Jump to content

Paeans to Tutu and Powell show antisemitism’s normalization


Recommended Posts

The Washington Examiner

Michael Rubin

January 05, 2022

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden shared a heartfelt paean to Desmond Tutu upon learning of his death shortly after Christmas, praising his role standing up to Apartheid and "the power of his message of justice, equality, truth, and reconciliation as we confront racism and extremism in our time today." Omitted was Tutu’s blind spot toward antisemitism or his incitement against Jews.

Tutu, for example, supported the "Free Gaza" movement, even after its co-founder Greta Berlin tweeted, "Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews." He supported Hamas despite its genocidal rhetoric and violence against women and children. He diminished Holocaust-era gas chambers, explaining that they "made for a neater death" than displacement during Apartheid. Certainly, Tutu’s anti-apartheid activism deserves praise, but he was a flawed hero. No other hatreds are today so readily ignored as antisemitism.

The same holds true with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died in October from COVID-19 after a long battle with cancer. The Associated Press declared that Powell would be "remembered as a model for future generations."

Powell was not himself antisemitic, and he was a strong supporter of Israel. Still, he was also a cynic. During his tenure as secretary of state, Powell repeatedly turned a blind eye toward antisemitism, if not purposely operationalizing it to give his department a leg up in the rough-and-tumble world of interagency policy battles. Senior aides, for example, would often dismiss Jews working in the Pentagon as "Israel-firsters." Sometimes, word that would trickle back of what was said over cocktails or in other offices might be dismissed as hearsay; other times, there was no doubt, such as when the video on a secure video teleconference went down but, unbeknownst to the State Department, the audio remained on.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1695789360
  • Create New...