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elie wiesel

A Reuters article, perhaps accidentally, stumbles on the true crux of the matter when it comes to North Korea:

North Korea has committed “crimes against humanity” against its own people according to an independent report published on Monday that made a long-shot appeal for the U.N. Security Council to deal with the issue.

Released after North Korea’s October 9 nuclear test, the report describes Pyongyang’s brutal treatment of its citizens, from the beatings of pregnant women to force miscarriages to the abduction, torture and execution of political prisoners.

Commissioned by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former Czech president Vaclav Havel and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, the paper seeks to spotlight rights abuses that have been previously reported but are often overshadowed by concern about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

(Emphasis mine).

And that, after all, is the point. North Korea has been committing horrific crimes against humanity that beg the question of why, more than sixty years after swearing “never again”, the world sits back and allows them to happen.

The answer to that question can presumably be found in two little words: nuclear weapons. The theory is that, while in the midst of dealing with the nuclear crisis, there’s little that the world can do about anything else North Korea is doing.

So what’s our excuse, then, when it comes to (nuclear-less) Sudan?

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Oprah Winfrey has selected Elie Wiesel’s “Night” as her latest book club pick, catapulting the famous book on the Holocaust onto the bestseller list over a half-century after it was first published.

“Night” was required reading in high school French class (though I seem to remember most of us cheating by picking up the English translation from the library). It’s a powerful book and Wiesel emerged as one of the key voices of conscience on the Holocaust. There was a time when Wiesel’s word would have carried more weight than Oprah’s.

Then again, with Holocaust-denial on the rise (from the usual suspects and the Left and the Arab world), and with the generation of survivors slowly disappearing, perhaps this was the right time to push the book back into the spotlight.

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Wiesel: who will stop the genocide?

01.24.2005

Elie Wiesel addressed the U.N. in the first time that the world body has ever commemmorated the Holocaust: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Nobel Laureate author Elie Wiesel, a death camp survivor, both questioned whether the nations had the will to stop mass murder 60 years after the massacre in Europe. “If the world had […]

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Elie Wiesel spoke out

04.07.2003

Elie Wiesel spoke out yesterday in support of the war in Iraq. Speaking at an international youth leadership conference hosted here in Montreal called ImagineMontreal, Wiesel repeated his oft-quoted theory that peace is an ideal, but pacifism is the wrong way to achieve peace: “The danger which threatens the world is terrorism; nuclear terrorism, chemical […]

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Wiesel speaks out

12.24.2002

Elie Wiesel speaks out in support of war against Iraq. In an article in the Observer (via CJA), he says that while war itself is never a good option, sometimes – as in this case – it is the only moral option. I find war repugnant. All wars. I know war’s monstrous aspects: blood and […]

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