Saturday, February 10, 2007

Attack On Elie Wiesel Confirmed

ANSWP Supporter Claims Responsibility 2/9/2007 6:50:56 PM


San Francisco Examiner San Francisco, California -- [Bill: We can confirm that an ANSWP supporter -- though not member -- attacked and attempted to kidnap Elie Wiesel outside his hotel February 1.]

Author attacked in S.F. hotel

(AP file photo)

An unidentified person attacked author and Jewish scholar Elie Wiesel in a San Francisco hotel on Feb. 1.
SAN FRANCISCO -

In a bizarre attack, a well-known author and Holocaust scholar was dragged out of a San Francisco hotel elevator by an apparent Holocaust denier who reportedly had been trailing him for weeks.

Police escorted Elie Wiesel to San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 1 after a man accosted Wiesel in the elevator at the Argent Hotel, at 50 Third St., after Wiesel participated in a panel discussion at a peace conference and before Wiesel was scheduled to catch a flight back to New York.

Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of more than 40 books, including the memoir “Night,” about his experiences at Auschwitz, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Last fall, the Boston University professor was suggested as a possible replacement for Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who faces sexual assault charges.

Police confirmed this week that the attack took place and that officers escorted Wiesel to the airport following the attack. According to police, the suspect accosted Wiesel in the hotel elevator at around 6:30 p.m., saying he wanted to interview him. Wiesel said he would do the interview in the lobby. That’s when the attacker pulled him out of the elevator, police reported.


In a posting Tuesday on the anti-Zionist Web site ZioPedia, a writer using the name Eric Hunt takes credit for the attack: “After ensuring no women would be traumatized by what I had to do (I had been trailing Wiesel for weeks), I stopped the elevator at the sixth floor. I pulled Wiesel out of the elevator. I said I wanted to interview him.”


Wiesel grabbed at his chest and yelled for help, according to the posting. “I told him, ‘Why don’t you want people to know the truth?’ His expression changed, and he began screaming again. …” the posting reads.

Police reported that the suspect tried to force Wiesel into one of the rooms, but ran away when Wiesel started yelling.

The online posting states that the writer intended to “bring Wiesel to my hotel room where he would truthfully answer my questions regarding the fact that his non-fiction Holocaust memoir, Night, is almost entirely fictitious.”

Later in the posting, the Holocaust is portrayed as a “myth.”

Police haven’t officially idenitifed a suspect, but a source close to the investigation said Eric Hunt is the focus of their probe. Wiesel was in town to speak at the RockRose Institute’s World Conference 2007, Facing Violence, which addressed justice, religion and conflict resolution, according to its press release. The conference included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Juan Mendez, adviser to the U.N. secretary-general, in its list of speakers.

In 2006, Oprah Winfrey honored Elie Wiesel and 50 high school students who wrote about the relevance of his account of the Holocaust in “Night.”

Read more about Wiesel’s book and the high school students’ essays.

Hotel security alerted police following the incident, and officers from Southern Station arrived at the scene.
amartin@examiner.com

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