Independent

Independent op-ed scolds Elie Wiesel for his “blind spot towards the Palestinians”.


Over at Israellycool, you can find a collection of tweets by some vile Israel haters vilifying Elie Wiesel on the day the world learned of his passing at age 87. The tweets, by bigots such as Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah and Richard Silverstein, smear the Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner as a racist, and a support of Israeli “ethnic cleansing” against Palestinians.

An op-ed (Elie Wiesel’s life was a metaphor for Israel and its politics, July 3) by Rupert Cornwell published at The Independent about Wiesel’s legacy doesn’t go nearly as far as this group of extremists, but nonetheless attempts to sully his moral reputation by accusing him of speaking out injustices across the globe, while showing a huge blind spot with regard to Israel’s “oppression” of Palestinians.

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The op-ed’s use of Wiesel’s death to repeat tired old calumnies, and borderline antisemitic tropes, begins in the second paragraph.

In his later years, he was not so much witness of the unspeakable as a metaphor for Israel. If you disagreed with Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, if you believed that a people who had suffered so much should understand the miseries they were inflicting on another people, then you would not appreciate Wiesel and his blind spot towards the Palestinians.

Note that Cornwell repeats a narrative used by former MP David Ward.  Ward wrote on his website on International Holocaust Memorial Day in 2013 that he was saddened that “the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in…Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis…”.

Ward was widely criticized for his remarks which echoed a truly reprehensible narrative (sometimes advanced within anti-Zionist and antisemitic circles) characterized by  Howard Jacobson as perversely subjecting Jews to an “elevated moral scrutiny” as a result of their suffering in the Holocaust.  By this logic, Jacobson argued, “the Holocaust becomes an educational experience from which Jews were ethically obliged to graduate summa cum laude, Israel being the proof that they didn’t.”

The Indy op-ed continues:

He fought for the rights of the oppressed and persecuted elsewhere in the world – the Soviet Jews, the Bosnians and Kosovans in the former Yugoslavia, and the victims of the Rwandan genocide. Constantly, he warned of the abyss into which racism might lead us. But he seemed indifferent to the plight of the people next door to Israel, under effective occupation, the rump territory allotted to them eroded by settlements, their rights as a state denied to them.

If you disliked the grip that Israel had on the politics of America, its great protector in the world, and America’s reflexive support for the Jewish state, then Wiesel would make you uneasy…

Though Cornwell concludes by commending Wiesel for his contribution to safeguarding Holocaust memory, his evocation – in the sentence above – of classic antisemitic tropes about Jewish-Israeli control of the US political system would certainly make many anti-racists “uneasy”. 

The op-ed’s attack on Israel and Wiesel is a perfect example of the toxic calculus which views Israel primarily as an oppressive political actor in the region, one which morally implicates Jews everywhere (including Holocaust survivors) unless they take a stand against this injustice.

It evidently didn’t occur to Cornwell that Wiesel didn’t ‘speak-up’ against Israel in part because he simply didn’t accept the binary good-evil, oppressed-oppressor paradigm of the conflict advanced by the opinion elite in the UK, and in fact viewed Israel not as an oppressor, but as the victim of decades of Palestinian Arab rejectionism, extremism, violence and antisemitism.

This shameful op-ed represents yet another example of how the Independent has surpassed the Guardian in the race to the bottom within the myopic and obsessive criticism of Israel which characterizes British media coverage of Israel.

61 replies »

    • Anti-Israel is a transparent fig leaf for Anti-Semitic.

      SCREW Pal-e-SWINE and its Euro and Sand nazi supporters.

      • Well West Bank Palestinians and Gazans are anti Israel almost to a man and a women for obvious reasons. Eddie are you saying that all Palestinians are racists ?

        • Yes Bellamy the vast majority of them are card-carrying antisemites, anti-blacks and they treat the Romany living among them like pigshit. That they are your proxies against the Jews is not a coincidence.

    • Six o’ one, half a dozen o’ the other. That distinction applies around 1 times for every 100 some asshole “anti-Zionist” tries to deploy. And CiF ain’t the exception to that rule, that’s for damn sure.

      • Nobody is born racist, they learn it from those around them. The “obvious reason” why Palestinians are anti-Israel is because they have been taught that Israel and Jews are to blame for all their problems and have heard little to contradict that.

        • The ‘Palestinians’ are not only anti-Israel: there is a very high level of antisemitism among them, and again that is largely due to the incessant Nazi-style propaganda emanating from all the state media, at schools and even kindergartens.

          • It is also part and parcel with the teachings of Islam, to hate the Jewish people. Their book, the Qu’ran and other writings are always denoting Jews as pigs, and filth. It is their ideology to hate them, as well as Christians.

            • Muslims hate everybody – even fellow Muslims (sunni / shiite / wahabbi / salifi / sufi ), so expecting Muslims to get along with Infidels / NON-Muslims is ludicrous.

              • Eddie, please.
                And on a post about Elie Wiesel of all places you display such bigotry.
                Disgusting.

                • ItsyBitsy, In case you’ve been offline, no access to Wireless news via radio or TV, no access to dead tree print media, 200+ people (MUSLIMS) were recently killed in Damascus and Bangladesh..

                  • “200+ people (MUSLIMS) were recently killed in Damascus and Bangladesh”
                    Crazy Eddie are you claiming that those killed in Bangladesh were all Muslims?

