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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/w/wiesel.elie/press/genesis-of-hate

Source: Western Jewish Bulletin, May 3, 1996 (34)


Seeking the genesis of hate
Jannette Edmonds, Special to the Jewish Bulletin

Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel will be in Vancouver this Sunday,
May 5, speaking at Schara Tzedeck synagogue about his new book
"All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs". The Boston University
professor, author of more than 30 books and a human rights
spokesman, talked to the Bulletin by telephone from Chicago.

JB - There is a battle in Canada right now over how to protect
freedom of speech from freedom of hate speech. How would you
approach the issue?

Mr. Wiesel - The only way is to educate the public not to
accept these speeches. You cannot stop hate speeches because
they will continue hating and they will continue speaking, if
not in public then in private. The only way is to create an
atmosphere, an ambience that would reject hate and then they
would, in a way, be shamed into silence.

JB - How would you educate against hate?

EW - I would begin in kindergarten and go up to university. We
should have imaginative programs. Why not create a day or a
week, once a year, where [students] study nothing by
fanaticism? This should be the focus. I have pressed for this
(education) everywhere I have been for the last many years. I
organized conferences on the anatomy of hate. I want to
understand what is the texture of hate, what is the origin,
what is the genesis, what is the price? What is the mask of

JB - Do you believe there is a growing awareness of the
dangers of hatred or is the world regressing into more

EW - I think that both are true. There is a growing
intolerance. Fanaticism is growing in every field. There is a
religious fanaticism, an ethnic fanaticism, [and] political
fanaticism going to the extreme right or the extreme left.
However, the awareness among people that something must be
done to stop that is also growing.


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