Tutu appearance canceled amid Jewish concern

A speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu was canceled after local Jews expressed concern about his views on Israel.

The spring visit to Minnesota’s University of St. Thomas was canceled because local Jewish groups were upset by comparisons Tutu had made between Israel and Hitler, according to a report in City Pages, a Minneapolis alternative weekly.

University officials reportedly canceled the appearance after consulting with a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and with several rabbis on the faculty.

The uproar apparently was linked to a speech Tutu made in Boston in 2002. A news release from the Zionist Organization of America, which condemned Tutu’s remarks, cited a report from Ha’aretz that quoted Tutu as saying that “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid.” A transcript of the speech available online does not include the Hitler quote.

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