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Maori and the HolocaustWhen New Zealand Associate Maori Affairs Minister Tariana Turia said on August 29, 2000, that "the holocaust suffered by many Maori tribes during the Land Wars [between 1845 and 1872] needs to be acknowledged" there was a storm of protest, and she was forced to apologise.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said, "I would not use that particular term, which has a specific and very tragic meaning". But in that etymological assertion, Miss Clark was wrong. "Holocaust" comes from two Greek words meaning "wholly burnt", and can be used to describe any wholesale destruction. For example, the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary quotes a reference by British politician Barbara Castle to "the bombing holocaust in Birmingham". Was she asked to apologize for saying that? I don't think so.
The term "the Holocaust", as used to describe the murder of about six million Jews in World War II, is widely believed to have been introduced by Romanian-born "Auschwitz survivor" Elie Wiesel in an article in the New York Times Book Review of October 27, 1963. But it was earlier used by American journalist Paul Jacobs in an article for New Leader on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. As a history student in England in the 1950s, I never heard it used in the way it is used today.
Incidentally, according to Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack, Wiesel played a role in encouraging George W Bush to invade Iraq in 2003:
Elie Wiesel ... came to see Condoleezza Rice on February 27 and the president dropped by her office. ...the president took the chair closest to Wiesel. Wiesel told the president that Iraq was a terrorist state and the moral imperative was for intervention. If the West had intervened in Europe in 1938, he said, World War II and the Holocaust could have been prevented. "It's a moral issue. In the name of morality how can we not intervene?" ... In the face of such evils, neutrality was impossible, Wiesel said. Indecision only promoted and assisted the evil and the aggressor, not the victims. "I'm against silence." In the days after, Bush routinely repeated Wiesel's comments. "That was a meaningful moment for me," he recalled later, "because it was a confirming moment. I said to myself, Gosh, if Elie Wiesel feels that way, who knows the pain and suffering and agony of tyranny, then others feel that way too. And so I am not alone." (320f)
Noam Chomsky has reportedly labelled Wiesel "a terrible fraud".
Appendices on Elie WieselI found the following definition of Holocaust at Bombastic, bullying and preposterous — Netanhayu epitomizes the toxic hasbarat, an article dated October 25, 2009, by Greg Felton:
Holocaust® is a registered trademark of Hasbara International and its enforcement arm Kosher Nostra Inc. Any plain-language use of this term by any person or organization to describe the mass killing of people other than European Jews, or to challenge the official zionist version of World War II, will be punished by any and all extralegal means.
The article is at gregfelton.com/media/2009_10_25.htm
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Yet another article, Auschwitz Survivor Claims Elie Wiesel Is an Impostor, can be found at henrymakow.com. The article, which ends with a claim that the "person identified as Elie Wiesel in famous Buchenwald photo is not Wiesel", is as follows:
In May 1944 , when Miklos Gruner was 15, he was deported from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau with his mother and father as well as both a younger and an elder brother. He says that his mother and his younger brother were immediately gased after their arrival in the camp. Then he, his elder brother and their father had an inmate number tattooed on their arms and were sent to perform hard work in a synthetic fuel factory linked to IG Farben where the father died six months later. After that, the elder brother was sent to Mauthausen and, as the young Miklos was then alone, two elder Jewish inmates who were also Hungarians and friends with his late father took him under their protection. These two protectors of the young Miklos were the Lazar and Abraham Wiesel brothers.
In the following months, Miklos Gruner and the Wiesel brothers became good friends. Lazar Wiesel was 31 years old in 1944. Miklos never forgot the number Lazar was tattooed with by the Nazis: A-7713. In January 1945, as the Russian army was coming, the inmates were transferred to Buchenwald. During the ten days this transfer took, partly by foot, partly by train, more than half of the inmates died and amongst them was Abraham, the elder brother of Lazar Wiesel. In April 8, 1945, the US army liberated Buchenwald. Miklos and Lazar were amongst the survivors of the camp. As Miklos had tuberculosis, he was sent in a Swiss clinic and therefore was separated from Lazar. After recovering, Miklos emigrated to Australia while his elder brother, who also survived the war, established himself in Sweden.
Years later, in 1986, Miklos was contacted by the Swedish journal Sydsvenska Dagbladet in Malmo and invited to meet "an old friend" named Elie Wiesel... As Miklos answered that he doesn`t know anyone with this name, he was told Elie Wiesel was the same person Miklos knew in the Nazi camps under the name Lazar Wiesel and with the inmate number A-7713... Miklos still remembered that number and he was therefore convinced at that point that he was going to meet his old friend Lazar and happily accepted the invitation to meet him at the Savoj Hotel in Stockholm on December 14, 1986. Miklos recalls:
"I was very happy at the idea of meeting Lazar but when I confronted the so-caled "Eli Wiesel", I was stunned to see a man I didn't recognize at all, who didn't even speak Hungarian or Yiddish and instead he was speaking English in a strong French accent. Therefore our meeting was over in about ten minutes. As a goodbye gift, the man gave me his book entitled "Night" of which he claimed to be the author. I accepted the book I didn`t know at that time but told everyone there that this man was not the person he pretended to be!"
