Expressing selective outrage

If only Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel – a master of avoiding Israeli crimes in Palestine – extended his concern to the Palestinians, rather than just seemingly every other oppressed group in the world:

Elie Wiesel has recruited 25 of his fellow Nobel laureates to sign a letter condemning the Chinese government’s “violent crackdown” on protestors in Tibet.

The letter, which was released March 20, urges the Chinese government to show restraint and calls for a resumption of talks with Tibet’s exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“We protest the unwarranted campaign waged by the Chinese government against our fellow Nobel laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” the letter reads. “Contrary to the repeated claims of Chinese authorities, the Dalai Lama does not seek separation from China, but religious and cultural autonomy. This autonomy is fundamental to the preservation of the ancient Tibetan heritage.”

For nearly two weeks, China has worked to suppress reporting of the worst unrest in Tibet in decades. Protests earlier this month defying a Chinese order led to riots in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and a violent crackdown by China, which has occupied Tibet since 1951.

Wiesel told JTA that he finds China’s insistence on claiming sovereignty in Tibet to be inexplicable.

“One thing is clear,” Wiesel said. “What I say to my fellow Nobel laureates, it is our duty to speak up on moral issues.”

Every “moral issue” except the one over which he could have some impact, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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