By J. Levitt
Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel on Friday published a full-page ad in U.S. newspapers condemning Hamas for using children as human shields. Provocatively, Wiesel’s paid Op-Ed was headlined, “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’s turn.”
The body of the letter “invokes the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac to frame the modern conflict between Israel and Hamas,” said Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whose organization, This World: The Values Network, created the ad campaign.
“Wiesel states that though Abraham lifts his knife to sacrifice his own son Isaac, his hand is stayed by God’s own command, thereby rejecting child sacrifice forever,” Boteach said. “Wiesel argues that while the suffering of those in Gaza is immense and a true tragedy, the blame lies solely with Hamas who use children as human shields and stores rockets and ammunition in nurseries, schools, hospitals, and family homes.”
Boteach said the rationale of the campaign was “to bring one of the greatest moral voices or our time and one of the most respected human beings alive, who bore witness to the atrocities of genocide and the Holocaust, to respond to the ugly and fraudulent criticisms of Israel and call for an end to the genocidal aspirations of Hamas.”
Boteach said, “Hamas’s charter is clear – they seek the annihilation of the State of Israel and the murder of Jews wherever they may be found.”
“Not only is it unreasonable to ask Israel not to defend itself against rockets launched and tunnels dug by Hamas with the intent to destroy, it is also deeply immoral,” he said. “If Israel did not resist the terrorists of Hamas, it would be guilty of contempt for the lives of its own citizens.”
“We all lament the loss of Palestinian life brought about by the murderous Hamas regime,” Boteach said. “This is especially true of the children. That is why we have produced this advertising campaign with Elie Wiesel, to stop the terrorist cowards of Hamas from hiding behind innocent children and pregnant women.”
Boteach said his mission is “to promote universal Jewish values and the light of the Jewish people.”
“Israel is the supreme embodiment of these Jewish values, in which we all take such immense pride. Israel is a culture of life which promotes the infinite value of life while Hamas is a gay-murdering, women-honor-killing, deeply-misogynistic, stone-age, barbaric-terrorist death cult dedicated to genocide.”
“Hamas is an affront to peace-loving Muslims everywhere who should join us in its condemnation,” he said. “And we Jews will join the fight with our brothers in Israel against Hamas until peace prevails.”
The full page Op-Ed ad will appear in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, as well as in ads on social media, while a television campaign is also planned.
As well as a long career as an author, professor at Boston University, and humanitarian, Wiesel, 85, is also Chairman of The Algemeiner’s Advisory Board, and was even approached earlier this year by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to succeed Shimon Peres as President of the State of Israel. Wiesel said he was flattered, but turned down the job: “Why should I be president? Leave me alone. I write books,” he said. In the end, Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin, 74, former Israeli Minister of Communications and the speaker of Israel’s Knesset, and whose family has lived in Jerusalem since 1809, was sworn in as Israel’s 10th president, on July 24th, in the midst of Operation Protective Edge against Hamas.
The full text of Elie Wiesel’s paid Op-Ed is below:
‘Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago’
More than three thousand years ago, Abraham had two children. One son had been sent into the wilderness and was in danger of dying. God saved him with water from a spring.
The other son was bound, his throat about to be cut by his own father. But God stayed the knife. Both sons – Ishmael and Isaac – received promises that they would father great nations.
With these narratives, monotheism and western civilization begin. And the Canaanite practices of child sacrifice to Moloch are forever left behind by the descendants of Abraham.
Except they are not.
In my own lifetime, I have seen Jewish children thrown into the fire. And now I have seen Muslim children used as human shields, in both cases, by worshippers of death cults indistinguishable from that of the Molochites.
What we are suffering through today is not a battle of Jew versus Arab or Israeli versus Palestinian. Rather, it is a battle between those who celebrate life and those who champion death. It is a battle of civilization versus barbarism.
Do the two cultures that brought us the Psalms of David and the rich libraries of the Ottoman Empire not share a love of life, of transmitting wisdom and opportunity to their children? And is any of this discernible in the dark future offered by Hamas to Arab children, to be suicide bombers or human shields for rockets?
Palestinian parents want a hopeful future for their children, just like Israeli parents do. And both should be joining together in peace.
But before sleepless mothers in both Gaza City and Tel Aviv can rest, before diplomats can begin in earnest the crucial business of rebuilding dialogue… the Hamas death cult must be confronted for what it is.
Moderate men and women of faith, whether that faith is in God or man, must shift their criticism from the Israeli soldiers – whose terrible choice is to fire and risk harming human shields, or hold their fire and risk the death of their loved ones – to the terrorists who have taken away all choice from the Palestinian children of Gaza.
I call upon the Palestinian people to find true Muslims to represent them, Muslims who would never voluntarily place a child in danger.
I call upon President Obama and the leaders of the world to condemn Hamas’ use of children as human shields.
And I enjoin the American public to stand firmly with the people of Israel who are in yet another struggle for survival, and with the suffering people of Gaza who reject terror and embrace peace.
Let us return child sacrifice to the darkest corner of history, and work towards a brighter future with those who choose life, Arabs and Jews alike, all of us Abraham’s children.