Miklos recalls that during this strange meeting, Elie Wiesel refused to show him the tattooed number on his arm, saying he didn't want to exhibit his body. Miklos adds that Elie Wiesel showed his tattooed number afterward to an Israeli journalist who Miklos met and this journalist told Miklos that he didn`t have time to identify the number but... was certain it wasn`t a tattoo. Miklos says:
- After that meeting with Elie Wiesel, I spent twenty years of research and found out that the man calling himself Elie Wiesel has never been in a Nazi concentration camp since he was not included in any official list of detainees.
Miklos also found out that the book Elie Wiesel gave him in 1986 as something he has written himself was in fact written in Hungarian in 1955 by Miklos' old friend Lazar Wiesel and published in Paris under the title "Un di Velt hot Gesvigen", meaning approximately "The World Kept Silent". The book was then shortened and rewritten in French as well as in English in order to be published under the author`s name Elie Wiesel in 1958, under the french title "La Nuit" and the English title "Night". Ten million copies of the book were sold in the world by Elie Wiesel who even received a Nobel Peace prize for it in 1986 while -says Miklos- the real author Lazar Wiesel was mysteriously missing...
- Elie Wiesel never wanted to meet me again, says Miklos. He became very successful; he takes 25 thousand dollars for a 45 minutes speech on the Holocaust. I have officially reported to the FBI in Los Angeles.I have also complained to governments and media, in the US and Sweden with no result.
I have received anonymous calls telling me I could be shot if I don`t shut up but I am not afraid of death any more. I have deposited the whole dossier in four different countries and, if I died suddenly, they would be made public. The world must know that Elie Wiesel is an impostor and I am going to tell it, I am going to publish the truth in a book called "Stolen Identity A7713".
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Another article about Wiesel — Elie Wiesel and the Catholics — can be found at culturewars.com. It was written by David O'Connell, a professor of French at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and was published in the November, 2004, issue of Culture Wars magazine. It concludes:
Elie Wiesel, so admired by many US Catholic leaders, is in fact a con man who has enriched himself with his tall tales. Although courted by various misguided Church representatives, he is actually an outspoken enemy of traditional Catholicism, and should play no role whatsoever in Catholic life in this country. It is also evident that both Wiesel and the NYT are comfortable using true lies to promote the Jewish holocaust story and, in turn, Israel. Even worse, it is appalling that Wiesel, in his drive to become a multi-millionaire (he charges a standard fee of $25,000 per appearance and demands a chauffeur-driven car to go with it), and media personality, has so heartlessly exploited the suffering and death of his parents and sister at the hands of the Nazis. In falsifying his “memories” for personal gain, Wiesel has trivialized the personal tragedies of not only his closest family members, but also of all those, Jews and Gentiles, who died in the camps. The old shame of the JOW [Jewish Ordeal of World War II] was, and is, the documented deaths of all too many innocent Jews during the war. The new shame of the JOW is the ongoing media exploitation of those deaths by people like Wiesel and the editors of the New York Times.
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The following letter, headlined Elie Wiesel — A Fraud, is from rense.com.
From Daniel A. McGowan
February 26, 2005
Pastor James Gerling
Dear Pastor Gerling:
In the March issue of The Geneva Presbyterian it was stated that the adult Sunday school class will be shown a film narrated by Elie Wiesel, a "great humanitarian."
Might I caution your readers not to be fooled by the mystical charm of Elie Wiesel, who is the icon of what Norman Finkelstein (in his book by the same title) calls The Holocaust Industry. Far from being a great humanitarian, Wiesel, as Noam Chomsky contends, is simply "a terrible fraud."
Wiesel is often quoted as saying that "the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference." He has devoted his life to carefully crafting articles and speeches about oppression, genocide, and man's inhumanity to man. Yet when asked about the oppression and dehumanization of Palestinians by Israel, he "abstains" and dismisses the subject claiming "I cannot say bad things about Jews," or "Such comparisons are unworthy."
His eloquent, unwavering support of Zionism has caused him to condemn Palestinians, who are the victims of the colonial expansionism epitomized by the illegal settlement of over 420,000 Jews in the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He degrades Palestinians with racist remarks, such as claiming they use their children as shields for adults throwing stones and worse.
In a 2001 editorial Wiesel dehumanized Palestinians and Muslims far more than his usual "indifference." He argued that only Jews should have sovereignty in Jerusalem because the name Jerusalem appears more than 600 times in the Bible while it does not appear at all in the Koran. If this is not convincing enough, Wiesel will tell you that Jerusalem is the most holy city for Jews while it is only the third holiest city for Muslims, and therefore Israel should exclusively control it as an eternal part of the Jewish state. Of course, as a loyal Zionist, Wiesel is never troubled by the fact that over half of the people within the borders controlled by Israel are not Jews, so that it is impossible to have "the Jewish state" and a democracy at the same time.
