Open letter from Elie Wiesel to President Obama

The text:

For Jerusalem

It was inevitable: Jerusalem once again is at the center of political debates and international storms. New and old tensions surface at a disturbing pace. Seventeen times destroyed and seventeen times rebuilt, it is still in the middle of diplomatic confrontations that could lead to armed conflict. Neither Athens nor Rome has aroused that many passions.

For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture-and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother’s lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory.

Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them access to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation. Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon’s temple. It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the 1967 war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem.

Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.

What is the solution? Pressure will not produce a solution. Is there a solution? There must be, there will be. Why tackle the most complex and sensitive problem prematurely? Why not first take steps which will allow the Israeli and Palestinian communities to find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security. Why not leave the most difficult, the most sensitive issue, for such a time?

Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav said, “Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart.”

Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul.

— Elie Wiesel

35 thoughts on “Open letter from Elie Wiesel to President Obama”

  1. spygirl,

    Sorry, but sometimes you make some off-the-wall remarks that bewilder me.

    I wonder what medications you take.

  2. Spygirl,
    Go bother some other blog. What an ignorant question.

    Too bad this exquisite post will make no dent in the foolish people who are running this country now. After all, it’s only Elie Wiesel and what gives him the moral authority anyway?

  3. I wonder how those Jewish-Americans that voted for Obama feel about him now witnessing the way he’s treating the State of Israel.

  4. Notice how North Korea sinking a South Korean ship is hushed up by the Obama Administration and the UN but Israel building homes in their own capital is a hostile and provocative act.

  5. Well, I am surrounded by Jewish liberals. Before this they remained in love with Obama. but one or two are a bit more quiet now. They are not happy with what he has done. Many others are not ready to give up their worship. But I am hoping they will.
    At least polls, if such polls are reliable, are showing that the 78% of Jews who voted for him is now down to 42% who still would have.
    At least it’s a beginning. I’m still asking what is it going to take.
    My stockbroker who is not Jewish, but married to a liberal Jew, told me if Christie can do some good for N.J., he might be willing to come to my side. Go Christie!

  6. Spygirl
    This pertains to Cuba the same way that a full scale global nuclear was almost fought over Cuba on the orders from distant capitols in 1962.
    The geo-political world is small and getting smaller.

  7. From 78% approval down to 42%, Ouch!


    So I guess some of your liberal friends are developing a bad taste for Kool-Aid…good…LOL

  8. The small and powerful State of Israel is the one and only true ally America has in the Middle East and our enemies know it extremely well.

    Iran continues on its path towards acquiring nukes and I’ll guarantee you the once they have it Israel will become their number one target and the stage will be set for a confrontation of untold magnitude in the region.

    The fate of the US, the free world and the State of Israel are all tied together while we have a POTUS unwilling to challenge the Iranian Mullahs ambitions towards Israel’s destruction but at the same time he’s more than willing to betray and confront the State of Israel regardless of the consequences.

    Something is extremely wrong with this picture.

  9. I am now old

    and still remember

    the craters of the bombs on Liverpool.

    When fools rule

    such often happens

    G-d protect us now!

  10. Larry,

    Were you born in England?

    How did you ended-up in Cuba fighting Batista and Castro?

    Or you’re just reciting poetry…

  11. Freedom, George, Honey, as usual, you insult instead of making a rational, coherent, argument. So . . . once again . . . how does this pertain to the issue of Cuba?

  12. “how does this pertain to the issue of Cuba?”

    Read all the previous posts and you’ll understand.

  13. Tremendo Boberia! As if a one of you had a Clue! The Israelis(Jews) are pretty much correct in this, but does it matter? Israel will determine what will Be, with the help of the USA, no matter Who is President. Yes, they are That strong here. Wise Up!

  14. I have been one way, and then the other, I must confess. Especially these days, with the Brutal Repression of the Castros( Ferrer,Tamayo,Biscet, etc., et al)and their reconciliation with the Russkis( granting landing rights to Russian Bear Bombers with Nuclear weapons on board)I am thinking Give Them Nothing! But will the Miami Cuban Community comply? Give them Nothing! But buela? Ella necesita! Fuck It- OPen it all up; for brash mouth Yumas, como yo. Although I have always gone when I wanted to, Bush besame culo. 51 years , and still wrong. Can’t you get it, Yet?

