January 29, 2008 5:36 AM

Open mouth. Insert foot. Swallow.

(AP) Arun Gandhi said he learned at his grandfather’s feet that the world’s major conflicts can only be tackled by first solving the little problems…. “It’s the little problems that accumulate and become big problems,” the fifth grandson of revered pacifist Mahatma Gandhi said when he moved his M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence to the University of Rochester last June. Now, intemperate remarks about Israel and Jews being “the biggest players” in a global culture of violence have gotten Gandhi removed as president of the peace center he launched in 1991.

I can understand that anti-Semitism is still (usually quietly) flourishing around the world. It may no longer be fashionable to cast Jews as the root of the world’s problems, but those sentiments have always been with us. Now there generally kept below the surface and out of plain sight, but it doesn’t always take much to bring them to the fore. With that in mind say hello to Arun Gandhi, who seems to be channeling Dororthy Parker )”If you don’t have something nice to say, come sit next to me, dear”).

Gandhi may have thought that he was trying to generate discussion, but he sure has a ham-handed way of expressing his point of view, doesn’t he? If I was still doing that sort of thing, Gandhi would be the very deserving winner of a DUMB@$$ AWARD.

Gandhi wrote that Jewish identity “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 (how) 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. … 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.”

Describing Israel as “a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs,” Gandhi asked whether it would “not be better to befriend those who hate you?”

“Apparently, in the modern world so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept,” he wrote. “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.”

Having been born in South Africa, you’d think that Gandhi would be far more aware of the history of repression and prejudice directed against his own family, particularly his famous grandfather. Given that history, you could be forgiven for expecting that Gandhi might be just a wee bit more cautious about choosing his words when it comes to issues of race.

Given the s—tstorm Gandhi ignited with his intemperate words, he’s resigned as the head of the peace institute he founded. It’s too bad, really, because he really has done some good things over the years to further the cause of peace and non-violence. Gandhi’s grandfather would be justifiably proud of the work done in his name. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Arun Gandhi’s racist, inflammatory language, which run completely counter to the phenomenal work he’s done over the years. I had a football coach who once told me that one f—kup cancels twenty “attaboys”. How true…and how sad.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 29, 2008 5:36 AM.

If this was my performance review, I'd be out of a job yesterday was the previous entry in this blog.

My hero.... is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact Me

Powered by Movable Type 5.12