Arun Gandhi Resigns from Institute

Ad Feedback - Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, resigned as head of the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, headquartered at the University of Rochester.

His resignation followed reaction to January 7 blog posted on the Washington Post Web site in which he accused Jews of overplaying the Holocaust and said "Israel and the Jews are the biggest players [in a] culture of violence [that] is eventually going to destroy humanity."

"My intention was to generate a healthy discussion on the proliferation of violence," Gandhi explained, following the institute's acceptance of his resignation.

"Instead, unintentionally, my words have resulted in pain, anger, confusion and embarrassment. I deeply regret these consequences," he said, restating his regret for the consequences, rather than the content of his remarks.

In a subsequent blog, Gandhi further clarified his perceptions.

"[I do] not believe and should not have implied that the policies of the Israeli government are reflective of all Jewish people," he wrote.

Arun Gandhi's anti-Israel stance is nothing new.

During a 2004 visit to the Jewish state, he called for Palestinians in Jordan to come to Israel by the "tens of thousands" for a "nonviolent" protest.

Gandhi also called the Palestinians' situation in Israel "ten times worse" than South African's black population suffered under apartheid.

Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester, said Gandhi's resignation was "appropriate" because his remarks "did not reflect the core values" of the university or the institute.

Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), called Mahatma Gandhi's grandson a bigot.

"[It's] shameful that a peace institute would be headed up by a bigot," Foxman said. "One would hope that the grandson of such an illustrious human being would be more sensitive to Jewish history."

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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