Shorter NYT profile of Hillary Clinton: Bill and I dined with our old friend Elie Wiesel recently

on 25 Comments

Hillary Clinton’s press agent deserves a raise for ensuring that the only friend quoted in a 3000-word, front-page profile in the New York Times today is Elie Wiesel– who, if you didn’t know it, is on the far right in terms of his support for Israel. NYT:

The enormously disciplined Mrs. Clinton has stuck to the same story in public and private: She’s not running. That is what she told Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and an old friend, when she and her family dined with him recently, according to Mr. Wiesel. Others close to her emphasize that no one knows otherwise, not even Mrs. Clinton herself.

The piece by Jodi Kantor relies on “nearly two dozen current and former aides, friends and donors.” Others quoted by name are aides. (Thanks to Scott McConnell for wisecrack at start of this post.) 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

25 Responses

  1. Shmuel
    December 9, 2012, 10:36 am

    General David Petraeus in email to Max Boot:

    Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?! And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…

    • Philip Weiss
      December 9, 2012, 11:43 am

      Wow. Wish I’d put that in the post! Thanks Shmuel

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2012, 12:32 pm

        “Wow. Wish I’d put that in the post! Thanks Shmuel”

        It’s been covered several times, at least in comments, and I think these e-mails were featured in an article.
        Yes sir, we got us some All-American geniuses running the military.

      • W.Jones
        December 9, 2012, 5:07 pm

        Wow. Wish I’d put that in the post!

        You still can, Phil! Go for it!

  2. Kathleen
    December 9, 2012, 11:29 am

    Know folks out here all ready working to make sure Hillary Clinton is never President. Her yes vote on the Iraq war resolution. Her right wing stances on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Her warmongering against Iran. etc etc etc. Hillary would be worse than Bush 43 on the middle east. Well as bad

    • just
      December 9, 2012, 12:31 pm


      • Krauss
        December 10, 2012, 1:59 am

        I mean, even beyond that, in 2016 we may very well see Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton.

        A fall of democracy and economic vitality is when you have dynasties running against each other, which is now happening in the U.S.

    • Mooser
      December 9, 2012, 12:37 pm

      I can’t see women voting for a women who is willing to be humiliated in front of the entire US without firing a shot, or taking a step.
      If there was a video of Hilary, with one small cardboard suitcase, with a cloth coat over her other arm, walking away from the White House with a firm step, (while whistling “Franky and Johnny” through set lips, which isn’t easy) the Presidency would be hers for the asking, but she blew it. Everybody knows what she is. Maybe she can get a job as first doormat.

    • W.Jones
      December 9, 2012, 5:15 pm


      How about being on the Board of Directors of Walmart in Arkansas and her glee filmed at brutal secular dictator Qaddafi’s death.

      And what do you think about the conspiracy theories about the Clintons’ Arkansas dealings thrown around for years that I am partly inclined to chalk up to right-wingers’ kookiness?

  3. Nevada Ned
    December 9, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Elie Wiesel is best known as an author and Holocaust survivor. It’s not as well known that in the 1940’s he was a member of the Irgun, Menachem Begin’s group of terrorists. Their most infamous massacre was at Yassin Deir, which played an important role in spreading panic and flight among the Palestinians. Wiesel didn’t personally shoot anybody (as far as I know), but was a journalist instead. As a journalist he was an Israeli propagandist, and he still is an Israeli propagandist today.
    Wiesel claims to speak in opposition to suffering and massacres, but in fact he supports anything Israel does, including wars of aggression and massacres. He is eloquent, and crafty, so his hypocritical honey-coated words go down well with the general public.

    In the early 1980’s, a book was published, authored by Joan Peters, entitled From Time Immemorial. As Mondoweiss readers already know, this propagandistic book “proved” that Palestinians only arrived recently in Israel/Palestine. It drew hundreds of favorable reviews and no unfavorable ones. (Book reviews were carefully steered to friendly reviewers, while real middle east experts were avoided). Then a graduate student, Norman Finkelstein, blew the whistle on the book, and called it a hoax. The book was a last-ditch attempt to rehabilitate the old Israeli slogan, “a land without people, for a people without a land”. Finkelstein first gained notice as the man who refuted Joan Peters.

    What was the role of Elie Wiesel? Supposedly he is a passionate advocate of “memory” about suffering.

