Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tutu's Remarks Upset Jewish Groups

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tutu's Remarks Upset Jewish Groups

Article excerpt

Jewish groups strongly criticized Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, for suggesting recently that Jews should forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust and pray to God for help so that they would not, in turn, make others suffer. Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, made the comments upon emerging from the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem, a memorial to the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Henry Siegman, executive director of the liberal American Jewish Congress, said: "Bishop Tutu's unsolicited advice to victims of the Holocaust and to their descendants about the benefits of prayer and forgiveness shows an insensitivity that is particularly surprising in a religious person of his stature. If Bishop Tutu...could not get himself to say anything about the culpability of a Christian civilization that did so little to help the victims of the Holocaust, he might at least have observed a respectful silence."

Tutu also compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians and South Africa's policy toward Blacks. But these comments did not appear to outrage American Jews as much as those pertaining to the Holocaust. …

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