The world has been mourning the loss of an important historical figure who survived one of the darkest moments in history. Elie Wiesel experienced both Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a teenager, being only 15 years old when his family was captured and sent to Auschwitz. Upon arrival, his sister and mother were killed. Though his he and his father survived Auschwitz, they were later to sent to Buchenwald where his father was beaten to death.
The Holocaust itself was a horrific time for Europe. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators, and of that number was 1.5 million children. Elie Wiesel could have been one of those young innocent human beings executed, but he fortunately escaped.
Wiesel was widely respected, though not entirely. Max Blumenthal, son of the longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal, celebrated the death of the Holocaust survivor. The younger Blumenthal tweeted “Elie Wiesel is dead. He spent his last years inciting hatred, defending apartheid & palling around with fascists.”
Even if one disagreed with Wiesel, it is deeply disrespectful to say after he has just passed.
Max Blumenthal is a progressive blogger and author, but also comes from a family with deep political connections. His father, Sidney, has long been associated with the Clinton family. The elder Blumenthal was an adviser to Bill Clinton during his Presidency and has worked closely with his wife, Hillary Clinton, as well. When Hillary ran for President in 2008, Sidney joined as a senior adviser. He also has worked for the Clinton Foundation.
The younger Blumenthal is clearly mistaken however, as Wiesel even noted in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1986 that he felt apartheid is as abhorrent as anti-semitism.
Max’s long opposition to Israel is well noted, but even at that, it’s important that the memory and testimony of individuals like Wiesel not be forgotten. It’s entirely possible that something like the Holocaust could happen again someday and humanity must be forever vigilant in ensuring it remains just a possibility, never again a reality.
Even in America, the rounding up of citizens has been tested before with Japanese Internment during the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Because of fear, the Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced into camps. While it is a stretch to compare Japanese Internment to the Concentration Camps used in the Holocaust, the former could have always gone a step further had someone more insane slipped into office.
Is Max Blumenthal’s opposition to Israel strong enough to lead to hatred of all things Jewish and refusal to acknowledge the Holocaust? It’s possible to disagree with the Zionist movement and the Israeli government, while still respecting the Jewish people and remembering the historical significance of the Holocaust. This includes remembering the significance of Elie Wiesel.
More points of interest would be how this connects to his father, Sidney, and if he also shares these views on Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel. The question is deeply relevant given the influence Max has as a progressive activist and author, as well as his father as a Democratic adviser. Sidney is also close to the Clinton family as well, which raises more questions.
Does Hillary Clinton condemn this sort of disrespect towards Elie Wiesel and his memory?