IN DEFENSE OF ARCHBISHOP TUTU

Ik write as one “anti-Semite” to another “anti-Semite,” who has been a courageous fighter for human rights. This “anti-Semite,” like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, helped to develop a Holocaust Center which certainly is what most anti-Semites do! A group of 300 people have signed a petition asking that Tutu be removed as patrol of Holocaust Centers in Cape Town and Johannesburg because they regard him as uttering “numerous anti-Semitic” statements that are “morally repugnant” and “horrific, grotesquely false accusations against the Jewish people.” Alan Dershowitz, self appointed defender of what anyone can utter about the nation of Israel or Jews, insists that Tutu “is an unrepentant sinner.” The basis of these accusations stems from Tutu’s disagreements with policies of the Israel government. As an “anti-Semite” I also disagree with many policies of the Israel government. I do not recall anything in my upbringing as a Jew that requires me to agree with policies that oppress people and deny them human rights.

Fortunately, about 380 people throughout the world also signed a petition in support of Bishop Tutu. Among those signing was South African Arthur Chaskalson, former head of the Constitution Court. This petition argues: “he represents the finest tradition of resistance to all forms of oppression. To call him an anti-Semite because he has attacked the policies of the Israel government is outrageous.” The essence of being a Jew is opposing any policy which deprives people of their human rights, their property, and their right to be free and equal citizens. Even as opponents of Tutu were sending their petition, the Knesset in Israel was pushing for a law that would compel non-Jews in the country to swear allegiance to a “Jewish state.” How does lawyer, Alan Dershowitz defend such actions which violate the right of individuals to decide who or what they pledge allegiance to?

A Holocaust Center only has meaning if it becomes involved in ALL issues in the world dealing with denial of human rights. A Holocaust Center is NOT FOR JEWS, it is for ALL humanity so that we may never forget what happened during the Holocaust.

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