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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 09, 2003

Elie Wiesel on War with Iraq

The U.S.-led war in Iraq is not a just war, but it's a necessary offensive against terrorism, the recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize said yesterday.

"The danger which threatens the world is terrorism; nuclear terrorism, chemical and biological terrorism," Elie Wiesel said at a news conference in which he acknowledged his views on the Iraqi conflict are paradoxical.

"I believe war is a blasphemy, but I'm not a pacifist. A pacifist is someone who would never bear arms. I would have fought against Hitler. That was a just war.

''The last just war probably was against Hitler. Since then we have had necessary wars, not just wars," he said during the IMAGINE International Young Leadership Conference organized by ProMontreal and the United Israel Appeal Federations Canada.

Wiesel said he supports the current military intervention in Iraq because he believes the "reliable sources" in Washington and Israel who contend weapons of mass destruction are concealed in the ravaged country.

"If not for that, I wouldn't support the coalition for intervention. I support the coalition. I am not for war," said Wiesel whose efforts to avoid deadly conflict in the world's hot spots have earned him wide recognition.[more]