Jewish Lobby in US Targets Arun Gandhi

The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, 75-year-old Arun Gandhi, has been “persecuted and hounded out” of the M.K. Gandhi Institute, founded by him in the US, following his remarks on an online newspaper board where he said,

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The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, 75-year-old Arun Gandhi, has been “persecuted and hounded out” of the M.K. Gandhi Institute, founded by him in the US, following his remarks on an online newspaper board where he said, “We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence (sic) is eventually going to destroy humanity,” writes Seema Mustafa in The Asian Age (January 27).
Mr Gandhi, who lost his wife last year, became the target of the influential Jewish lobby in the US and, according to his son Tushar Gandhi, was “persecuted” for his point of view. Mr Arun Gandhi became the victim of hate propaganda and, despite apologising and deeply regretting the “consequences” of his remarks, was left with no choice but to submit his resignation, which has been accepted now by the board of the institute located at the University of Rochester.
Mr Arun Gandhi had taken a peace mission earlier to Palestine and had met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat just 10 days before his death. He had met Israeli leaders as well, and later sat in silent protest against the construction of what he described as the “apartheid wall” by Israel to block the Palestinians in segregated quarters. Mr Arun Gandhi said he had come in the line of fire since then with a particularly virulent arm of the Jewish lobby in the US launching a concerted campaign against him. “I forget their name, but I call them Zionist Nazis,” Mr Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said.
Mr Arun Gandhi had posted a message on an online forum where he said that while the Holocaust was the result of a warped mind and the world felt sorry for the episode, “when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on, the regret turns into anger”. He said that “any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead, and especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs”. He said that in Tel Aviv he had met members of Parliament and peace activists who all said that the wall and the military build-up was necessary for protection. “In other words, I asked, ‘You believe that you can create a snake pit, with many deadly snakes in it, and expect to live in the pit secure and alive?’ ‘What do you mean,’ they countered. ‘Well, with your superior weapons and armaments, and your attitude towards your neighbours, would it not be right to say that you are creating a snake pit. How can you live peacefully in such an atmosphere? Would it not be better to befriend those who hate you?’”
These remarks unleashed a massive hate campaign against Mr Arun Gandhi, resulting in his exit from his own institute. Mr Tushar Gandhi said he could only wish that the Jewish lobby had looked at his father’s comments dispassionately and acted on his advice. “That would make them stronger, but instead they have proved him correct,” he said. He said he felt “very sad that the country that teaches freedom to the world had allowed my father to be hounded and persecuted in this manner”. He said that while there were many Americans who were supportive of Mr Arun Gandhi, “official America had maintained a stony silence, and it is their people who come here and try to teach us lessons on human rights”.
Mr Arun Gandhi has been a strong opponent of violence and war. There is considerable anger amongst the Gandhians here about the manner in which he has been attacked and derided. The powerful American Jewish Committee also took up the case with its executive director, Mr David A. Harris, well known in government circles here, recalling the role played by the committee “in nurturing the India-Israel bilateral relationship as well as strengthening the bonds between American Jews and Indian Americans”.