Arun Gandhi Reveals Anti-Semitism
Arun Gandhi Reveals Anti-Semitism
Arun Gandhi flirted with anti-Semitism in a recent online op-ed for The Washington Post. Echoing his grandfather’s fringe views on the Jewish people, Mr. Gandhi claimed that “Israel and the Jews are the biggest players” in the creation of a “Culture of Violence” that “is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
A Jan. 10, 2008 Jerusalem Post article quotes Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel director. Mr. Zuroff called Mr. Gandhi’s comments “exceptionally strange, especially in light of the fact that there’s never been any history of anti-Semitism in India and among Hindus.” He also said Mr. Gandi’s comments “clearly amount to anti-Semitism.”
While Mr. Zuroff is correct that Arun Gandhi’s comments reflect an anti-Semitic attitude, he’s wrong that there is no history of anti-Semitism in India. Mohandas Gandhi himself was no stranger to anti-Semitism. In a WWII-era letter to the British, he insisted, “Hitler is not a bad man.” In an interview documented in George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi, he encouraged the self-destruction of the Jewish race, saying: “Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs…. [Collective suicide] would have been heroism.”
January 7, 2008 article from The Washington Post:
“Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience — a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.“The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs. In Tel Aviv in 2004 I had the opportunity to speak to some Members of Parliament and Peace activists all of whom argued that the wall and the military build-up was necessary to protect the nation and the people. In other words, I asked, you believe that you can create a snake pit — with many deadly snakes in it — and expect to live in the pit secure and alive? What do you mean? they countered. Well, with your superior weapons and armaments and your attitude towards your neighbors would it not be right to say that you are creating a snake pit? How can anyone live peacefully in such an atmosphere? Would it not be better to befriend those who hate you? Can you not reach out and share your technological advancement with your neighbors and build a relationship?
“Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
Perhaps instead of telling others how to live their lives, Mr. Gandhi should spend some time on self-reflection. Gandhism is increasingly exposing itself as a philosophy based on racism against blacks, Untouchables, and even Jews – Mr. Gandhi would do well to question the wisdom of continuing to spread that philosophy.