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SAJR apologises for Hitler insult to Tutu

  • TUTU
The SAJR would like to apologise for the publication of an opinion piece that compares Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to Hitler. The paper apologises to the Archbishop and the offending piece has been removed.
by GEOFF SIFRIN - EDITOR | Sep 12, 2014
The unfortunate and mistaken placement on the website of the South African Jewish Report of an op-ed piece by Leon Reich that compares Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to Hitler and Stalin, has caused serious upset among its readers and others. It is not the policy of the paper to carry material which makes these kind of statements and the paper apologises unconditionally to the Archbishop. The offending piece has been removed.


  1. 24 Peter Hubbard 12 Sep
    How about you chaps put it back up so we can see what it was that you're now suddenly so embarassed about, huh?
  2. 23 Myron Robinson 12 Sep
    To compare Tutu to Hitler is wrong. That Tutu, like other so called liberals, has done more to enhance anti-Semitism & the hate towards all Jews & Israel is indisputable.

    Furthermore that Tutu is still a patron of the Holocaust Museum in Cape Town is an insult to all those who perished in Holocaust as well in my opinion to all Jews (excluding the 500 who are Jewish only by an accident of Birth)

    Tutu is an anti-Semitic bigot & should be immediately removed as a Patron of the Museum in CT.
  3. 22 Gary Selikow 12 Sep
    Why apologize when Tutu would clearly like to see every Jewish man , woman and child in Israel murdered?
  4. 21 Mark Palmos 12 Sep
    Disgusting. Typical behaviour of the Israel Lobby... discrediting dissent. They have a very sophisticated propaganda machine that has been working on (and has succeeded in) creating the sense of fear and shame for speaking out against the Israelis. They have succeeded in compacting "Anti-Semitism" with any criticism of what Israel does. They viciously attacked President Jimmy Carter and suggested he was a Nazi sympathiser when he spoke out about the similarities between South African Apartheid and the system in Israel. It is shameful and ironic that a people who have had so much oppression directed at them can be so oppressive and blind to their own beliefs and actions.
  5. 20 Myron Robinson 12 Sep

    Mark Palmos. Israeli Propaganda. Who owns most of the
    Media. Qatar. Only because of face book etc. can Pro Israeli supporters now fight back. I have criticized Israel on many occasions but let us call a spade
    a spade. Tutu condemns Israel ad nauseum but has not once criticized Hamas but for using human Shields or Syria (200 000) dead. Darfur 600 000. Arab
    Spring 300 000 deaths. All Muslim on Muslim Tutu, Dugard etc. criticism of the Arab Worlds human rights abuses as well as deaths caused in the name of Islam are deafening by their silence. Who are the hypocrites now?

  6. 19 Steve van Rensburg 12 Sep
    Hyperbole. It's the best baiting tool ever. Your apology is reminiscent of other people who said sorry. Hitler said sorry once, I think he spilled some salt that one time. Hitler apologized, you apologized, therefore you are LITERALLY Hitler. See how that works?

    Whether or not Tutu is an anti-semite is beside the point. There are far worse people out there and yet, Tutu is one of the worst out there due to this article.

    Look, having an unbalanced view generates notice but it is the wrong kind. I can say that this publication wants to kill every Muslim on the planet, plus torture their children but that statement isn't anywhere near the truth.

    But anyway, I fear that you won't learn from this mistake, you'll just give the writer a slap on the wrist and carry on. Hyperbole ahoy!
  7. 18 Patrick 12 Sep
    You're right to apologise, of course. It was a disgusting and ridiculous article. I'm kinda disappointed, though, cos it was pretty funny watching the Zionist establishment machinegun itself in the foot.
  8. 17 Neo 12 Sep
    Steve Van Rensburg, you said it best!
  9. 16 Brian Fantana 12 Sep
    @Gary Selikow

    Such unending anger and vitriol - I pity your soul
  10. 15 Jordan 13 Sep
    How was it "unfortunate and mistaken" when your Ant Katz told the Mail & Guardian he saw nothing wrong with the piece? 

    An apology which rests on lies is not an apology at all, and I hope Tutu sees this for what it is.
  11. 14 Choni 13 Sep
    Mr. Editor (on line)
    On a personal note , now you can understand how my wife and I felt when, two years ago, an orthodox Rabbi likened my wife and myself to a Gestapo officer and his wife. All because we supported the actions of Dr. Baruch Goldstein hy'd.

    I am still waiting for an apology from you publishing that comment by the Rabbi in My Shtetl. Now would be a good time.
  12. 13 David Abel 13 Sep
    For my rather lengthy comment supporting Leon Reich's right to express his views on Tutu or any other anti-Semite, see the comment section of Howard Feldman's explanation of why the SAJR withdrew Leon Reich's contribution.  
  13. 12 David Abel 14 Sep
    While appreciating Howard Feldman's appeal for a more nuanced, tactical approach when dealing with an "icon" like the anti-Semitic Tutu (like, perhaps, mentioning Tutu and Hitler in the same paragraph without calling Tutu a Hitler), I put it to the Chairman of the SAJR that Jewish national honour demands that we devise a policy of balancing tactics and honour when dealing with Tutu. Because we, as free and proud SA Jewish citizens living in a democratic country, have every right to use satirical hyperbole to make a point of honour; demanding respect from those who disrespect us (and, as a community, we have certainly done our share in building this country - on many many levels). There is a place for dignity (as employed by the Chief Rabbi) and there is a place for sheer outrage (as employed by Leon Reich). Our long Jewish history - dating back to ancient times, the dark
    ages and the modern era - has taught us the painful lesson that often it begins with a Ferdinand & Isabella, a Hitler, a Stalin and a Tutu, and it ends with being thrown into burning oil, the slave prison camps of Siberia, and the furnaces of Dachau. With Tutu supporting Hamas (whose objective is to kill Jews), he is promoting, aiding and abetting an environment of anti-Semitism in this country. Although it is unimaginable as well as highly improbable that such atrocities could take place  in this country, it is prudent to recall that SA has seen mass hysteria and the use of the notorious "necklaces" (burning tyres) being used on those they despised. Fortunately, we have a model Constitution which negates such possibilities. Leon Reich is one of many in this country who vow that never again will it happen that Jews will be led to slaughter.      

