October 05, 2007

Minnesota Uni messes with Tutu

In the UK a tutu is a fairly average degree result but you can't get one in some American universities. I wonder if that makes them above average or below.

Desmond Tutu has been barred from speaking at the University of St Thomas, Minnesota because he has said things that were "hurtful" to some Jewish leaders, ie, he has criticised Israel in terms used by a mainstream, if slightly leftish Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. Yup, Desmond Tutu, non-violent campaigner against apartheid has likened, not Israel but the occupation to apartheid. And the truth hurts "some Jewish leaders." Here's Inside Higher Ed:
"Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations at St. Thomas, said that when administrators were informed of the invitation, they did some research about Tutu, and found that some of his comments had been controversial. Then, the university consulted with some Jewish leaders, and concluded that Tutu had made remarks that had been “hurtful” to Jewish leaders.

“We had heard some criticism of him in the past that he had said things some people judged to be anti-Semitic. We talked to the Jewish Community Relations Council. We know a number of other people in the Jewish community, and they said that some of the things he said had been hurtful and there was a feeling — and this isn’t among all Jews — that he had said things that were hurtful to them,” Hennes said.

“We never made a judgment that he is anti-Semitic. We have not made that judgment. We have only been told by members of the Jewish community that his words have been hurtful,” Hennes said. He stressed that the university sought out the views of Jewish leaders, and that the revocation of the invitation was a university decision, and not one that was sought by anyone outside St. Thomas.
Of course not. It's that non-existent lobby again.

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