Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Israel’s trade with South Africa was about seven percent of America’s, less than a tenth of Japan’s, Germany’s, or England’s. But Tutu never threatened South African or American citizens of Japanese, German, or English extraction with punishment. Citizens of Arab nations supplied 99 percent of the one resource without which apartheid South Africa could not have existed: oil. Tutu made countless inflammatory remarks about Israel’s weapons sales to South Africa (mainly of naval patrol boats) but said almost nothing about South Africa’s main Western arms supplier, France, which built two of South Africa’s three nuclear reactors – the third being American. He was also silent about Jordan’s sale of tanks and missiles to the apartheid regime.
Tutu’s insistence on applying a double standard to Jews may explain an otherwise mysterious feature of his anti-Israel rhetoric. He once asked Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Eliahu Lankin, “how it was possible that the Jews, who had suffered so much persecution, could oppress other people.” On another occasion, he expressed dismay “that Israel, with the kind of history her people have experienced, should make refugees [actually she didn’t] of others.”
In other words, Jews, according to Tutu, have a duty to behave particularly well because Jews have suffered so much persecution. The mad corollary of this proposition is that the descendants of those who have not been persecuted do not have a special duty to behave well, and the descendants of the persecutors can be excused altogether for behavior it would be hard to excuse in other people. This may explain not only Tutu’s decision to pray for the Nazis while berating the descendants of their victims, but also his long and ardent devotion to the PLO, whose leader, Yasir Arafat, was both the biological relative and spiritual descendant of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem who actively collaborated with Hitler in the destruction of European Jewry.
Rabbinical tradition, however, provides a simpler explanation of Tutu’s eagerness to “forgive” the Nazis while excoriating the descendants of their victims: “Whoever is merciful to the cruel,” the rabbis warn, “will end by being indifferent to the innocent.”
Edward Alexander’s most recent book is “The Jewish Wars” (Transaction Publishers, 2010).
About the Author: Edward Alexander is professor emeritus in the English department at the University of Washington and the author of a number of books including “The State of the Jews: A Critical Appraisal” (Transaction, 2012).
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
In 2015, Israel’s fertility rate (3+ births per woman) is higher than all Arab countries except 3
The New Israel Fund, as usual, condemns the State of Israel rather than condemning a horrible act.
I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya
Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison
Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.
“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”
The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.
American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam
Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign
Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.
Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy
By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.
Allegations by academic BDS’ers are countless and make Israel guilty of EVERY evil on the planet
Since the enemies of Israel neither slumber nor sleep, it should come as no surprise that at the center of the current storm over the acquiescence of Brooklyn College in an academically sponsored campus event designed to expel Israel from the family of nations stands Professor Judith Butler of the University of California.
An old saying has it that “liberalism is always being surprised.” That is the only possible explanation of Jewish expressions of “surprise” and “shock” that Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu in late October urged the South African Opera troupe to cancel its engagement to perform “Porgy and Bess” in Israel.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/desmond-tutu-vs-israel-an-old-story/2010/12/08/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: