Sunday, June 06, 2010

Never Be Silent... Unless It's About Palestinian

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel who is a Holocaust survivor once quoted:
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides."
— Elie Wiesel

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe."
— Elie Wiesel (The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, The Accident)

I think everyone with the right mind will be in complete agreement with above quote.

However, when I tried to find out Mr. Wiesel position on the situation in Gaza, I couldnt find anything. Not an OpEd, not an interview, not even a small statement. I would have thought, being a survivor of something horrific and at one point in his life making the above statement, Mr Wiesel would have said something about the children or women of Gaza, if not about civilians of Palestine who caught between two powers. They, together with their Israelis counterpart, are the real victims of the Israel v Palestine problems.

With your silence, Mr. Wiesel, just as you said, you are helping the oppressor. You are encouraging the tormentor.


colson said...

Did the comment I posted yesterday got stuck in the spamfilter?

triesti said...

no, I dont have any spamfilter... maybe a glitch in blogspot. Sorry

colson said...

Never mind. I wrote something like:

"Perhaps mr Wiesel is too old and ailing to comment himself. Anyhow I second the opinions he stated in the quotes you gave. So I guess I'm still in my right mind - more or less.

Yet I don't think the situation is as clear-cut as one might think with on one side an evil oppressor and at the other the innocent victims.

It's complicated if only because the conflict has historic dimensions, geo-political ones, socio-economical and cultural ones and has been fuelled extra by a layer of religion.

The tragedy is that neither side in this huge conflict is able to make the necessary moves for making peace.

Palestinians just can't give up what they perceive as their rights - on land, on Eastern Jerusalem, on compensation for refugees for the loss of their homes which are within the borders of Israel before '48,'67.

And the perception of Israel that giving in an inch (settlements, Jerusalem, the return of refugees - and their descendants) would either mean being wiped out(Hamas), or being outnumbered and being forced to abandon the 'ideal' of a "Jewish" state ( if the refugees will return and become legitimate civilians of the new state of Israel/Palestine).

So - yes we should condemn the breaches of human rights. Most of them by Israel, but also quite a menu by Palestinians. Yes we should demand, force, Israel to stop the isolation of 1,5 million people on the Gaza strip immediately. And yes, the settlement policies on the West Bank should be abandoned as of now.

But it will not happen. And if if happens: what after that?"

triesti said...

Personally, I would love to hear him says something about human rights. Asking him to support Gaza plight might be a bit too much, since he's a supporter of an Israeli state. But you just cant turn a blind eye for breaches of human rights.