In January, Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who blogs at the Washington Post site, “On Faith,” stunned readers with a rant on the topic of Jewish identity: “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.”
He hastily issued a pseudo-apology, saying that he didn’t mean to imply “all Jewish people” (apparently, only supporters of Israel are going to destroy the human race). Not surprisingly, he was unable to quell the controversy, and he resigned from his position of president of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester.
But Arun did not go quietly, and his growing bitterness at you-know-who has become apparent with each subsequent interview he has given to the press. He lashed out against the “Zionist Nazis” who criticized him; he said his resignation reflected a desire to “sacrifice himself” so that the institute did not suffer the ire of the all-powerful “Jewish Lobby”; claimed that the same “Jewish Lobby” wields tremendous influence over politics in India; and, in an interview with the Rochester City Newspaper, he declared that Jews are indifferent to any genocide other than their own: “They say this will never happen again, but what they really mean is this will never happen to them again. They do not seem to be very concerned about this kind of violence taking place in other parts of the world.”
Recently, Arun found an audience that is guaranteed to be sympathetic to his worldview. According to this article on Rense.com, he was a guest on Rense Radio on April 30th.
For those unfamiliar with Rense.com, it is a website maintained by U.S. conspiracy theorist Jeff Rense who, in addition to his obsession with UFOs, frequently posts anti-semitic articles and denials of the Holocaust.
Did Arun Gandhi have a clue who he was speaking with? What do his supporters, who call him a “man of peace,” have to say about this?
A footnote: In February, the Washington Post ombudsman had this to say about the affair:
“The piece should not have been published. The apologies should have come sooner. The archived piece should have links to the apologies….It’s a risk to run a site on religion and faith that encourages robust dialogue among diverse panelists. But it is a risk worth taking in a world fractured by belief. Should Gandhi stay on the panel? Let’s wait to read what he writes about what he has learned.”
As of today, the archived piece does not have links to any of the apologies issued by Mr. Gandhi or the editors of the blog. As for what he has “learned” from the controversy, I would say, not much.