Saturday, July 9, 2016
DEMOCRAT calls Elie Wiesel "Holocaust whore"
The Anti-Defamation League of Los Angeles is speaking out about an email sent by a local Democratic Party leader criticizing Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who died on July 2.
Dorothy Reik, president of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains and a delegate-elect for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, angered some groups over her email, in which she made disparaging comments about Wiesel after his death.
“I had met people who made their living from the Holocaust but never to the extent that Wiesel did,” Reik wrote. She also retold an incident in which another individual called Wiesel a “Holocaust w----” in the email.
Reik, who is Jewish, wrote in the email that her opinion did not reflect the views of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains and acknowledged that most of her friends and associates would disagree with her.
The ADL’s Pacific Southwest Regional Director Amanda Susskind posted Reik’s email on ADL-LA’s website. “While the entire world is mourning the death of Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel — often called the conscience of the world — it is particularly disturbing that this Democratic Party official would share these vicious words, even expressed as her personal opinion,” Susskind wrote.
Wiesel, author of “Night,” died in New York at age 87. His death prompted an outpouring from world leaders and local politicians including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Journalist Max Blumenthal wrote a piece Monday for Alternet criticizing Wiesel for accepting high-paying speaking gigs from controversial figures and failing to stand up for oppressed groups. Reik included a link to the story in her email.
Reached at her home Wednesday, Reik said, “I apologize if I offended anyone.”
Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and vice-chair of the California Democratic Party, said Reik was quoting a term used by another person and expressing a personal opinion.
“However I believe it reflects poorly on a leader of the Democratic Party to make a statement such as this,” Bauman said in an interview Wednesday. “It doesn’t appear that we have the authority to take any kind of action as it was done in her personal capacity.”
Estee Chandler, chair of the Los Angeles chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, called Wiesel a “complicated” man. He was a “prophetic moral witness who implored the world not to remain silent in the face of oppression,” Chandler said.
But he also “failed to speak out equally on behalf of Palestinians’ rights and against anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobia,” she said.
Chandler declined to comment on Reik’s email.