Iranian disgrace in Geneva: A member of Iran's official delegation to the UN's anti-racism conference verbally assaulted Shoah survivor and Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel in Geneva, referring to him as a "Zionazi."In a conversation with Ynet, Wider said that while he was not surprised by such venomous display on the part of the Iranian delegation, the timing of the assault left those who witnessed it stunned.
The incident was captured on film by Sergio Wider of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The video features the Iranian official repeatedly screaming at Wiesel, who chose to remain silent and ignore the reprehensible comments.
Video: Sergio Wider, Simon Wiesenthal Center
"We were shocked to see this assault on a Shoah survivor on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance day, and ironically also on Hitler's 120th birthday," he said.
"The Iranian president's sympathizers yelled 'Zionazi' at Wiesel, who was quite speechless following the incident," Wider said. "Nobody believed it happened, especially as Wiesel is one of the most well-known Shoah survivors and is greatly appreciated for his humanitarian work."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who was also part of the Wiesenthal Center's delegation to Geneva, said Wiesel did not respond to the verbal assault, but was deeply affected by it, as was obvious by the speech he delivered later on.
"I watched many of his speeches and I never heard him speak like this…he may be a Nobel Prize laureate, but he's still a Holocaust survivor, and coming to the UN on Holocaust Remembrance Day and going through this kind of experience was almost too much for him."