December 28, 2021

Alan Dershowitz certainly doesn't have any compunctions of his own about speaking ill of the dead, especially if that person didn't have the slavish devotion to Israel Dershowitz demands, and bonus points in his sick mind if that person is a Black icon of peace, like Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He went on Fox to take the opportunity to malign Tutu just two days after the beloved world leader died at the age of 90.

"The world is mourning Bishop Tutu, who just died the other day. Can I remind the world that although he did some good things, a lot of good things on apartheid, the man was a rampant antiSemite and bigot," spewed Dershowitz.

Here we go.

"The man minimized the Holocaust. The man compared Israel to Nazi Germany. When we're tearing down statues of Jefferson and Lincoln and Washington, let's not build statues to a deeply, deeply flawed man, like Bishop Tutu. Let's make sure that history remembers both the goods he did and the awful, awful bads that he did as well."

"Bads he did?" Like identifying with the Palestinian cause, having lived through decades of apartheid in South Africa? Like reminding Jewish people of what it felt like to be stripped of their land and citizenship and treated as less than human? How myopic and racist is it for Dershowitz to demand this fealty to Israel from the man who helped dismantle South African apartheid? These are vile comments to utter in the wake of a man like Tutu's death.

And how dare Dershowitz complain that Tutu "minimized the Holocaust," when Dershowitz, just one sentence earlier, egregiously minimized the decades of apartheid through which Tutu suffered and then helped to bring down for his entire nation?

In case you're interested how people actually living in Israel feel, who have real knowledge of the topic of Tutu and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, here is an excerpt from a piece in The Jerusalem Post:

According to Israel’s former ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk, Tutu’s view of the Israel-Palestinian conflict was colored by his lifelong battle against apartheid in his home country.

“I think that for Israelis, you have to be able to keep two competing ideas in your mind at the same time when you discuss Tutu. He was a great human rights icon and he was also someone who was truly interested in using lessons from his liberation in South Africa to impact Palestinian liberation and peace in the Middle East,” said Lenk, who served as Israel’s envoy from 2013-2017.

“He was not, in my view, anti- Israel, although I don’t think he had a nuanced view of the conflict. Tutu, like many in the South Africa struggle against apartheid, had a natural affinity for the Palestinians and a world view that they were similar, fellow travelers and allies.”

“Tutu once said: ‘When I see Palestinians at a checkpoint, it reminds me of South Africans at checkpoints during apartheid.’ For him and many other South African leaders who fought against apartheid, their whole world view is through the prism of South African history.”


As the world mourned Tutu on Sunday, Lenk cautioned against viewing him only on his stance regarding Israel.

“Tutu’s legacy is a South African one. Our issues in Israel are not even secondary to his legacy, and that’s an important thing for us to understand. His life wasn’t about Israel and Palestine, it was about democracy and human rights in South Africa,” said Lenk.

Even Israeli top diplomats understand that Tutu's legacy isn't about Israel. They aren't so selfish and narcissistic as to besmirch a great man in the aftermath of his death because he dared relate to others' struggles against oppression, even if the Israeli government itself was the target of Tutu's criticism. Naturally, it's too much to ask of Dershowitz to show the same grace and nuance in his thinking.

It's a good thing Jews don't believe in the afterlife, because if we did, Alan Dershowitz should be rightly f*cking terrified of what people will say about HIM after he dies.

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