                    If you are then you really are the moronic, retarded, right-wing, racist, piece of ignorant shit you seem in your posts.

                    • Crazy Gerry, Get that Socialist dick out of your mouth.

                      (CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 4:46 a.m. ET]
                      The death toll from Saturday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad has risen to 200, the deputy head of the security committee of the Baghdad Provincial Council, Mohamed al-Rubaye‎, said in a televised phone interview Monday.

                      http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/02/middleeast/baghdad-car-bombs/

                    • Crazy Eddie try answering the question you were asked.
                      Are YOU claiming that those killed in Bangladesh were ALL Muslims?

                      Or are you now going to admit that when you wrote “200+ people (MUSLIMS) were recently killed in Damascus and Bangladesh..” you were not only wrong but as usual displaying your moronic racism and ignorance?

                    • By the way Crazy Eddie did you know there is a difference between Damascus and Baghdad?

                      Only your posts are confusing the two places, not a surprise for someone with your obviously low level of intelligence.

                    • Crazy Eddie, don’t tell me you have confused Baghdad with Bangladesh.

                      Apart from the fact that one is a city and the other is a country, and of course they are in two seperate continents even by your pathetic standards that would be a new low in ignorance and stupidity.

                    • Crazy Ignorant Racist Socialist Crackhead Gerry,

                      2016 Ramadan attacks

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Ramadan_attacks

                      “On 2 July 2016, a refrigerator van packed with explosives exploded in a busy shopping center in Karrada, a majority Shia district within Iraq’s capital Baghdad. Another bomb exploded in the suburb of Baghdad. Over 250 people were killed,[22] and 150 people were injured.[23] The market was packed with shoppers buying goods for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival.[24]”

                    • More Nakba for ya Famous Ignoramus Gerry,

                      http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/asia/ramadan-violence/

                      “The scale of the carnage inflicted by extremists over the past week alone has been staggering. Just some of the more bloody attacks: more than 200 killed by a truck bomb in a crowded Baghdad market; 44 killed at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey; 23 killed in a siege of a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh.”

                    • Crazy Eddie look at your post above of July 6, 2016 at 11:56 am. YOU wrote, as you and everyone else can see, the following “200+ people (MUSLIMS) were recently killed in Damascus and Bangladesh..”

                      Now I will ask you one more time.
                      Are you claiming that those killed in BANGLADESH (as YOU wrote) are all Muslims?

                      For some reason you now wish to bring up Baghdad, but you did not in your original post. You can twist and turn as much as you like but the evidence is clearly there for everyone to see. It is clear confirmation, if any were needed, that your intelligence level is very low which is why you do not know the difference between BANGLADESH a country on the sub-continent of India, and Baghdad the capital city of Iraq in the Middle East.

  1. Elie Wiesel warned us exactly how to identify people like Rupert Cornell and his ilk. These fellows simply hate the idea that Wiesel’s and the Jews’ can’t be kicked around anymore due the existence of a strong Israel. This is natural. Reading the venting of their frustrations caused by their impotence to turn back history is amusing.

      • Won’t be kicked around anymore. Cornwell is a vile hateful, disrespectful anti Semite, to have written this not two days after Wiesel’s death is about as immoral as one can get! To hell with him, and yes, there is a higher power.

        • No, there isn’t.
          The rest is true-ish. There is even worse immorality, and we see it emanating murderously from the Abbas Oberkommando office every day.

    • peterthehungarian wrote:

      > Reading the venting of their frustrations caused by their impotence to turn back history is amusing.

      Perfect.

      • No, there isn’t.
        The rest is true-ish. There is even worse immorality, and we see it emanating murderously from the Abbas Oberkommando office every day.

    • Amusing on one level, but also sickening (literally) to think that you and I are supposed to be members of the same species as these turds.

  2. EXTRA!! EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

    Renowned Holocaust survivor has “blind spot” for group that desperately wishes to destroy the Zionist Entity!!

    Shows unconscionable callousness towards group that has suffered terribly—and continues to suffer indescribable deprivations—because it hasn’t yet achieved goal of Israel’s destruction!!

    EXTRA!! EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

    • True, but there is more: the goal of Israel’s destruction and the murder of all its Jewish inhabitants.

  3. In bed with Blumenthal et al.

    How disgusting.

    Their article is part and parcel of “surely after what the Jews have suffered they should treat the Palestinians better”.

    Comparing the terrible fate of the Palestinians, living and breeding like pampered rabbits fed, clothed and housed 24-7 for 70 years by UNRWA with, for example, the genocide in Rwanda is a measure of the moral abyss they have chosen to inhabit.

    As I write this, the radio is reporting that half the people under threat from Boko Haram are urgently in need of food. The Independent should turn its attention away from the trivial situation of the Palestinians with their universities, museums, nightclubs, stock exchange, luxury hotels, water parks, all developed after Israel liberated them from the Egyptian and Jordanian occupations, to the real needs of real refugees,

    • “all developed after Israel liberated them from the Egyptian and Jordanian occupations” – well, yes and no. The Jordanians ARE ‘Palestinian’.

  4. Blind spot concerning Palestinians? I think British media making such an accusation is hysterical. The blind spot belongs to the media and the fashionables.

    • British media continues to flout journalistic standards. British Media is as truthworthy as Pravda, PressTV, SWP..

  5. Der Independent, like its sister Der Guardian, has a BIG BLINDSPOT when it comes to Pal-e-SWINIAN islamofascism.