Friday, December 31, 2021

Antisemitism Must be Condemned Regardless of the Source

Read these quotes, and decide if you think that they are antisemitic:

"Whether Jews like it or not, they are a peculiar people. They can't ever hope to be judged by the same standards which are used for other people."

"[T]he Jews thought they had a monopoly of God: Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings."

"People are scared in this country [the United States of America] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful--very powerful. We live in a moral universe. 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."

If you are not sure, just replace "Jews" or "Jewish" with Black, Chinese, Latino, or any other racial, ethnic, and/or national group, and read the above statements again; if after inserting any of those terms you are able to understand how offensive the above statements are, then you are able to understand that the above statements are antisemitic.

Who made those awful statements (and many other similar statements)?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is never pleasant to discuss the flaws of a revered and beloved person. Desmond Tutu without question played a major role in opposing South Africa's despicable apartheid system. However, as Dexter Van Zile, a media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), put it, "Nelson Mandela spent his life convincing black South Africans that they needed to live in peace with white South Africans. Mandela was the closest thing to a secular saint that we are going to see. Tutu took the legacy of Mandela and drove it into a ditch. Tutu didn't come to grips with fact that many of the leaders he ended up working with wanted to destroy Jews in ways that Mandela wouldn't have tolerated with black South Africans. Tutu was helped to obscure their annihilationist tendencies. Some of the elites of the anti-apartheid movement have become denigrators of Israel, denying a Jewish right to a sovereign state." Mandela's followers should be encouraged to not tarnish his legacy by emdodying the very type of hatred against which he fought.

Tutu often accused Israel of apartheid, a vile slur that has unfortunately gained currency among self-proclaimed "progressives" who are silent about the atrocities committed by, among others, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Apartheid has a specific legal definition, and it is not only irresponsible to use that term incorrectly, but doing so also hinders justice by providing shelter to the real oppressors while falsely accusing victims of oppression.

Tutu deserves praise for the positive aspects of his legacy, but it is dangerous to ignore that he was a powerful figure who utilized the resources and influence at his disposal to spread hatred against the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Tutu's public comments ventured far beyond legitimate policy disagreements, and swerved deep into the heart of antisemitism; his words gave aid, comfort, and support to those who would murder Jews and who dream of annihilating Israel. We see the consequences of such words on a daily basis as Jews are attacked and murdered around the world, including in the United States--where the rate of antisemitic incidents has surged in recent years. 

Ignoring the unsavory truth about Tutu's antisemitism sends a powerful message that hating Jews--and even murdering Jews--does not matter.

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