Monday, September 3, 2007

The Wrong Side of History

I am a Jew who remembers when my people in German occupied Europe were condemned to isolation, hunger, humiliation, unspeakable terror, and death. Until almost the end of the war, nobody came to our rescue.

I am a member of the human family who remembers that 800,000 human beings were massacred in Rwanda in 1994. They could have been saved, but nobody came to their rescue. The leaders of the world knew of the perpetrators' intention and their victims' vulnerability, but they failed to respond. Everything was known, and to the shame of civilized society, hundreds of thousands of men women and children were abandoned and then slaughtered.

I am writing this now because in Darfur, Sudan, families are being uprooted and starved, children tormented and murdered in the thousands, and women raped with impunity. The world knows that the non-Arab peoples of Darfur are dying by the thousands, yet, in the eyes of the victims, the world remains indifferent to their plight.

I refuse to remain silent while the leaders of the world make excuses for failing to protect the people of Darfur. I am writing to voice my compassion for the victims and my anger at leaders who are timorous, complacent, and unwilling to take risks. Remember: silence helps the killer, never his victims.

Darfur is today's capital of human suffering. Darfur deserves to live, and American citizens are providing it with reason to hope. Not to help, not to urge our elected officials to intervene and save innocent lives in any manner possible and needed is to condemn us on grounds of immorality. Our failure to speak out to end the on-going genocide in Darfur would place us on the wrong side of history. And that thought must seem intolerable to all of us.

For the sake of our humanity, SAVE DARFUR!

Professor Elie Wiesel

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