Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, has been forced to tender his resignation to the peace institute he co-founded (which had been moved to the University of Rochester)due to the uproar over an article he posted in the On Faith section of the Washington Post, January 7th.
No, I do not think he should have been forced to resign, not at all, but I do think it is a lesson in how to use your vocabulary properly, not because you might be forced to bite the dust, but because it is the right thing to do, again, because not all Jews are Zionists by any means, it is simply misleading and racist in nature. Moreover, many Jews (and others) did learn from the Holocaust to NEVER AGAIN repeat in any manner what had happened to them. Hedy Epstien is just one such person that you can read about HERE
I feel his apology should have been accepted and the below letter from the ADL is a bunch of Zionist CRAP! In fact AGAIN it states that the Holocaust is a reason for creating the state of Israel and it's current policies . Quote from the ADL
"You do little to ease concern that you truly believe there is a direct connection between the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis in their maniacal effort to eradicate the Jewish people and the policies of the government of Israel. Israel's policies are designed to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens against terrorism by sworn enemies of the Jewish people, some of whom are determined to finish the job Hitler started."
Israel is a rogue state which has taken what happened to the Jewish people in WWII and used it as PART of the reason (the other is the claim to the land by God's own grant deed to them) to displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, destroy villages, oppresses by continued occupation, have racist laws within it's own borders, and refuse to abide by international law. The whole world is supposed to go along with this plot because if you DON'T, then you are against them for what they ARE-Jews, NOT what they are doing. This is what Arun Gandhi was saying and very unfortunately stated himself in a manner in which he should have apologized, but that should have been the END OF THE MATTER.
Having said that, here are some articles being published on the resignation of Arun Gandhi from the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
The original post which caused the contraversy:
Jewish Identity Can't Depend on Violence
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.
His apology read:
My Apology for My Poorly Worded Post
I am writing to correct some regrettable mis-impressions I have given in my comments on my blog this week. While I stand behind my criticisms of the use of violence by recent Israeli governments -- and I have criticized the governments of the U.S., India and China in much the same way -- I want to correct statements that I made with insufficient care, and that have inflicted unnecessary hurt and caused anger.
I do not believe and should not have implied that the policies of the Israeli government are reflective of the views of all Jewish people. Indeed, many are as concerned as I am by the use of violence for state purposes, by Israel and many other governments.
I do believe that when a people hold on to historic grievances too firmly it can lead to bitterness and the loss of support from those who would be friends. But as I have noted in previous writings, the suffering of the Jewish people, particularly in the Holocaust, was historic in its
proportions. While we must strive for a future of peace that rejects violence, it is also important not to forget the past, lest we fail to learn from it. Having learned from it, we can then find the path to peace and rejection of violence through forgiveness. | Readers Respond to Gandhi. | Statement by president of the University of Rochester. (source)
The ADL's response reads:
Your apology is appropriate and welcome, as far as you have taken it. While you may have clarified some of the substance of your original comments, what is sadly lacking in your latest posting is a retraction of the suggestion that Jews "overplay" the Holocaust to manipulate the international community.
You do little to ease concern that you truly believe there is a direct connection between the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis in their maniacal effort to eradicate the Jewish people and the policies of the government of Israel. Israel's policies are designed to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens against terrorism by sworn enemies of the Jewish people, some of whom are determined to finish the job Hitler started.
Indeed, the apology only seems to reinforce your original conclusion by again suggesting that Holocaust survivors and their families "…hold on to historic grievances too firmly…." This is an outrageous statement -- suggesting that just 60 years after the Holocaust, survivors and their relatives should "let go" of their anger at losing their entire families, homes, livelihoods, and at having their communities wiped out. The memory of the six million who perished in the Nazi gas chambers, concentration camps, work camps and death marches should be preserved as a lesson for all time.
Especially offensive was your suggestion that "Israel and the Jews are the biggest players" in promoting a "culture of violence that is eventually going to destroy humanity." This outrageous libel of an entire people and of a country that wants nothing more than to live in peace and security with its neighbors -- and has said so repeatedly -- is mind-boggling coming from someone so respected in the field of nonviolence education and advocacy. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the Palestinians have fostered exactly the sort of "culture of violence" you denounce so vociferously.
We believe you owe a true apology to the Jewish people for your insensitive and offensive remarks about the Holocaust, and your suggestion that the memory of its victims is being misused to advance a nation's violent behavior. This is a classic attempt to blame the victim.
The Anti-Defamation League
And now Arun Gandhi has resigned.
A Collection of Articles, Speeches, Letters and Interviews
University of Rochester's President Joel Seligman's statement regarding Arun Gandhi’s resignation
January 25, 2008
Arun Gandhi has now resigned as president of the board of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. He was not a member of our faculty or of our staff. When I met with him yesterday after he resigned, he gave me a copy of his resignation letter that recognized that language in his recent Washington Post blog "was hurtful and contrary to the principles of nonviolence" and he deeply regretted "the pain, anger, confusion, and embarrassment" caused by his words.
A fundamental value of the University of Rochester is a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome and support all who teach, study, learn, or work here. Our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness occurs simultaneously with our fundamental commitment to the value of ideas and of free speech.
Universities exist and best serve all of us if they foster open and virtually unregulated teaching, research, discussion and debate, including viewpoints that are diametrically opposed to each other. A University's role in society is not to impose intellectual orthodoxy, but to provide the opportunity to develop and articulate opinions or beliefs that may be unpopular or little believed. We progress because we are a marketplace for ideas, the most enduring of which often only emerge after considerable debate and initial doubt. We all benefit from the tradition of rational debate within our universities in which we have the opportunity to bring together people, often with long and tragic histories of grievances and violent interactions, to speak freely to each other.
Arun Gandhi's January 7 statement in the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog did not reflect the core values of the University of Rochester or the values of the M.K. Gandhi Institute itself. Under the circumstances, I believe that Arun Gandhi's resignation was appropriate.
The M.K. Gandhi Institute itself is separate from Arun Gandhi and will continue its mission here. The Institute is not formally part of the University of Rochester, but has been provided space and staff support at the University since it moved here in June 2007. The Institute's mission is to educate about nonviolent conflict resolution and to inspire and support efforts that promote harmony among people.
The University of Rochester will host a forum later this year to provide Arun Gandhi, a leader of the Jewish community and other speakers the opportunity to address the issues raised by Mr. Gandhi's statements and related issues. A University can and should promote dialogue in which we can learn from each other even when the most painful or difficult issues will be discussed.
I have a question for you President Seligman, do you feel that the horrendous events of 60 years ago and it's resulting "pain" which does seem to be tiresome when it's used as an excuse to do all it has been doing for sixty plus years, is sufficient cause to uproot an entire OTHER people from their land? Or can you possibly see that this might cause some lasting resentment and PAIN for those who were forced to give up their homeland so that ONLY Jewish people could live in a land they personally had NEVER lived in. That just is the basic question President Seligman, what about the PAIN of the Palestinian people? Will they get to discuss that at your future forum?
Here's a good place for you to brush up President Siligman.