The Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor on anti-Semitism in France, Iran's nuclear program, and Syria
Seventy years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism in Europe is not a distant memory.
France in particular has been home to several violent acts this year. Mohammed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian heritage, killed three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse in March. Anti-Semitic attacks increased in the wake of these killings, according to a French Jewish community protection service. And last month, a small bomb was thrown inside a kosher grocery store in a Parisian suburb. According to police, the man whose fingerprints were found on the bomb hailed from outside of Paris, converted to Islam later in life, and was part of an Islamist cell said to have ties to extremists in Syria. That in both cases the perpetrators were self-declared Muslims, and the Toulouse killer in particular reportedly radicalized in Egypt and Afghanistan, distinguishes this anti-Semitism from the kind France has historically confronted. These are merely the two most publicized acts of violence that have occurred of late, signaling that anti-Semitism still plagues the country.
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, 84, is old enough to remember Europe's most infamous wave of anti-Semitic violence -- a dark hell few today can recall. At 15, Wiesel and his family were deported to Auschwitz from what is now Romania, because they were Jews. Two of his sisters survived, but his youngest sister and his parents did not.