Another smarmster heard from


Elie Wiesel, who else? A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the likes of Menachem Begin, Henry Kissinger, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt… Blessed are the peacemakers.

I’ve always loved Elie’s overdone woebegone basset-hound look — a soul filled with Weltschmerz, or at any rate with Weltschmaltz.

He’s weighed in recently with a comparison between the Palestinians and the ancient child-sacrificing Moloch-loving Canaanites. It’s a damn shame Edward Said isn’t still around to comment on this one:


Elie has teamed up on this occasion with that entertaining and indefatigable self-promoter, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, shown below, author of Kosher Sex, among other notable works of scholarship and divinity. One hopes that coarsely-ground salt is not involved.


7 thoughts on “Another smarmster heard from

    • They may be able to very precisely date prehistoric events, but they aren’t fundamentalist fanatics like those child-sacrificing Moloch-worshippers (who, according to the good book, the gentle god of Abraham ordered the Israelites to exterminate).

  1. The 3,500 old “history” being referred to is little more than output of talented screenplay writers:

    The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom.

    Edward Said did write about another Weltschmerz laden “moral giant”-cum-con-artist whose specialty as Chomsky noted is to ‘assign a special status to Israel and reconstruct the “moral world” accordingly’:

    I have no
    way — and Walzer proposes none — for distinguishing between the claims put
    forth by competing monotheistic clerics in today’s Middle East, all of
    whom — Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Begin, Ayatollah Gemayel (and there are
    others) — say that God is indisputably on their side. That the Falwells, the
    Swaggerts, the Farrakhans in America say the same thing piles Pelion on Ossa,
    and leaves Walzer unperturbed, urging a remarkable amalgam of God and realism
    upon us, as we try to muddle through.

    But the one thing I want Walzer to remember is that the more he shores up the
    sphere of Exodus politics the more likely it is that Canaanites on the outside
    will resist and try to penetrate the walls banning them from the goods of what
    is, after all, partly their world too. The strength of the Canaanite, that is
    the exile position, is that being defeated and ‘outside’, you can perhaps more
    easily feel compassion, more easily call injustice injustice, more easily
    speak directly and plainly of all oppression, and with less difficulty try to
    understand (rather than mystify or occlude) history and equality. I have read
    Walzer for many years and I have always admired his intellect, although I have
    fundamentally disagreed with his politics. I have always wanted to say to him
    that the defense of spheres and peoplehood based on exclusion and displacement
    of others who are deemed to be lesser is not what intellectuals ought to be
    about. I have also wanted to say that ideologies of difference are a great
    deal less satisfactory than impure genres, people, activities; that separation
    and discrimination are often not as estimable as connecting and crossing over;
    that moral and military victories are not always such wonderful things. But
    having read him again recently, I now realize that Exodus may be a tragic
    book in that it teaches that you cannot both ‘belong’ and concern yourself
    with Canaanites who do not belong. If that is so, then I thank Walzer for
    showing me that, and allowing me — and I hope others — to remain unconvinced
    by what he says, and to resist.

  2. I’m too boringly literal-minded to comment here any longer. I am tempted to point out however that it is the “creative” targeteers of the IDF who made, quite literally, no place at all safer than any other place in Gaza in this most recent massacre. It seems that the child sacrifice must be theirs rather than, say, the Hamas devils’ or the apolitical moms’ of Gaza scuttling toward the UN school. Child sacrifice doesn’t have to mean the sacrifice of ones own children, despite BIblical precedent.

    Elie Wiesel survived a vicious early life, Still, I wearied of his shtick about 25-30 years ago. He used to say that he could never criticize Israel from outside its borders for some very deep reason tinged with great sadness… And as he was never there, it seemed he never got around to unloading on the Zionist state like the gullible assumed he would, once back home. I got tired of waiting, It appears he changed his mind about it or perhaps he never had any problems with the behavior of the state and could have more honestly have said so rather than pretend it was his absence that silenced him.

    I think he may be a charlatan.

  3. Must be so hard on Elie, carrying the weight of the world all of these years. Yes, I too figured out he was a charlatan about a quarter century ago. I seem to recall he defended all kinds of neocon nonsense, maybe even support for the contras. Who can keep track after all these years.

    My understanding is that some of his fellow Holocaust survivors have said he’s a grandstander and opportunistic blowhard. Though I guess that’s reporting the obvious.

    Years ago, I heard him give one of his tortured-soul, weight-of-the-world interviews on an NPR show, “Speaking of Faith” — not a bad show often, but in this instance the host basked in the glow of Elie’s moral awesomeness and self-evident wisdom. In that interview, he justified — with many characteristic sighs, of course — the shelling of Palestinian refugee camps from gunboats.

    Never again, my tusch!

  4. He does have that hangdog look down to a science. Oh, the pain he has to endure as The Moral Conscience of Our Time!

    Being able to distinguish between good (Jews) and Ultimate Evil (everyone else) requires a soul of impeccable moral pedigree, which Elie is kind enough to share with the rest of us. Experience watching children being thrown on the fire is a plus, unless that experience was gained as a first-hand witness at the Deir Yassin massacre, where His Immaculacy was a photographer for the Irgun.

    Now he has to settle for watching 155mm self-propelled howitzers lob shells at the kindergartens of the Amalekites via CNN, with any shells actually landing in the schoolyards being entirely the result of operator error and the fact Hamas is storing kids there for use as human shields. Hamas needs to store its supply of human shields away from schools and hospitals!

Leave a Reply