Monday, April 17, 2006

Listen to Elie

Elie Wiesel on the Darfur, Sudan:
It was a direct or indirect consequence of a millennium lecture I had given in the White House on the subject, “The Perils of Indifference”. After I concluded, a woman in the audience rose and said: “I am from Rwanda.” She asked me how I could explain the international community’s indifference to the Rwandan massacres. I turned to the President who sat at my right and said: “Mr. President, you better answer this question. You know as well as we do that the Rwanda tragedy, which cost from 600,000 to 800,000 victims, innocent men, women and children, could have been averted. Why wasn’t it?” His answer was honest and sincere: “It is true, that tragedy could have been averted. That’s why I went there to apologize in my personal name and in the name of the American people. But I promise you: it will not happen again.”

That brutal tragedy is still continuing, now in Sudan’s Darfur region. Now its horrors are shown on television screens and on front pages of influential publications....A million human beings, young and old, have been uprooted, deported. Scores of women are being raped every day, children are dying of disease hunger and violence.

“Lo taamod al dam rĂ©akha” is a Biblical commandment. “Thou shall not stand idly by the shedding of the blood of thy fellow man.”

Should the Sudanese victims feel abandoned and neglected, it would be our fault – and perhaps our guilt.
That’s why we must intervene.

If we do, they and their children will be grateful for us. As will be, through them, our own.