syria — the work now very much lies ahead of us,” Elisha Wiesel concluded.

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