Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel, in an intergenerational dialogue with seven current and former participants in The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel program Monday evening, encouraged young people to fight indifference.
“The opposite of love is not hate,” he said, “but indifference. Apathy is the downfall of … life; it cannot be an option.”
An overflow crowd of more than 400 people, many of them high school and college students, were at Park Avenue Synagogue on the Upper East Side for the event to support Write On For Israel, an educational and advocacy program for high school juniors and seniors, through the lens of journalism. The program, celebrating its 10th anniversary, has more than 400 alumni, many of whom became leaders of pro-Israel groups on college campuses, and post-college.
Linda Scherzer, the program director of Write On, moderated the discussion, during which Wiesel spoke of the danger posed by Iran, asserting that he believes the Iranian president’s threat to destroy Israel.
“I’ve learned to trust the threat of an enemy,” he said. “Iran must not become nuclear.”
Asked about President Obama, Wiesel said, “He is not an enemy of Israel,” and expressed confidence that “if Israel is in danger, he and America would be there to help, of that I am certain.”