In a week of pain and sorrow, the Jewish people lost Hallel Ariel, a 13-year-old girl who was killed as she innocently slept in her Kiryat Arba home last Thursday.
Rabbi Miki Mark, a father of 10, was killed in a drive-by shooting near Hebron the following day.
Then we emerged from Shabbos to learn of the death of Elie Wiesel, one of the great witnesses of the Holocaust and an outspoken voice against genocide and oppression.
World leaders eulogized the late Nobel laureate whose first book, “Night,” enabled those detached from its horror to better understand the Holocaust through his place as a survivor and as a witness.
As is the case in our upside-down world, even an icon like Wiesel can be disgustingly criticized by haters such as Bernard Avishai in the July 4th New Yorker and online trolls Max Blumenthal and Richard Silverstein, writers who shamefully criticize Wiesel as having a “blind eye” toward the Palestinians.
Perhaps they should be equally as adamant when Sultan Abu al-Einen, an advisor to the PA’s Abbas, says, “Wherever you see an Israeli, slit his throat.” Perhaps these trolls should write that Mohammed Tarayreh, Hallel’s murderer, was attempting to do just that when he stabbed the child to death in her bedroom.
Yet the wretched writing of Avishai, Blumenthal, Silverstein and others seems to lack vision from their own blind eyes. Their words undermining Wiesel can only lead to more senseless terror from the so-called Palestinians.
Anti-Israel rhetoric isn’t exclusively based on the occupation of the post-1967 land captured after the Six-Day War. No, the rhetoric of occupation is deeply rooted in land legally partitioned as the State of Israel by the United Nations in 1947, and, before that, land legally purchased by Jews from Arab landowners.
Wiesel knew this. He knew that despite the U.N.’s best efforts and, in more recent years, the best efforts of U.S. presidents, the Palestinians want the “occupiers” out of Israel period, not just the West Bank and Golan Heights.
Also, Wiesel knew his Torah, and he understood that Israel was God’s promise to the Jewish people, that before it was ever thought of as a state, Jews lived in Jerusalem, the Galilee and throughout the land.
There never has been genocide, there never has been apartheid. Israel protects itself with West Bank settlements and the wall. Israel would rather have a peaceful Palestinian state living next door with an infrastructure of schools, libraries and businesses instead of the threat that has existed since before 1947.
Blind eye to the Palestinians? Hardly. Instead, Wiesel saw everything for what it was. He defended and spoke out for the truly oppressed, not terrorists or a people who would sooner see every Jew pushed into the Mediterranean before there would ever be a two-state solution.
Yet, when the internet trolls seek to defame a hero like Wiesel, they pose a further threat to the Jewish people in Israel. When a so-called Palestinian leader calls for the slitting of throats of Israelis, it is he who carries the blood on his hands.
Wiesel knew his Jewish history, his Torah and certainly knew from the inside what the Holocaust and terrorism looked like.
There are reasons he didn’t do as the off-the-charts leftist media suggest, to cite the “plight of the Palestinians.” This week those reasons are named Hallel and Rabbi Mark.
Elie Wiesel knew who deserved his heart-filled help. It wasn’t the Palestinians. And if last week’s terrorist acts are any indication, they will have missed their chance for peace and stability like they always have done.
Even Wiesel, a gift to this world, was refused by the Palestinians.
We shall be forever grateful for the clarity he gave this world. We lost one of our best, and we will never forget him. But neither will we forget 13-year-old Hallel or Rabbi Mark.
We won’t, because to remember is what Elie Wiesel taught us.
This is who we are.