'How Can I Remain Silent?': Wiesel to Attend Bibi Address, Implores Congress to Do Same

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In full-page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who will be attending the March 3 joint session of Congress featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chided lawmakers who have vowed to boycott the address.

Relating the history of Haman in ancient Persia, who vowed to “annihilate, murder and destroy the Jews, young and old, children and women," Wiesel stressed that "now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy."

"The Ayatollah Khamenei has been as clear as his predecessor in declaring his goal: 'the annihilation and destruction' of Israel. He is bent on acquiring the weapons needed to make good on the deadly promise," he writes in the ad.

"On the day before Purim the Prime Minister of Israel will address Congress on the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran. I intend to be there. Should we not show our support for what might be the last clear warning before a terrible deal is struck? Santayana wrote that those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it. I believe that those who deny history – specifically the Holocaust – are determined to repeat it. President Obama, Vice President Biden, distinguished members of Congress," the survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald continues.

"I ask you – As one who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent?"

Wiesel, 86, pleads with Congress "to put aside the politics that have obscured the critical decisions to be made."

"Surely it is within your power to find a solution that will permit Israel’s Prime Minister to deliver his urgent message," he says. "Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?"

The ad was produced through Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's organizations.

The list of Democrats who have said they're not attending Netanyahu's speech stands at 19 House lawmakers and three senators.

The Twitter responses, pro and very anti, speak for themselves.