  15. And George? Your use, and probable proclivity towards pit bulls shows you to be the fear-ridden individual that you truly are. If, by mistake, I ever alluded to you and I being educated together, albeit at different facilities, then I retract that. You are Nothing like me, to your detriment. You are, and will always remain, a Cuban. Never an American.

  16. And George? Me pareces Mas pajarito cada mensaje, con su Pitbull. HaHaHa! Mandame, Pendejo, si tienes los cojones. Soy nacido en los Estados Unidos, Cubano. TU vas a reprimar a MI? Vete por el Culo, maricon. Cubano. Y buscame- y sufres. Todos. No soy de ningun red Cubano- Americano, y poco cansado de la manera de ti. Ven. Y ver. Me voy a dar instruction. Y nunca mas tomas tu cafe en tranquilidad. Y no de Fidel. De America. Busca. You want more, George?

  17. Imagine being a Jewban who fled Fidel to Jerusalem … only to have to flee there for America … and then find out your president is Obama and have to flee here 🙁

  18. Shah Alu Shalom Yisrael” Pray for the peace of Israel.

    Israel is God’s Clock and calendar , how does it effect Cuba ?

    Only when The Messiah Yeshua Returns will Cuba be truly free and be ruled by Honest men.
    The Messiah is not named Jesus his named is Yeshua in Hebrew and The Virgin Mary is not Catholic , she was a Jewish Princess from the tribe of Judah , yes many people including Cubans adore her as the Virgin of La Caridad del Cobre, but yet speak nonsense about Jews.

    If you want to be poor for the rest of your life go ahead and speak all the junk I have read in here and then cry out to The Jewish Mother of the Jewish Messiah and ask her why this happened to me ? and cry out your heart, she will not answer you , neither will God, whose son a Jew gave his life for your sorry ass.

    Speaking badly of Yeshua (Jesus) family is not advisable, IMO

    Cuba turned down a ship full of Jews from Europe that were fleeing from the Concentration camps and sure death in 1945
    They end it in Argentina.

    Imagine that a Jew sits at the right hand of God then some Cubans bad mouth his family on earth and then they go to Church To Pray to him to free Cuba ? IGNORANT PEOPLE !.

  19. Todo el Mundo –

    Wiesel is asking for sympathy from a man who apart from his wife and daughters has NO HEART and NO SOUL. His Aunt lives in Public Housing, Probably Section 8 Subsidized, in Boston and his 1/2 Brother in Kenya in a HUT. Were I he, these things:

    1. Would have already been solved.
    2. The Public would NEVER have known about it because of #1.

    That he allows this to happen within his family is a mirror of his soul.

    3. I too have a Relative living in bad circumstances.
    4. I Cannot – So far as I know – Help Him.
    5. His name is Gilad Shalit – Corporal, IDF.

    Draw your conclusions.


  20. YWhat, I am Cuban and can never be an American? That’s real funny coming from a Canadian. BTW, nice writeup in The Triton:

    “Project manager Olaf Anderson has launched Your Cuban Concierge, a ship’s agent for travel in Cuba. The Canadian resident has been traveling to Cuba the past nine years and said he has built relationships with myriad government and business entities to ease travel to and in Cuba. Married two years ago to a Cuban national, he also has started Havana Fantasy Weddings, a wedding consultant business. For more information, e-mail”

  21. Well George,

    I’m glad to be vindicated to learn that Olaf is not only a drunken old fool but a racist one too. I told about this in a post to Maggie as I sensed it from the moment he stated posting his venom.

    Now that I read the posts above it become crystal clear.

  22. Thanks George,

    I also see that he’s someone who is during business with the tyranny, no wonder his attacks on us.

    I’m glad that you displayed Olaf posts at it truly shows what kind of scumbag this asshole is.

    Somehow I’m vindicated in my assessment of this despicable character.

    What a troll…

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