The Accomplishment for Which Elie Wiesel Most Wanted to Be Remembered

Elie Wiesel, who died last Saturday, was best known for his efforts to ensure that the Holocaust would not be forgotten. But even more, writes Natan Sharansky, he wanted to be remembered for fighting on behalf of Soviet Jewry:

Wiesel first traveled to the Soviet Union in 1965 . . . on a mission to meet with Jews there, and was shocked by what he saw. Those with whom he spoke were too afraid to recount Soviet persecution, terrified of reprisals from the regime, but their eyes implored him to tell the world about their plight. . . . “For the second time in a single generation, we [in the West] are committing the error of silence,” Wiesel warned—a phenomenon even more troubling to him than the voiceless suffering of Soviet Jews themselves. . . .

Elie Wiesel’s humanism, his active concern for the voiceless, hardly stopped with his fellow Jews. He spoke out against massacres in Bosnia, Cambodia, and Sudan, against apartheid in South Africa, and against the burning of black churches in the United States. He became, as others have said, the conscience of the world. Yet he never gave up or sacrificed even a bit of his concern for the Jewish people. He did not feel he had to give up his Jewish loyalty or national pride to be a better spokesman for others. To the contrary: it was the tragedy of his people that generated his concern for the world—a world he felt God had abandoned—and it was his belief in universal ideas that helped him ultimately to reconcile with his Jewish God.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Elie Wiesel, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Judaism, Natan Sharansky, Soviet Jewry

 

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy