An Op-Ed piece in the South African Jewish Report compares Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to dictators Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, referring to the religious leader as “the latest self-appointed midget of history” who wants to destroy the Jewish people.
In the piece, pro-Israel Likud SA chairperson Leon Reich says Tutu would “kill Jews before protecting Christians”. He accuses Tutu of “preying” on Israel, together with Hamas, and says the two are working towards the destruction of the Jewish state.
Online and social media editor of the SA Jewish Report, Ant Katz, told the Mail & Guardian he saw nothing wrong with the comparison. “There isn’t too much for me to say other than we offer a broad platform from the most left-wing to the most right-wing. “It’s a platform for Jewish people to communicate. We obviously have a wide range of different views.”
“We try not to censor people’s views. The Jewish community [in South Africa] is quite angry about the situation in South Africa with only one side being heard,” said Katz.
Katz said the Op-ed had been subbed and edited and the Jewish Report approved the content of the piece.
Picture of Tutu
When asked if Reich submitted the piece with photoshopped pictures of Tutu, Katz said: “I don’t think that is particularly relevant. [But] we were asked by a member of the Jewish board to remove the picture from the site. The picture should be down. I think we will be removing it.”
The picture was published by the Jewish Report and not Reich, the author of the piece.
The picture shows Tutu with Hitler’s moustache superimposed on Hitler’s body. Katz insisted there was nothing wrong with the Op-ed and said, “it largely speaks to a Jewish audience. The writer of the article was very angry. He felt we are supporting a cause that could ultimately destroy the [state of Israel].”
Tutu’s office said they would comment after reading the article.