Of HUSSEIN Obama, Elie Wiesel,
I admit that I have never read anything written by Elie Wiesel. I have never been moved to do so. Since he is such a popular, acclaimed author, I should ask myself why.
I really don't know too much about this, probably the most famous "Survivor". I do know Mr Wiesel is of Hungarian/Romanian origin, he was born in 1928 and survived the Holocaust at a tender age. Very similar story to my mother's little sister and to her cousin. Both are a year or so younger than Wiesel and also of similar Hungarian/Slovak origin. My aunt finished the war with my mother and three other sisters, working in the Junkers aeroplane factory, arriving there via Auschwitz. My cousin was sent from Auschwitz to the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto, searching daily amongst the rubble of the former Jewish housing for whole bricks to be shipped back "home" to Germany.
Cousin Ernest, like Wiesel, peregrinated through the Polish countryside on a forced "death" march which very few completed alive. My good friend Eli Schultz, also concluded hell in Buchenwald, also "marched" into Germany from Auschwitz, Poland; unlike Wiesel, my friend then came up to Israel -- I must ask him if he knew the "other" Elie from camp.
Why don't I feel the need to read Elie Wiesel? I'm certain the reason is buried deep within the psyche of a phenomenon called "second generation holocaust [victims]". We, the children of the so-called "survivors", have developed our own psychological barriers to protect ourselves and unbelievably, to protect our parents, whom we (largely incorrectly) assume to need our protection. As if we could even begin to offer them, who travelled to hell and return, any defensive mechanism.
Our aversion to reading works by these survivors may stem from a fear from within, not wanting to hear details of the tragedic annihilation of our families, of our people, from another survivor, even of the literary calibre of a Nobel laureate; what we should have heard from our parents, but which our parents were never willing to narrate . . . . Our parents were too busy getting on with their "new" lives, new spouses, new children, new country; too occupied in protecting themselves -- and us -- the second, the new generation, from their pain, a pain they did not want us to know, a pain they certainly continuously suffer, but solely in private, in the depths of their darkest nights, in their certainly recurring nightmares; discussions they rarely dared to conduct even amongst themselves, or with their new life partners, most of whom had undergone similar calamitous histories, disastrous experiences they retained absolutely solitude.
And we eunlate their lead in that silence. We bring up nothing in conversation with our parents for fear of upsetting them, of igniting memories. We ask no questions though we search and struggle to find answers. We dare talk about "it", even amongst ourselves. But we are fully cognisant, via a unique osmosis, a knowledge seemingly with which we were born, an internal past with which we were miraculously endowed, without having ever physically been there in that pergatory.
There were things for which we constantly listened out -- for the reaction of the goyim to our Jewishness in the gentile world, the embarrassment of our parents' "funny" accents and uncommon mannerisms; for mention on the news of holocaust-related topics, for denigration by political leaders, for a success by the Israeli, our, army, fighting to maintain what Abba Eban coined Israel's "Auschwitz borders". Our parents didn't come to Israel, but, though they would not admit it, they knew, deep down, that an independent Jewish country provided them a backup, and identity, far more than just a nice warm feeling inside.
Hussein Obama went to Buchenwald a few days ago [5th June, 2009].
This man is the juxtaposition artist -- a true purveyor of the art. The master orator, both with and without his famed teleprompters. Perhaps lacking depth, but always something pompous to say, something "important" to opine, this, the so-called leader of the free world, the king of the "world's only superpower".
His "visit" to this former Concentration -- please read Extermination -- Camp followed his quick, one day trip to Cairo, to deliver a short speech. This "green" president flew to Egypt to give a single address. He could have been delivered it anywhere on earth -- but without the juxtaposition, without the equivalencing that being on location in Egypt presented him.
And what did he say? He told the world, specifically addressing the Moslem nations, that the Jews indeed suffered during the Holocaust, and as a result of this suffering they deserve a country of their own. He served notice to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's holocaust denial and gave "full" support to the necessity for Jewish independence, a tiny sliver of land the Jews of the universe may call their own.
