Elie Wiesel Teams With Historical Revisionist Hedge Fund Mogul to Derail Iran Diplomacy

by Eli Clifton

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 bottom.

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 respect.”

Wiesel’s position, however, is not shared with his funder, hedge fund mogul Michael Steinhardt.

In an interview earlier this year with journalist and author Max Blumenthal, Steinhardt offered his own understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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 campus?

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.


Steinhardt is also a longstanding funder of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish think tank whose fellows frequently call for heightened sanctions against Iran and downplay the dangers of Israeli and/or U.S. military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The 1986 Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Wiesel’s “practical work in the cause of peace” and his message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” when awarding him the Peace Prize. But Wiesel’s decision to throw his considerable moral weight behind an initiative to derail diplomacy with Iran and join forces with a man who engages in historical revisionism and denies Palestinian peoplehood is an odd turn for a person dedicated to human rights.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. Noble peace prize is worthless. Just look Obama, the guy who use drones to kill children and is ok to spy everyone, won one. It is just stupid to have regard for an idiot because they son this prize.

  2. Iran has “genocidal intent” toward Israel? Rubbish. Complete cr*p. Elie Weisel may be lying? Or simoly grossly ignorant? Both?

  3. It is speeches like the Nobel Peace Prize Winner E. Wiesel’s that diminish the prestige of the Nobel Prize in the so called Third World. Let’s briefly reflect on parts of this Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s advertised Statement on 18/12/2013:

    ‘Iran Must Not Be Allowed to Remain Nuclear’. First I quote:

    “If there is one lesson I hope the world has learned from the past it is that regimes rooted in brutality must never be trusted.” …. ”Should we who believe in human rights”…”Should we who believe in freedom”… And lastly: “And from the time of the founding fathers America has always stood up to tyrants.”….

    Certainly the Zionist defender E. Wiesel is right to say:

    1-“regimes rooted in brutality must never be trusted”; but is he not aware that his prophetic proverb also exactly applies to Israel, to their own Zionist brutality given the over half a century of occupation and mass murder in Palestine?!

    2-“we who believe in human rights”! Does he? Where? in the open Occupied Palestinian territories or inside the Israeli prisons or Abu Gharib or Guantanamo prisons or other secret torture chambers scattered across the Arab World and Afghanistan, let alone those used for the renditions? And is this ‘we’ American or American Israeli or just Israeli? In all cases history of war/mass murder and collective punishment refute Wiesel’s propaganda statement.

    3-“we who believe in freedom”! And what freedom is that?! the master’s freedom or the slave’s? Does he know about the American legacy in Latin America and Southeast Asia or in the Middle East or in Afghanistan and Pakistan; or of the Zionist legacy in Palestine and Lebanon?

    My advice to Mr Wiesel: Do not play God when you are not even qualified to be a priest!

    4-“from the time of the founding fathers America has always stood up to tyrants”! Does he know about the long list of CIA backed murderous military coups engineered exactly to ‘install’ tyrants across the world, especially after 1953?! He could at least have looked up the Wikipedia.

    So much for the American Democracy, American Congress and Zionist American Nobel Winner Intellectual, and self deluded conceptions of the Free World, the Civilized World and its Human Rights! It seems that intellectually America is bleeding herself in the hope of surviving, just like its founding father George Washington’s last days, bleeding to survive longer but later proved to have been a fatal misdiagnose!

  4. Time for all these old men to retire to their old folks home and stay out of politics. As they toot their horns louder each day, they should take stock and realize the there’s over one million U.S. Military Veterans who are tired of war, tired of fighting wars they can’t win, tired of sacrificing their body’s, both in injuries and death, then are left out to fend for themselves and the families. Actually, those old men can go fight the wars, they don’t have anything better to do and can earn the big bucks they receive, then perhaps they wouldn’t be so eager to send others to war to satisfy a warmongers ego.

  5. Elie Wiesel is absolutely right. Iran leaders have said it again and again. Their main intention is to destroy Israel and exterminate the Jews. Ahmadinejad was a negationnist. Khameini belongs to a sect of which main belief is that it is Muslims’ duty to exterminate the Jews. Steinhart is right also when he says that the Palestinian people is an invention, a myth. Until 1964, there was NO Palestinian People and Palestine has never been a country. Therefore, there is no occupied territory. Only “disputed territories”, which is, so far, the only legal definition of the situation. When Jordan invaded Judea-Samaria, and Egypt invaded Gaza in 48, nobody gived a damn. Arabs living in the region of Palestine where simply “Arabs” such as their brothers in near countries. Palestinian ethos was born in the minds of the KGB and Arab leaders, as an alternative to destroy Israel through diplomacy, if they cannot defeat it with weapons. It looks like, so far, they are succeding since an entire generation believes in the ” Palestinian ” myth. I feel sorry for those people, who became hostages of History, and had to endorse a nationality which never existed, so their gangster leaders can make more money, and every stupid leftist in the worlds would have a cause to relay to after the failure of communism all around the world.This is pathetic !

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