    Wiesel wrote a blurb praising the Peters book !!

    After the book was exposed as a fraudulent piece of pseudo-scholarship, Wiesel declined to discuss his role in promoting the book. And this from a man who drones on and on about the importance of history and memory and justice etc etc.
    Wiesel has not been called to account for his behavior, and his career certainly hasn’t suffered. Hillary Clinton sees a dinner with Wiesel, respected moralist, as a political advantage for her.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      December 9, 2012, 1:23 pm

      Good post.

      I’ve always thought Wiesel to be a slimy used-car salesman sort of character. I think it was the late Peter Novick who has lamented the fact that Wiesel, rather than someone with the intelligence and introspection of Primo Levi, became the ‘official spokesman’ for the Holocaust in America.

      As’ad Abu Khalil – aka ‘the Angry Arab’ – has also listed the various ‘errors’ in Wiesel’s work. However, with Wiesel being something of a secular saint, it would be career suicide for a mainstream journalist to investigate him. He’s the Mother Teresa of Holocaust ‘memory’.

    • Donald
      December 9, 2012, 2:30 pm

      Wiesel is also a Nakba denier. Here’s a passage from his January 24, 2001 NYT op ed “Jerusalem in my Heart” (below). There’s no excuse for someone spouting this BS at that date. It was always a transparently stupid lie, but even Israeli historians had started tearing it apart by the late 1980’s.—-

      “The Palestinians also insist on “the right of return” for more than three million refugees. On this question, Israel is united in its refusal. It may be necessary to recall the history of this Palestinian tragedy. In 1947 Israel accepted the plan for the division of Palestine; the Arabs rejected it. In 1948, David Ben-Gurion reached out to what was to be the Palestinian state. Not only did the Arabs reject the proffered hand; they sent six armies to strangle the newly born Jewish state. Incited by their leaders, 600,000 Palestinians left the country convinced that, once Israel was vanquished, they would be able to return home. I have seen their children in the Gaza refugee camps; their fate can leave none of us indifferent. It is imperative that we resolve this problem. But the solution of a mass return is unthinkable. To many Israelis, that would be tantamount to suicide, just as cutting Jerusalem from its roots would be spiritual suicide. What I am about to say I say with great sadness: After seeing on television, during the Intifada, the faces of young Palestinians twisted with hate, it is more difficult than ever before for me to believe in the Palestinians’ will for peace. It is not that they want a smaller Israel; they want no Israel at all.”

    • W.Jones
      December 9, 2012, 5:49 pm


      I found Wiesel’s book “Night” inspiring as a young person, and it made me emotionally drawn to the sad tragedy of the Holocaust. Have you heard the claim that Wiesel’s book was partly or largely “ghost-written”? Even if it was, I still consider the book a good quality narrative about a real genocide, and it is worth pointing out that other famous works in history may have been ghost-written, including some of Shakespeare’s work.

      • Citizen
        December 9, 2012, 10:34 pm

        @ W.Jones
        You might find this extensively detailed and footnoted article about Wiesel and his subject book of some interest:

      • W.Jones
        December 10, 2012, 9:43 am


        In the following video, Wiesel returns to Hungary or Romania and talks in Hungarian. What do you think of it the movie:

      • kalithea
        December 10, 2012, 1:58 am

        Ghost-writer or no ghost-writer, there’s no doubt he’s the Keeper of the Eternal Victim Card.

      • marc b.
        December 10, 2012, 6:10 pm

        Wj, i hadn’t heard that wiesel’s ‘night’ was ghost-written, but finkelstein has certainly exposed him as a fraud, intellectually and morally. you might be thinking of jerzy kosinski, author of ‘being there’ and ‘the painted bird’, the latter initially being treated as kosinski’s autobiographical account of his trials as a young polish jew during the holocaust. that book, it turns out, was ghost-written, and the events described in the book were nothing like an historical account of kosinski’s life, regardless of who wrote it. it was a fraud from inception to publication to promotion. (kosinski, or his handlers, had liberally cribbed from polish language literature in all his books, presumably hoping that no one would bother noticing the similarities.) i get the impression that kosinski, who wound up committing suicide, was exploited by the holocaust literature crowd.

