By: Morton A. Klein
April 29, 2002

Tutu Compares Israel To Hitler, Blasts “Jewish Lobby”; ZOA Urges Tutu’s Jewish Allies To Protest Slurs


Tutu Ignores Sheikh’s
Calls to Murder Jews


NEW YORK – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging Jewish allies of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to publicly protest Tutu’s latest anti-Jewish and anti-Israel slurs.


The Israeli daily Ha’aretz (April 29, 2002), reporting Tutu’s remarks at a recent conference in Boston, quoted him as saying:


* Israel is like Hitler and apartheid: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa … I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about … “I say why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? … 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. Injustice and oppression will never prevail.”


* The Jewish lobby is very powerful: “People are scared in this country [the U.S.], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful.”


* Critics of Israel are being smeared: “You know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.] and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if Palestinians were not Semitic.”


Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), said: “As a child of Holocaust survivors, I am deeply offended by Archbishop Tutu’s vicious libel that Israel is comparable to Hitler. He should be speaking out against Yasir Arafat, who has murdered more Jews than anyone since Hitler; who has fostered a culture of anti-Jewish hatred in his schools, speeches, summer camps, religious sermons, and media—media that have been described as ‘neo-Nazi’ by the leading Reform rabbi in the United States, Eric Yoffee, and as ‘worse than the Nazis’ propaganda’ by Israeli government spokesman Ranaan Gissin. Archbishop Tutu has remained silent as leading sheikhs, his religious counterparts in the Islam world, have openly called for the murder of Jews.


ZOA president Klein urged all Jewish leaders and organizations that supported Archbishop Tutu’s fight against apartheid to speak out publicly against Tutu’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israel slurs.


The ZOA points out that Tutu’s latest anti-Jewish and anti-Israel outburst is consistent with his other comments about Jews and Israel over the years, including:


* Tutu accused Jews 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.” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily News Bulletin, Nov. 29, 1984)


* Tutu complained about “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust.” (Jerusalem Post, July 26, 1985)


* During his 1989 visit to Israel, Tutu “urged Israelis to forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 1989), a statement which the Simon Wiesenthal Center called “a gratuitous insult to Jews and victims of Nazism everywhere.” During the visit, Tutu remarked: “If I’m accused of being antisemitic, tough luck,” and in response to questions about his anti-Jewish bias, Tutu replied, “My dentist’s name is Dr. Cohen.” (Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Response, January 1990)


* Tutu has claimed that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism.” (American Jewish Year Book 1988, p.50)


* Speaking in a Connecticut church in 1984, Tutu said that “the Jews thought they had a monopoly on God; Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings.” In the same speech, he compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa. (Hartford Courant, Oct. 29, 1984)


* In conversations during the 1980s with the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Eliahu Lankin, Tutu “refused to call Israel by its name, he kept referring to it as Palestine.” (Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Response, January 1990)


* Asked about the Zionism-is-racism resolution, Tutu complained that “the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others.” (South African Zionist Record, July 26, 1985)