By Eli Clifton (Source: LobeLog)
Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel
Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel took
to the pages of the New York Times yesterday in a paid
advertisement urging Congress to strengthen sanctions against Iran and, in
apparent ignorance of the state of the current negotiations between Iran and
P5+1, urged readers to "appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a
condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran's nuclear
infrastructure and the regime's public and complete repudiation of all genocidal
intent against Israel."
Never mind that Wiesel's "demands" are supposed to be the goal of - rather
than the preconditions for - the negotiations. Or that both the
Obama administration and Iran's
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have clearly stated that passing new
sanctions legislation could kill the sensitive diplomacy occurring between
Tehran, Washington and the other P5+1 members.
Indeed, other than Elie Wiesel using his well-regarded name to support a plan
whose likely impact will be to scuttle a nuclear deal with Iran (a deal that
most Middle East experts believe would make both Israel and Western countries
more secure) perhaps the most interesting part of the ad is buried at the
It reads: "Sponsored by Michael Steinhardt, Board of Governors, This World:
The Values Network; co-founder Birthright Israel."
Despite his understandably pro-Israel political leanings, Wiesel has
repeatedly expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and supported Obama's efforts to negotiate such a deal.
After a meeting with Obama in 2010, Wiesel
said, "The president is convinced that the peace process must continue. And
we all agree of course. There is no substitute to peace among nations. Each side
must understand that there is no absolute justice in the world, nor absolute
peace in the world. One side must understand the other's need for assurance for
Wiesel's position, however, is not shared with his funder, hedge fund mogul
In an interview earlier this year with journalist and
author Max Blumenthal, Steinhardt offered his own understanding of the
Blumenthal: You know the occupation of Palestine has been going on for
over 45 years and there are a lot of students organizing against it on
Steinhardt: I think the idea of it being occupied isn't exactly right
either cause 45 years ago there was no Palestinian people.
Blumenthal: There's no Palestinian people?
Steinhardt: There was none. So this is a new phenomenon.
Blumenthal: You're saying they're like an invented people.
Steinhardt: I think so.