      • W.Jones
        December 10, 2012, 10:45 pm

        Dear Marc,

        That’s interesting about Kosinski. However, I actually was asking your opinion about the issue Citizen pointed to.

        “Night” differed factually from Wiesel’s autobiography, so the former is at least to some degree fiction based on fact. One writer sympathetically explains the difference this way:

        Night is narrated by a boy named Eliezer who represents Elie, but details set apart the character Eliezer from the real life Elie. For instance, Eliezer wounds his foot in the concentration camps, while Elie actually wounded his knee. Wiesel fictionalizes seemingly unimportant details because he wants to distinguish his narrator from himself. It is almost impossibly painful for a survivor to write about his Holocaust experience, and the mechanism of a narrator allows Wiesel to distance himself somewhat from the experience, to look in from the outside.

        To defend Wiesel on the issue Citizen brought up, I would point out that there are other famous fiction stories based on fact like: “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and “Daniel’s Story”, which I both found inspiring.

        A potential problem I see is not really that “Night” could turn out to be part fiction (or fiction based on fact) as Citizen’s article claims, but that it is strongly denied by its author. As the Holocaust survivor mentioned in Citizen’s link who underwent the narrated events complains, it could lead to Holocaust denial. (eg. if the book incorrectly describes many people burnt alive).

        There was so much real intense suffering that can be proven from enough photographs, many other famous works have been ghostwritten, other Holocaust survivors had to change identities, and “Night” is in any event good literature, so I think neither Wiesel nor his critics should need to feel bad discussing it.

  4. American
    December 9, 2012, 1:28 pm

    From reports I’ve read Hillary is going to turn her sights on NeoLiberal economic leveling of the world’s countries.
    She now has a vision of how all countries of the world can be made to be economically and wealth equal by establishing a kind “Economic UN” to oversee everyone’s business and of course thru the US doing ‘economic’ nation building.
    I had an article( lost link) on her State Department “Marshall Plan” for revitalizing Iraq – Afghan …forgot exactly how many US billions a year for how long the State Dept asked for to do that.

    Some examples of her “thinking”:
    The Atlantic one is really good…we’re gonna rebuild the old “Silk Road” of yore, over the mountains and thru the valleys of Afghan….even though sea shipping for trade is what they do now and much cheaper…AND..we would of course have to alter the old Silk Road slightly so it won’t benefit any ‘bad’ countries like Iran or Syria.

    Hummm…this is what happens to your brain when you fall for all the flattery about how smart you are…you start to believe you have a magical brain.

    Maybe she’s been sharpening up her zionist bona fides with Saban and others, not because she’s running for prez, but because she thinks they have people who will help implement/force ? her vision into being.

  5. Steve Macklevore
    December 9, 2012, 2:10 pm

    Elie Wiesel is that most disgusting of all specimens – the pious bigot.

  6. flyod
    December 9, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I guess they will not be dining with her old friend Suha Arafat anytime soon..

    • Rusty Pipes
      December 9, 2012, 9:04 pm

      The Israel Lobby is still making Hillary pay for offering condolences to a grieving widow. She hasn’t repeated the mistake.

  7. Rusty Pipes
    December 9, 2012, 9:32 pm

    Such timing for a profile at the NYT. Meanwhile, at NPR yesterday, a story called Why this Video Makes This Editor Think Hillary Will Run in 2016, about Remnick’s impressions of the homage to Hillary at the Saban Forum. Not one word in this article or any other NPR story yet about Robert Siegel’s participation in the event, including questions about journalistic integrity. Instead the Saban Forum is described briefly thus:

    There’s an event held every year in Washington known as the Saban Forum — named for Haim Saban, the Israeli-American media mogul who funds it. It’s a night of elbow-rubbing between D.C. and Middle East political leadership, though foreign dignitaries are mostly Israeli.

    Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at this year’s forum, which was held last week. But before she spoke, the audience was treated to an eight-minute video.

  8. kalithea
    December 10, 2012, 1:01 am

    Imagine if U.S. politicians had to go beyond just wining, dining and courting every Jew in town, the majority of whom are Zionists, to get elected?

    This situation is already sleazier than the casting couch!

    And to think that Palestinians are suffering injustice for years while all this depraved cavorting is going on just to ensure they remain enslaved.

    U.S and Israel – unholy union made in HELL .

Leave a Reply