With tributes pouring in from around the world for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who passed away at the age of 90, lawyer Alan Dershowitz used a recent interview to criticize the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was known for taking part in South Africa's struggle against apartheid.
During a segment on Fox News, Dershowitz blasted the laudatory tributes to Tutu heard in recent days, saying that his views and statements about the Jewish community were problematic.
"The world is mourning Bishop Tutu, who just died the other day,” Deshowitz said. “Can I remind the world that although he did some good things, a lot of good things on apartheid, the man was a rampant antisemite and bigot?"
He added: “The man minimized the Holocaust. The man compared Israel to Nazi Germany. When we’re tearing statues of Jefferson and Lincoln and Washington, let’s not build statues to a deeply, deeply flawed man like Bishop Tutu. Let’s make sure that history remembers both the good he did and the awful bad he did as well.”
Tutu “didn't talk about the Israel lobby, he talked about the Jewish lobby," Dershowitz told Newsweek.
"He minimized the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust,” Dershowitz recalled. “He said that getting killed in gas chambers was an easy death compared to apartheid. He said that Jews claimed a monopoly on the Holocaust.”
“He demanded that Jews forgive the Nazis for killing them,” Dershowitz said, referring to Tutu’s 1989 visit to Yad Vashem during which he called on Israelis to pray for the Nazis, according to the New York Times.
Charging that Tutu "encouraged others to have similar views and because he was so influential, he became the most influential antisemite of our time," Dershowitz went on to say that he thought it was wrong in the case of Tutu that “people say you shouldn't speak ill of the dead.”
“The bottom line is that at a time when people are reckoning with the careers, of people with mixed legacies, whether it be Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and others, we have to include in a reckoning of Tutu his evil, bigotry against Jews, which has existed for many, many, many years,” he said.