UPDATED: King Tut(u) Not So Terrific

Anti-Semitism,Crime,Ethics,Individual Rights,Judaism & Jews,Morality,Racism,South-Africa


I’m aware of how charming Archbishop Desmond Tutu can be. I once took tea with him. (I mention it briefly in my forthcoming book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa”.) I was accompanying my father, Rabbi B. Isaacson, who was friendly with Tutu. (Dad was a well-known anti-apartheid activist.) With my father I also attended the inauguration of Archbishop Tutu in Cape Town.

Speaking about his New York Post article (“Why the Jews?”) to FoxNew’s Geraldo Rivera, Alan Dershowitz seemed to be struggling to reconcile the same Tutu’s so-called anti- Semitism with his heroics during the apartheid era.

I’m aware of the things Tutu has said since he no longer has to make nice with anyone. But, frankly, from the occasion I met with him, I took away that he was fond of my father and respectful of his Jewish faith and scholarship. Still, I have no problem reconciling the smart, suave Tutu I once met, with the man Dershowitz incredulously describes as follows:

Consider widely publicized remarks made by Bishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the American Medal of Freedom, and a man openly admired and praised by President Obama. He has called the Jews “a peculiar people” and has accused “the Jews” of causing many of the world’s problems. He has railed against “the Jewish Lobby,” comparing its power to that of Hitler and Stalin.
He has said that “the Jews thought they had a monopoly of God: Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings.” He has said that Jews have been “fighting against” and being “opposed to” his God. He has “compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa.” He has complained that “the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others.” Tutu has minimized the suffering of those murdered in the Holocaust by asserting that “the gas chambers” made for “a neater death” than did apartheid. He has demanded that its victims must “forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust,” while refusing to forgive the “Jewish people” for “persecute[ing] others.”
He has has accused Jews — not Israelis — of exhibiting “an arrogance — the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support.”
Tutu has acknowledged having been frequently accused of being anti-Semitic, to which he has offered two responses: “Tough luck” and “my dentist’s name is Dr. Cohen.”

For one, it took Tutu no time at all to forget about my elderly father in the New South Africa, where the Archbishop is now supreme. The impious Tutu has also never piped up about the ethnic cleansing of rural whites, Afrikaners mostly, from the land in ways that beggar belief. Saint Mandela has also remained mum about these Shaka-Zulu worthy murders.

Tutu’s turnabout makes less sense to prominent liberals like Dershowitz, for whom a moral indifference to the horrible fate of South Africa’s much-maligned ethnic minority is not considered a litmus test for a man’s moral mettle.

UPDATE (Mar. 8): Robert below makes an interesting observation: “Israel was old South Africa’s only friend in the past, now that Tutu’s side has won, why not show his true feelings!”

By extension, this would mean that Tutu conflates Israel and Jews, which lends support to the contention that “the new anti-Semitism consists in the demonization of Israelis (often described as Nazis vis-à-vis the Palestinians) and the delegitimization of the Jewish State. Blaming Israel or the Israeli lobby for America’s foreign policy blunders, and alleging that Israel was founded through systematic ethnic cleansing and land theft are the centerpieces of their campaign.”

7 thoughts on “UPDATED: King Tut(u) Not So Terrific

  1. lonegranger

    Ah, the musings of the highest primate! He seems to have much in common with many other cynical, sub-Saharan tyrants.

    [Race-baiters won’t know that a primate is “a bishop of highest rank in a province or country.”]

  2. Dennis


    So many atrocities, tragedies, outrages, “Charlie Sheens & other actors” as well as the “Michael Moore”-types and so many who truly try to improve the world, but are we condemned to watching just today’s Movie of the Week?

    What we see today is just an updated version of man’s history. Yes, a cynical remark, but is it applicable as a learning tool for how we react to events not of our making?

    It seems to me that the fatigue of the world’s repetitious plays is reaching a sorry climax for us all. It’ll be an existential moment unknown for many.

  3. Contemplationist

    Sorry for off-topic comment, but this is addressed to Myron – pasting a comment from the Charlie Sheen thread as comments were closed there:


    I’m a big fan of Szasz and a critic of the therapeutic state as well. However, it is possible that what the therapy mafia calls ADHD does exist in the sense of behavior not a “disorder.” And the culprit could be bad food – grains, excess starch, not much enough good fats and protein.


  4. Kitty Antonik Wakfer

    Far too few people are consistent in their behavior and ideas. This does not mean that they should never change based on new information, but rather that they make it clear why they have – offering or at least responding when asked.

    The fact that Desmond Tutu is among the many inconsistent – maybe actually even duplicitous – is something that others should know and evaluate him accordingly. This type evaluation should be ongoing of all by all, but widespread use of anonymity is one of its major impediments and to accountability.

    Recognizing that individuals are responsible for their acts – which includes spoken and written words – and that not holding them accountable runs counter to an orderly society. And I will add that it is impossible for a self-ordered society without government to come to exist without such accountability.

  5. International Jewish Conspiracy Pauli

    If it wasn’t for REAL consequences like pogroms, inquisitions, and genocide, anti-Semitism would be quite COMICAL. As Tom Lehrer says:

    “All the Catholics hate the Protestants and the Protestants hate the Catholics and the Hindus hate the Moslems and everyone hates the Jews”


    Apparently, Kaiser Wilhem II drifted in and out of major paranoia about the international Jewish conspiracy that seemed to control: the Catholic Church, the Masons, England, America, France, the Socialists, the Communists, Negroes, the banks, the press, and possibly even the Japanese.


    I’m surprised he didn’t get to the REAL source of power – the National Football League!

    The irony is that these paranoid jackasses (like Tutu & pals) who lead their nations into paths of ignorance and self-destruction. The downward spiral of the ignorant (or stagnation in Arab lands), in turn, only enforces the canard of Jews running the Universe.

    As for my opinion of Jimmy Carter – his best feature was his incredible incompetence. If he had been even remotely competent, he could have done incredible damage.

    I’d write more but it’s time go and pick up my slave quota of 100 blue-eyed blonde “shikses” (non-Jewish women) who consider me the master of the Universe.

  6. Jake Venter

    Ilana, I know you are not a religious person, but in the light of the Archbishop’s position as leader in a Christian institution, I thought you might find this video ammusing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2TZhqiGg7Y

    It is the good Arch rejecting the ressurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Regardless of others’ views on this topic, this man is an Archbishop in a Christian church.

  7. Robert Glisson

    In all religions there are two forms. One is in the belief that there is a supernatural and it is benevolent toward humanity. There is the second which is, for lack of a better word, organized religion. The first is an almost unseen religion, between the individual and his/her god. The second is all show. Genesis 3 is a prime example- naked in faith, vs. clothed to cover and make a pretense of denying your humanity. Bishop Tutu is a prime example of the second religion; which, of course has nothing to do with G-d. We remember that Israel was old South Africa’s only friend in the past, now that his side won, why not show his true feelings.

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