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READERS RESPOND: Vale Tutu; conflict responsibility a two-way street

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Published: 14 January 2022

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Archbishop spoke with courage on behalf of his “rainbow nation” but saw justice for Palestinians in monochrome; Israel and Palestinians share responsibility

Insightful portrayal of Desmond Tutu

Thanks for an excellent portrayal by Rabbi Genende of an epic figure (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, published December 31) who spoke up with immense courage on behalf of his “rainbow nation” but saw questions of justice for Palestinians, despite their complicated shadings, in monochrome, and so offended many in the Jewish community. 

The intellectual Jewish right has identified in him suppressionist-inspired antisemitism, and I certainly feel he was out of touch with Jewish ideals and aspirations, but Ralph is more sensitive to Tutu’s unwavering commitment to truth (as he understood it).

This commitment is captured in his question, asked in total bewilderment: How can a people who suffered so much bring similar suffering on another?  For Tutu, I believe, that binary black-and-white approach to the Israeli-Palestinian relationship blinded him to any possibility of rapprochement or, dare I say it, reconciliation with the Jewish people in the land of Israel.

Fred Morgan AM, Emeritus Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne

Responsibility for the conflict is a two-way street

I agree 100% with efforts for compromise, tolerance and decrease in tension with Israel’s antagonists (Why we need to stop sharing Golda Meir quotes, January 11). On the other hand, Israel has so many detractors that I wish we did not score own goals. The Palestinians do it to us quite well.

I suggest reminding readers that Israel offered peace and sovereignty more than three times since 2000, which have been ignored or rejected with no follow up for negotiation by the Palestinian leadership.

That was the reason the population turned away from the Left and supported the Right for years, and also the delusion that two million Palestinians be incorporated back into Israel, in addition to a separate Palestinian state.

In summary, the Palestinians should be held to task to take responsibility for their actions—not just the Israelis.

John Nemesh

Photo: A bunch of carnations sits atop the coffin at the funeral of Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, January 1 (Jaco Marais/Pool/AP)

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