I was surprised to learn that Mahatma Gandhi was anti-Semitic and that his grandson is continuing to promote his twisted philosophy.
In November 1938, Mahatma Gandhi wrote,
The “German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history”, Gandhi admitted, and if ever there could be a justifiable war, it would be against the Nazis. “But I do not believe in any war.”
So, what does he suggest the Jews do in face of Nazi persecution? “If I were a Jew … I would challenge [the German gentile] to shoot me. … The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews. … But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy. … The German Jews will score a lasting victory over the German gentiles in that they will have converted that latter to an appreciation of human dignity.”
Restoring the Jews to Palestine was a “crime against humanity”, and the Jews there should follow a similar course in face of Arab aggression, and “offer themselves to be shot or thrown in to the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them.”
“I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.”
Reading this made my head hurt.
Gandhi’s appeal to “accepted canons of right and wrong” makes no sense in the face of the clear historical fact that Judaeo-Christianity, German Nazism, and Arab Islam have entirely different ideas about right and wrong. Was Gandhi really so dim-witted that he didn’t understand that his non-violent protests worked in India ONLY because the British were CHRISTIANS who would not massacre non-violent civilians?
Could he not see that the Nazis specifically rejected Jesus’ teachings about universal human dignity? Nazis believed in brute force and racial superiority, NOT in peace, mercy, forgiveness, and charity toward all. Seeing Jews line up for slaughter would not have shown Nazis that Jews were humans with a right to life. It would have convinced them that Hitler was right about exterminating Jews for the good of humanity.
Gandhi claimed his “canon of right and wrong” put non-violence in the number one position. But note that when he’s talking about Nazis and Jews, he says that anyone using violence to stop Nazis from invading other countries or killing Jews are choosing the greater evil. But then when he’s talking about Arabs and Jews, he excuses Arabs for killing Jews who settle in Israel, because the invasion of another country is the greater evil.
The only really consistent “canon” I see in Gandhi’s belief system is that Jews should die. And his grandson, Arun Gandhi, seems to agree. In 2008, he wrote in the Washington Post:
“Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the Holocaust experience. It is a very good example of how a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends… The world did feel sorry for the episode, but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on, the regret turns into anger.”
On the political situation in Israel, he added, “The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak… 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.”
Soooooooo … “forgive and move on” applies only to Jews who still mourn the Holocaust 70 years later, but not to Arabs who continue to shed Jewish blood over the founding of the nation of Israel 67 years ago?
For me, Gandhi was no saint by Miriam Shaviv for the Jewish Chronicle Online – February 7, 2008