Grounding himself in verses from what he repeatedly called the "Holy" Kora'an [sic, he pronounces it like a Moslem], President Hussein Obama promised the Muslim world a new partnership with the U.S. [In his delivery, he referred to the Talmud and the Torah, but never as 'holy' -- though the new testament to him is the "Holy Bible".]
Obama traces the Muslim bases of western society at large and of the United States in particular. He calls himself a Christian with a family "that 'includes' generations of Muslims". A titbit for everyone.
By tying our rights to Israel purely to our diaspora suffering, Obama has given credence to the Arab world's ancient argument that the Jews were placed here by the international community purely as a payback for the Holocaust. During his election campaign, Obama stated that Zionism is "fundamentally just". No more. Not in Washington to Binyamin Netanyahu here and not here in Cairo.
And then came the juxtaposition . . . just as the Jews suffered and thus earned a "own" land through their misery, so too the Palestinians have suffered and, yes, they too deserve their own land. In other words, if you suffer, you deserve a land.
A "two state solution" -- two nations on one small tract land (already dissected by Winston Churchill, Israel's guardian on behalf of the world community back in 1922) -- "the U.S. bond with Israel is unbreakable, but the plight of the Palestinians is intolerable," he said. A "comprehensive peace" is required [by Labor Day].
"At the same time [as the "Palestinians must abandon violence"], Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's." Does that follow? "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Diversion? Irrelevant? A connection? Perhaps in Obama's mind. He even considers the natural growth of longstanding settlements to be an "obstacle to peace".
Obama really is an amazing choreographer. He is accompanied the very next day to Buchenwald by Elie Wiesel, the very Elie Wiesel who ended his own Death March here, straggling from Auschwitz, accompanying his father to this very location, Buchenwald. Wiesel, whose father died here, late one night, in the barracks, dying of dysentery, starvation and exhaustion; Elie was to survive, alone, until the liberation. (He was later reunited with two of his sisters at a French orphanage.)
I am supposed to feel sorry for Elie now -- he blew his money on Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme. Well Elie, I don't. At least not for that.
I feel much more sorry for Elie because he has allowed himself and his reputation to used, used by the man who has come to dismember the Jewish land, to destroy Jewish settlement. Yes I know, Elie will tell you that Obama is the saviour, the force of change in a world that cries out for change and metamorphosis. Time will tell, but I for one have no doubts. I believe but in the prophets of Israel.
A grand Germany trip. Again to ensure locating himself in the "right" place to deliver his wise words. The very, very next day after Cairo. With a speech at a "death" camp. With close ally, German leader, Angela Merkel in attendance, with the highest profile holocaust survivor, American citizen, Elie Wiesel by his side.
"I have lost patience with people who would deny history, and the history of the holocaust is not something speculative." He re-emphasises the holocaust as the justification for Israel's existence. Here is where Israel was born, as "a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history".
In case you wondered why specifically Buchenwald, Obama explains his personal connection to this place. It is purely a coincidence that this is not Wiesel's first visit to this hell.
Strangely, during the election campaign, Obama mentioned his uncle, Charlie Payne, who took part in the liberation of Auschwitz. Interesting, unless of course Charlie served in the Joseph Stalin's Red Army, the liberators of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. Today he tells us his great-uncle took part in the liberation of Ohrdruf, one of the satellite camps of Buchenwald.
On this day, here in Germany, we are hearing the finale to yesterday's words in Cairo, reinforcing Israel's illegitimacy, a haven for Jewish suffering.
"Six million Jews were killed -- more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today." What is the equivalency here? Is there a connection? Unless of course you are contemplating a new holocaust within Eban's Auschwitz borders.
And to close his powerful presidential anti-Israel narrative, Elie Wiesel. " . . . your vision for the future, Mr. President. A sense of security for Israel, a sense of 'security for its neighbors', to bring peace in that [sic, my emphasis] place. The time must come.
"It's enough -- enough to go to cemeteries, enough to weep for oceans. 'It's enough'. There must come a moment -- a moment of bringing people together."
So poetic Elie. Let's finish with John Lennon's vision of one world government:
Imagine there's [sic] no countries
Mr Wiesel -- I believe it's time to tell Mr Obama that we are coming home.
Menachem Kuchar, 11th June, 2009
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