  14. 11 Choni 15 Sep
    David, Your comment does not reflect the true and tragic consequences of the long exile. You correctly list all the tragedies that have befallen, and continue to befall the Jewish people in exile. No constitution is going to prevent the continuous decline of exile Jewry, if not physically then certainly spiritually.
    No amount of whining and condemnation of anti-Semitic utterances and actions by host nations is going to stop the inevitable end of exilic existence.
    Those Jews who have chosen to make exile the permanent home for themselves and their children will never find true security both in a physical or spiritual way.
    I think your comment is giving the young Jewish community a false sense of security. No constitution is going to save them.
    The only place where "Never again" is going to be true is in Eretz Yisrael.
    Prove me wrong, David, and I will concede to you words.
  15. 10 layla 15 Sep
    surely it's possible for one to be both a (fierce) critic of Israel and not be anti-semitic..? surely one does not follow the other. non-sequitar etc. let's fiercely debate tutu or whomever else on the question of Israel, hamas etc... but conflating their criticism of Israel as anti-semitic is unhelpful - and ironically inflames those very anti-semitic sentiments we decry. 
  16. 9 David Abel 15 Sep
    Choni - your argument has merit, but the ramifications are extremely complex, and cannot be adequately dealt with within the constraints of a newspaper's "comments section". This is not a cop-out, but rather an acknowledgement of the validity of your basic premise, while at the same time indicating that there are so many facets to a discussion of this nature which is best managed in a one-on-one private discussion.
  17. 8 SY Carri 16 Sep
    I read about the article in question in the Times of Israel this evening. Could it be made available to the free world? I  hope censorship of opinions are not quashed in  your country, I do appreciate the conditions in which you live.
  18. 7 Mordechai 16 Sep
    The SAJR has got it so wrong...surely it is the Anti Semite and Israel hater Tutu who should be doing the apology and not the SAJR. I thought the days of Jews apologising to the Tutu's of the world were a thing of the past...confront Tutu, challenge Tutu, remove him immediately as Patron of the SA Holocaust Foundation and never ever apologise again to him. Lastly please do not suppress this comment by not posting it
  19. 6 Choni 16 Sep
    Hello David, I do not agree that this matter,(which you brought up) regarding the way to deal with the position of S.African Jewry vis-a vis Tutu, should be confined to a one on one basis. As a staunch Likudnik and Zionist, ask youself what the great Jew, Ze'ev Jabotinsky would have said and done had he been alive now and living in S.Africa. For certain he would not have praised the democratic constitution of the "Goyeshe" country.
    He most certainly would have strongly urged his fellow Jews to get the heck out of this exilic cemetery as quick as they could.
    Unfortunately, as it turned out in Europe, his words then fell on deaf ears, and he was vilified by most Jewish leaders, and worst of all, by most religious leaders.
    David, what is happening now in S.Africa is a very serious episode for the Jewish people. It can never be solved on a one on one basis.
    We so need another 'Jabotinsky', but sadly, he too will be scorned.
    As you pointed out in your previous comment; as has happened throughout the 2000 years of exile there is only one ending for S.African Jews if they do not "return to Zion". Assimilation or extinction.
    It has been the trademark of the exile for 2000 years, and S.Africa will be no exception.
    As a Zionist 'leader' in S.Africa, David, you could emulate, even in a small way, the actions of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
    I believe that the best way of convincing our young Jewish boys and girls of S.Africa is by constant reminders that they are NOT young S.African Jews, but really Israelis in exile. I think the actions and sentiments of our hostile 'hosts' should make them realise that they are just not wanted here, no matter what our constitution says.
    Enough of being proudly Jewish South Africans.
    Start to be proudly Zionist Israelis.

  20. 5 David Abel 17 Sep
    Choni - Jabotinsky was my all-time Jewish/Zionist hero, and in my lifetime of 80 years, I believe I have been true to his legacy in many ways - too many incidents and actions to expand upon adequately.

    Suffice to say that I have always promoted his brand of Zionism - undeterred even in the midst of many controversies with those who bitterly denigrated his Zionist philosophy and courageous actions as someone way beyond his time.

    And, as the National Vice Chairman of LikudSA, I still maintain that approach to matters involving Jewish life and Zionism.

    However, my comment was in response to your challenge to me regarding your views on aliyah from SA.

    As I said, while agreeing with your basic premise, it was a complex subject involving so many facets that it was best dealt with in a lengthy discussion not suited to the comments section of a newspaper.

    And in addition, knowing your passion for the topic, I do not believe we will manage to address it adequately without a long, exhausting exchange of views in the SAJR.

    So, with respect, please be aware that this is my final word regarding this subject.

    Best wishes and a Happy New Year.


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