April 7, 2010
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that he is in deep trouble at the White House. This weekend he made an interesting effort to find ways into Barack Obama’s heart. The author Elie Wiesel, in Israel for the holiday, received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office asking that he meet urgently with Netanyahu. On Friday afternoon Wiesel arrived at Netanyahu’s Ceasarea home.Obama venerates Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate. He sees in him a role model for the struggle for human rights. When Obama, on his way back from the Cairo University speech, decided to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp, he asked Wiesel to accompany him and give the keynote speech at the on site ceremony. Obama asked that he join him on the Air Force One flight to Washington. During the flight, Wiesel read the text of Obama’s Cairo speech and remarked that there was no room for comparison of Jewish suffering during the Holocaust and Palestinian suffering. Obama was convinced and rectified the message in a speech he gave after returning to the US. This is the background for the request that Wiesel meet Obama as soon as possible, in order to defend the Prime Minister and convince the President that he is mistaken in his appraisal of the motivations and actions of Netanyahu and his government. Wiesel listened and told Netanyahu that he is scheduled to meet the President for lunch soon and he will use the opportunity to expand on the issues raised by the Prime Minister.