A Pittsburgh area psychiatrist is protesting an appearance by South African Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu at a national psychiatric gathering in May. Tutu is scheduled to deliver the principal address at the Convocation of Fellows during the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Hawaii. He also will be made an honorary fellow at that time.

All of which irks many Jewish members of the APA, including Dr. Daniel Shrager of Jefferson Hills, a member of Beth Israel Center. Shrager and several other APA members are planning some way to register their displeasure with Tutu’s appearance during the meeting.

One of the signees, Dr. Thomas G. Gutheil, a distinguished life fellow of the APA, has gone further, resigning from the organization. In a letter to APA members he wrote, "Tutu’s anti-Israel remarks are well known in Jewish circles. Not only has he referred to Israel as an apartheid state, last year he urged the Cape Town Opera to cancel a tour of Israel, which it refused to do, and called for an academic, artistic, social and political boycott of Israel including the severing of research cooperation on water purification between the University of Johannesburg and Ben Gurion University in Israel. APA is on record with a position statement opposing all academic boycotts. Among his many other controversial remarks, Tutu has said the Palestinians are paying “penance” for the Holocaust."

Shrager believes the APA didn’t properly vet Tutu before inviting him to speak. He said, “Not many people know about his anti-Israel rhetoric. They remember him as a part of the anti-apartheid event and that’s about it. (He's) not just anti-Israel, some of his remarks are clearly anti-Semitic.”

Q. What do you call a Jew who can take criticism?

A. You don't call him anything. What do you want, already - another Six Day War?



  1. It’s true though; they confuse any criticism of the political policy of the state of israel with antisemitism. I don’t get it; surely peace (the real sort that comes with justice) would be in israel’s interest the same as everone else’s.

  2. Truth hurts, huh Zionists?

    [Remembering, that the WORST anti-Palestine Zionists in the US are fundy Christians, not Jews.]

  3. Ha! Can you imagine The Southern Baptists awarding Tutu an honorary degree or something? I’d be looking out for the flying pigs if they did.

  4. The state of Israel is a liberal democracy where they don’t stone women to death, or hang gays, and where you can change your religion freely. It is surrounded by powerful neighbours (who have a somewhat poorer record on human rights and liberties and) who refuse to recognise its right to exist and in recent years have bombarded its civilian areas with thousands of rockets and other acts of terrorism.
    Just thought I’d add a bit of balance.

  5. The state of Israel is a liberal democracy . . . for its Jewish citizens. For the non-Jewish and/or non-citizen (occupied), however…

  6. JCF I think you’ll find that democracy in Israel extends to non-Jews, women and gays. I notice you say nothing about the human rights abuses of Israel’s neighbours.
    HD/BD a friend of mine who recently spent some time visiting his aged mother blogged to say that “those who speak of Israel as an apartheid state could do worse than spend some time in an Israeli hospital.”

  7. GFN, I am sure that the Israelis have a wonderful modern state and enjoy all the comforts that go with that situation. Go spend some time in the ocupied territories and see if you fare as well. Go talk to the Palestinian families who have had their ancestral homes stolen by the Jews who returned to Palestine after living elsewhere for centuries and treated the inhabitants in the same manner they say that they were treated. The victims have become the perpetrators. There is nothing defensible in that.