Desmond Tutu Banned from Minnesota University
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was barred from speaking at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota because of statements regarded as anti-Semitic. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been an open critic of Israeli human rights practices.
St. Thomas administrators—concerned that Tutu’s appearance might offend local Jews—told organizers that a visit from the archbishop was out of the question.
“We had heard some things he said that some people judged to be anti-Semitic and against Israeli policy,” said Doug Hennes, St. Thomas’s vice president for university and government relations. “We’re not saying he’s anti-Semitic. But he’s compared the state of Israel to Hitler and our feeling was that making moral equivalencies like that are hurtful to some members of the Jewish community.”
“I told (the vice president) that I’d run across some statements that were of concern to me,” says Julie Swiler, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.. “In a 2002 speech in Boston, he made some comments that were especially hurtful.”
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