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Archbishop Tutu: Please, Apologize to the Jews

The website of the Free Gaza Movement, a sponsor of the Gaza Flotilla, lists some impressive celebrity endorsements. One of the most impressive names on the list is that of Desmond Tutu, revered throughout the world for his courageous stand against South Africa’s apartheid government and for his leadership of initiatives like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which did so much to heal the wounds apartheid left behind.

But there was something the Free Gaza Movement didn’t tell the archbishop: its co-founder and board chair is a Jew-hater named Greta Berlin who uses the organization as a platform form which to spread the ugliest anti-Semitic legends and, literally, Nazi propaganda and lies.

The Free Gaza Movement wants you to think that it is a group of humanitarians stirred to action by Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. But Berlin is something much nastier: a conscious propagandist of anti-Semitic hate — the kind of person with whom no Christian clergyman can associate himself in a common cause without causing grave scandal and harm.

On Sunday, the Free Gaza Movement posted this on its Twitter Feed: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews” with a link to this awful video.

This is not anti-Zionism. It is not criticism of Israel or defense of Palestinian rights. It is not in the gray zone: it is ugly filth of the lowest kind, gutter anti-Semitism mixed with genocidal rage. The very word “Nazi,” tweeted the movement, is a combination of NAtionalist and ZIonist. Simple, really, once you see through the Jewish lies to understand the Jewish-Hitler alliance for what it really was.

As Avi Mayer tracked the story, it became clear that this was no low level employee or hot headed volunteer playing games with the Free Gaza Twitter feed. The film endorsed and linked in the tweet got another link — on the Facebook page Greta Berlin. She was so in love with this nastiness that she wanted to share it with her friends.

But this doesn’t exhaust the pro-Nazi activities of this “humanitarian” movement. The Free Gaza Movement is also touting an anti-Semitic film actually produced under the Propaganda Ministry of Joseph Goebbels during the Third Reich itself: a Nazi propaganda film on the Katyn massacre that tried to whip up hatred against Communists and Jews. And here, too, Greta Berlin, that exquisite connoisseur of cinema and tender-hearted lover of mankind, was so thrilled with this Goebbels’ hard-hitting investigative journalism and fearless proclamation of the truth that she posted a link to a download on her Facebook account.

As this information came out, the “Free Gaza Movement” frantically tried to bury the evidence, taking down the tweets, blocking access to Facebook posts, but it was too late. Screenshots, retweets and Google caches left its pale underbelly exposed.

Obviously Archbishop Tutu had no idea he was getting in bed with Nazi-class Jew haters and aspiring genocidaires when he allowed the Free Gaza Movement the use of his name. Greta Berlin presumably doesn’t wear her Nazi-loving heart on her sleeve when mingling with the Great and the Good and trying to pass herself off as a respectable humanitarian. But because of his enormous global stature and the contentious nature of this particular issue, the archbishop had a duty to himself, to the world and to the Anglican Communion to vet the organization before offering his support.

Now that the truth is known, the Archbishop must move quickly to avoid causing grave harm to Christian-Jewish relations and the cause of justice around the world. He must express his regret to those Christians and Jews who have been hurt and confused by his inadvertent dalliance with hate. The longer he waits, the greater the scandal. He has every right to criticize Israeli policies in Gaza and to do what he can to promote what he believes to be a just outcome in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. But Archbishop Tutu’s entire public career has been built on the repudiation of hate. He cannot, at this stage in his life, allow his name — or that of his Church — to be slimed in this way.

Via Meadia hopes that we will soon hear from South Africa that Archbishop Tutu has scraped this particular piece of dirt from the soles of his shoes. In the meantime we hope that other Anglican and Christian leaders around the world will move quickly to reassure Jews that Christians everywhere want nothing to do with this poor woman’s horrid agenda and her nasty hate campaign.

If the Archbishop — or any Via Meadia readers — want more details about this sordid story, they should go to Avi Mayer’s Storify account and read the whole thing.

In general, well intentioned outsiders need to understand that while there are many Palestinian and pro-Palestinian organizations who criticize Israel and work to better the lives of Palestinians in a very honest and admirable way, there are also some unscrupulous hate groups out there. These groups pursue violent, hate-filled agendas while superficially claiming to speak for human rights and justice. Some of the worst groups work the hardest to maintain a respectable facade. After a century of communal conflict, there is a dense infrastructure of groups like this; as Archbishop Tutu should have known, one must take care not to be duped.

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