Bishop Tutu's sordid history of Jew-hatred

Its time to expose the sins of the Nobel prize winning clergyman that has called for boycotts against Jews, whom he calls a "peculiar people."

Desmond Tutu in Gaza 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Desmond Tutu in Gaza 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
His grinning face masks a malignant heart, a foul mouth and a long history of ugly hatred toward the Jewish people, the Jewish religion and the Jewish state. Bishop Desmond Tutu is no mere anti-Zionist (though Martin Luther King long ago recognized that anti- Zionism often serves as a cover for deeper anti-Jewish bigotry). He has minimized the suffering of those killed in the Holocaust. He has attacked the "Jewish"--not Israeli--"lobby" as too “powerful” and “scar[y].”  He has invoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish "arrogance", "power" and money.  He has characterized Jews a “peculiar people,” and has accused "the Jews" of causing many of the world’s problems. He once even accused the Jewish state of acting in an "unChristian" way.
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Were he not a Nobel laureate, his long history of bigotry against the Jewish people would have landed him in the dustbin of history, along with a dishonor roll of otherwise successful people, whose reputations have been tainted by their anti-Semitism such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindberg, Patrick Buchanan and Mel Gibson. But his Nobel Prize should not shield him from accountability for his long history of anti-Jewish bigotry, any more than it should for Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Jose Saramago.
Let the record speak for itself, so that history may judge Tutu on the basis of his own words—words that he has often repeated and that others repeat, because Tutu is a role model for so many people around the world. 
Tutu’s hateful words are carefully documented in a recent petition by prominent South Africans to terminate him as a “patron” of the two South African Holocaust Centers. He has minimized the suffering of those murdered in the Holocaust by asserting that “the gas chambers” made for “a neater death” than did apartheid. In other words, the Palestinians, who in his view are the victims of “Israeli Apartheid,” have suffered more than the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He has complained of “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust,” and has demanded that its victims “forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust,” while refusing to forgive the “Jewish people” for “persecute[ing] others.”
Tutu has asserted that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism,” thus echoing the notorious and discredited “Zionism equals racism” resolution passed by the UN General Assembly and subsequently rescinded. 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 “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.” 
He has asserted that Americans “are scared…to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful.” He 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.”
“You know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US] and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if Palestinians were not Semitic.”
He has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union and Apartheid South Africa, saying that they too were once “very powerful” but they “bit the dust,” as will “unjust” Israel.
He has denied that Israel is a “civilized democracy” and has urged the Cape Town Opera to refuse to perform Porgy and Bess in Tel Aviv.” He has called for a total cultural boycott of Jewish Israel, while encouraging performers to visit the most repressive regimes in the world.
He has claimed that his God sides with Palestinians and has implicitly justified terrorism against Jews. 
He has been far more vocal about Israel’s imperfections than about the genocides in Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia.  He has called for the collective punishment of Jewish academics and businesses in Israel by demanding boycotts of all Jewish (but not Muslim or Christian) Israelis.  (This call for an anti-Jewish boycott finds its roots in the Nazi “Kauf Nicht beim Juden” campaign of the 1930’s.) When confronted with his double standard against Jews, he has justified it on phony theological grounds:  “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.” There is a name for non-Jews who hold Jews to a double standard: It is called anti-Semitism.
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.”
I am confident that US President Barack Obama was not aware of Tutu’s sordid history of anti-Jewish rhetoric and actions when he awarded him the Medal of Freedom in the White House in 2009. The sad reality is that Bishop Tutu’s beneficent look is the new face of the oldest of hatreds. 
The decent people of South Africa are aware of Tutu’s bigotry, because they have seen and heard it up close. It is time for the rest of the world to recognize that the Bishop is no saint. When it comes to Jews, he is an unrepentant sinner.
Professor Alan Dershowitz’s latest book is a novel, The Trials of Zion.