Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rise of the Racist Right?

A member of a Holocaust denial group attempted to kidnap Elie Wiesel on Saturday February 10th in San Francisco. He escaped unharmed. The attack was not random and took place at the Argent Hotel where Wiesel was attending a peace conference.

The San Francisco Examiner originally reported that police and the FBI have identified a suspect, but have not released his name.

Wiesel is a Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust survivor. His book on the Holocaust "Night" is considered one of the "bedrocks of Holocaust literature."

The kidnapping effort was confirmed by a web site posting by an anti-semitic group with a server hosted in Australia. The full text of the message claiming responsibility for the attack is reported to now be off the air. Thanks to Deborah Lipstadt at Emory University for posting this information on her blog. Also, I'm including a news clip from Haaretz which provides basic information on the incident. Additional reporting via Associated Press national wire

Wiesel made a statement to the Associated Press about the attack. "My incident shows a global trend; if society doesn't act immediately against these individuals it will end up encouraging others to do the same," he said. "Every time I make a speech somewhere in the world there is a group of deniers in that place waiting for me."

It is important to point out the attack on Wiesel appears to have been based on a plan that included stalking and tailing him over some period of time and then catching up with him just as he entered the hotel elevator. There is nothing random about the incident. That's what makes it significant and worth reporting here.

This wire service report has an update to earlier reports.

Sheesh, are white supremacists resurfacing?

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