But it is the quest by Palestinians for their "right of return" that causes Wiesel to move from "indifference" to outright lies. In the same editorial he wrote, "In 1948 David Ben-Gurion reached out to what was to be the Palestinian state," but the Arabs rejected peace and invaded Israel. Wiesel knows that this is patently false. He knows that widespread ethnic cleansing of Arabs took place before the declaration of the state of Israel and the opposition by Arab armies.
He knows from personal experience that on April 9, 1948 Arab civilians, including women and children, were murdered in cold blood in the village of Deir Yassin on the west side of Jerusalem by Jewish terrorists known as the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Wiesel worked for the Irgun, not as a fighter, but as a journalist and knows the details of this infamous (but not the only nor the largest) massacre of Arabs by Jews. And while he piously demands public apologies for atrocities committed against Jews (for example in 1946 at Kielce, Poland), he has never been able to apologize for the atrocities committed by his own employer.
Wiesel pontificates that Auschwitz "represents a grave theological challenge to Christianity." The implication is that Christians created the Holocaust and should apologize to Jews repeatedly and never criticize Israel. That is the essence of his ecumenical deal: we Jews may some day forgive what you Christians did to us (and only to us) in the Holocaust (spelled with a capital H) if you promise to ignore what we have been and continue to do to the Palestinians in our Zionist quest to build a Jewish state. Questioning any aspect of the Holocaust discourse is to be considered "Holocaust denial" and therefore evil. So is mentioning the concentration camps built by Israel to incarcerate Palestinians (e.g., Ketziot in the Negev Desert); so is mentioning the relentless persecution, dispossession, and murder of Palestinians in the name of Zionism for over 100 years.
Wiesel supports "the right of return" for Jews, but only for Jews. An American Jew, who can trace his ancestors back to the Revolutionary War, has the right to return to Israel, obtain dual citizenship, obtain subsidized housing on land expropriated from Palestinians, and drive to settlements on roads "for Jews only." Palestinians who can trace their ancestors to the same land for centuries and who have a title and key to property from which they were driven in 1948 have no right to return. Why not? Because, Wiesel explains, it is "unthinkable; young Palestinians faces are twisted with hate; it would be suicide for the Jewish state." This is incredible hypocrisy especially from a professor of humanities and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Perhaps it is not feasible for all Palestinians to return to their homes lost in 1948. But Wiesel cannot even bring himself to tell the truth about what caused their diaspora. He continues to spread one of the most insidious myths in Zionist discourse saying, "Incited by their leaders, 600,000 Palestinians left the country convinced that, once Israel was vanquished, they would be able to return home."
Wiesel knows Arab leaders did not tell their people to leave; that lie was thoroughly disproved by historians years ago. Second, he knows that the best estimates are that 750,000 Palestinians fled in 1948. (Note the outrage by Wiesel and others whenever anyone dares to question the number of 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.) And third, these original Palestinian refugees did not just leave; they were driven out, often by the very terrorists for whom Wiesel proudly worked. The massacre at Deir Yassin was emblematic of this.
For years Wiesel has remained silent regarding the suffering and injustices committed against the Palestinian people by Zionists, including Christian Zionists like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham. Many students and scholars found his silence to be hypocritical, especially after his trilogy entitled Against Silence wherein he passionately and piously encouraged readers to fight oppression in all of its forms. But it is this very indifference towards the Palestinians that takes away any "moral high ground" that might otherwise be attributed to him.
Even when Wiesel goes to Jerusalem and stays at the King David Hotel, he cannot help but see Palestinian faces. (One wonders what he thinks when he is alone in the famous hotel that was bombed by his employer, The Irgun, killing scores of Englishmen and 15 innocent Jews.) He can go to the Jewish quarter of the Old City and pray at the Wailing Wall. But on top of that wall are those same goyim praying to his God whom they call Allah. And when he goes to the most famous Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem one wonders if he is refreshed to be in "Jewish Jerusalem" or is he haunted by the thought that the museum is built on the Arab lands of Ein Karem. When he walks through the new tunnel at Yad Vashem to emerge in the sunlight and face the Jewish settlement of Har Nof, is he at all troubled by the fact that he is also looking at the homes of Deir Yassin? Can he see the Palestinian faces of those who were piled up and burned in the quarry on the hill directly across from the museum? And when he goes to the settlement called Gilo, does he speak with Moshe Ben Eitan who ordered the wounded Arab women and children at Deir Yassin to be shot so they would not tell what his and Wiesel's employer did there?
The answer to these questions is "No, no, and no again." And the answer to the question, "Is Elie Wiesel a great humanitarian?" is also a resounding "No."
Daniel A. McGowan
Deir Yassin Remembered
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Also at rense.com is an article by Alexander Cockburn, of CounterPunch.com, headlined Elie Wiesel's 'Night' A Fraud? Did Oprah Pick Another Fibber?