Desmond Tutu

The Healer

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

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The Healer

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

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OK, the Bertrand Russell psychodrama is also malicious but maybe not dangerously so.  About six months ago, I came across a web posting announcing the formation of a Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Yes, it was one of those false kangaroo courts in which, from the Stalin era on, convenes not to evaluate evidence but to condemn. In loads of cases the verdicts brought quick impositions of the death sentence. One such process is now unfolding in Tehran, and its backers are Muslim millenarians and western leftists who are prone to support every revolution even if it is decidedly and objecti

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Marty's post on Desmond Tutu's speech in Boston last week, in which the former Archbishop of Cape Town collectively blamed Jews (ironic, considering how often Israel's critics -- including Tutu -- bash the Jewish state for its supposed "collective punishment" of the Palestinians) for all the miseries of the Arab-Israeli conflict is raising some cackles from Matthew Duss and Ezra Klein of The American Propsect.  Not surpising for a man of the cloth, Tutu's speech is predicated on his theological expertise.

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Tutu Tut-tuts

Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached in Boston on Saturday "in a lengthy and emotional address to a packed Old South Church," according to Sunday's Globe. And what did he preach about? The same topic he's always preaching about these days: the evil the Jews are inflicting on the Palestinians. You wonder why a South African cleric of the Anglican Church is fixated on Israel, or at least I wonder. It could be for the same reason that many Christian clerics have always found reason to damn the Jews.

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Tutu And The U.n.

I was wondering whom the U.N. Human Rights Council would designate to find Israel guilty of the charges the council has brought against it. Frankly, I assumed that they'd anoint Jimmy Carter to convict the Jewish state of all sorts of crimes. After all, he is very reliable on these matters. And he would know what is wanted of him. You will recall that the newly "reformed" human rights apparatus of the United Nations has been in existence for barely a half year, and already it has condemned Israel four times.

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Washington Diarist

Will the rich save the world? This has not been their traditional service to humankind; but in contemporary America you may be forgiven for believing in the messianic power of personal wealth. We are still enjoying the economicist fantasy that was inaugurated by technology in the Clinton years and consolidated by ideology in the Bush years. Could it be that the rich did not previously save the world because they were not rich enough? But they are rich enough now, right? I do not mean to be too clever.

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Prize Fight

  Two types of people win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first are the more obvious: People who resolve international conflicts. In 1926, Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann won for the Locarno Pact, which supposedly guaranteed the borders of Germany, Belgium, and France. In 1929, America's Frank Kellogg won for the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the great powers renounced war. In 1973, Henry Kissinger and Vietnam's Le Duc Tho won for ending the Vietnam War.

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Out of Egypt

Last month the Nobel Committee did something completely useless: It awarded its Peace Prize to Kofi Annan and the United Nations. Was it the UN's anti-racism conference—with its agenda formulated largely in Tehran—that won over the committee?

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The Cosby Sanction

One of the most vital imports South Africa gets from the United States is a television program: "The Cosby Show." Cosby is the most popular program on South African TV. Next come ''Dallas," "Golden Girls," "Dynasty," "Murder She Wrote," "Winds of War," and "The A-Team." If the intent of sanctions against South Africa is to communicate outrage at apartheid, and to do so in a way that puts more pressure on whites than on blacks, then why not impose a ban on the export of American TV shows to South Africa?

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