by Benjamin Wachs
“We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players),” said Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, “and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
He said that on the religion blog of the Washington Post, “On Faith,” to which he’s a contributor.
Gandhi, who runs an institute for non-violence in Rochester, NY, was one of several contributors answering a question about the future of “Jewish Identity.” To which, as a Hindu living near the Canadian border, he is eminently qualified to speak.
His original point … which you can almost see if you squint really hard and cover your left eye … is that in the 20th century Jewish identity became too defined by the Holocaust.
That is a fair statement: there’s over 5,000 years of Jewish history, but pretty much all anybody talks about is Germany between 1939 – 1945. There is much more to being a Jew than the fact that 6 million of us died under horrible conditions. We also, for example, eat Chinese food.
But then he starts riffing on what Judaism’s continued Holocaust emphasis means to the contemporary world, and that’s where the trouble starts.
“It is a very good example of [how] a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends,” he begins (because this is SO like the way John and Mary can’t SHUT UP about their ski trip in Tahoe! Honestly, guys, get over it!). “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.”
Ohhhhhh man … is he saying that Jews cause anti-Semitism because they’re still mad about “the episode”? The way that one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer really pissed me off?
“The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak.”
Gandhi, stop. Just stop, please. Before you get yourself in deep trouble …
“You don't befriend anyone, you dominate them.” STOP! Please! Before you take that final step …
“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.”
Oh, now you’ve gone and done it.
You can read Gandhi’s original post here.
You can read his apology here. It’s probably the first of many to come, because “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” really doesn’t seem to cover the fundamental issue: are you saying only Israel and SOME Jews are going to destroy the world? Are you saying that anybody who's still mad about the Holocaust is unjustified? And, most importantly, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?