Friday, October 05, 2007

The saintly antisemite

From the blog "Drink-Soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for War":

To Tutu Or Not To Tutu?

by Transmontanus, 5 October 2007

So far as I can tell, for all the noise about banning and free-speech trampling and whispers about the Power of The Lobby, all we really have here is a case of some daft Catholic university officials passing on a proposal to invite a Protestant archbishop to speak on their campus because some local Jews said their feelings would be hurt on account of certain intemperate remarks the archbishop has made. While certain other local Jews said they were fine with the invitation, the Catholics decided to pipsqueak and defer to the feelings-offended, who we are now admonished to blame, even though they didn’t make the decision, and the archbishop is coming to town to speak anyway, at a different venue.

I bet you ten bucks the shouters in this rumpus would be switching sides in a heartbeat if hurt-feelings Muslims prevailed in a case of some other prospective lecturer known for other kinds of intemperate remarks. We’d have the formerly free-speech side boasting a victory in the great Struggle Against Islamophobia, looking around for someone braying about Dhimmitude to pick an argument with. Betcha.

La vie, c’est absurde.

Mind you, His Grace appears to be putting himself to some good use in the Sudan: “We are hoping not to be seen as another tourist group seeking photo opportunities in Darfur.”
Very well then.

Is Desmond Tutu antisemitic? Yes, I definitely think so, considering comments he made about Jews recorded for over 25 years or so. Some examples:

* Israel is like Hitler and apartheid: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa … I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about … “I say why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? … The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust. Injustice and oppression will never prevail.”

* “The Jewish lobby is very powerful”: “People are scared in this country [the U.S.], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful.”

* “Critics of Israel are being smeared”: “You know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.] and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if Palestinians were not Semitic.”

Ben, who posted a comment on "Drink-soaked", makes some good points:

Desmond Tutu is a moral illiterate, and a Jew-baiter par excellance. Like many Christian clerics, he unjustly projects onto the Jews the sins and crimes of other peoples, and then judges the Jews relentlessly and mercilessly. The idea that the Jews should ever be forgiven for anything they might have done just does not cross his mind. Tutu’s perverseness also extends to other areas. He forgives the perpetrators of necklacing, instead of asking forgiveness from the victims for allowing it to take place.

On a visit to Yad Vashem he infamously gave a “message” to the Israeli sons and grandsons of murdered Jews, saying “…we pray for those who made it happen, help us to forgive them and help us so that we in our turn will not make others suffer.” He has the effrontery to forgive Germans for what they did to the Jews, and also to urge Jews to forgive them. This would be offensive even coming from a true and trusted friend of Israel and the Jewish people, but Tutu is a figure who advocates economic war against Israel and forges friendships with anti-Jewish terrorists who have the blood of countless innocents on their hands.Another poisonous comment from him was ““…the gas chambers made for a neater death than apartheid resettlement policies.” To speak of the Holocaust and apartheid in the same breath and, as he does, to suggest that apartheid was in some ways worse, is another clear indicator of his malice and contempt for Jews.

Is this fracas really about academic freedom or is it just another opportunity to whip hapless Jews with the bogus claim that they undermine the democratic ethos of the United States? In other words, there is an inexorable drive to give antisemitism the respectability of an academic subject. This is not about freedom of academia, just as inviting Ahmadinejad to Columbia had nothing to do with the pursuit of knowledge, free of dogma. Universities should be a place where knowledge is gained, not manufactured. They should be a place where one hopes to find truth, not defamation and fantasy.

Here is what I think. There is a great thirst out there to have speakers of any stripe proclaim against Jews and Israel. The recent outbreak of books and speeches and tenure cases and boycott proposals and divestment advocacies seem to suggest almost an epidemic. And Tutu is riding high on this tidal wave. A saintly antisemite. Now where have we had this unlikely combination before? (Be alerted, the irony-challenged: this is an ironic statement). What cracks me is how some people who have nothing but contempt for any religion and in particular so when it comes to Christianity, all of a sudden find that this archbishop is an exception to their rule.

Let me repeat here what I said before: antisemites do not get to define what antisemitism is.

What is the meaning of this strange rationality, that Jews are required to pay for the Holocaust by abandoning their self interests and their hopes for survival? I have encountered this bizarre convolution of moral thinking before many times and from many (so-called) ”Left” thinking people. Jews have been genocided, therefore Jews must pay for any suffering that happens in their neighbourhood and elsewhere. Jews are expected to just brace themselves, refute their own interests, futures, life, and why? Because they suffered the Holocaust!

Show me one people or country, in the entire world upon which such demands are being made, as though it makes perfect, irrefutable moral sense. There is a premise underlying this kind of thinking. It goes beyond mere antisemitism. It's the sort of saintly antisemitism being promoted by someone like Tutu. And if there are enough people who are hungry for this unholy combination, there is nothing the Jews, and other right-thinking people, can do about it, but watch in dismay and chagrin.


At 6:59 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the comments and post about it:

At 2:13 AM EST, Blogger Roland Dodds said...

Great job fleshing out this whole Tutu nonsense. I look forward to reading more from you, so keep up the good work.


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