Rev. Dease [St. Thomas president] also said he would convene a “forum to foster constructive dialogue on the issues that have been raised… The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas has agreed to serve as a co-sponsor of the forum, and I expect other organizations also to join as co-sponsors.”
Dease said the forum would include a “candid discussion about how a civil and democratic society can pursue reasoned debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other emotionally charged issues.”
JTA quotes JCRC spokesperson Julie Swiler making this claim about Tutu’s views:
Swiler said, “I think most people in the Jewish community would find comparing the quote-unquote Jewish lobby to Hitler offensive,” she said.
I’d say the JCRC is a poster child representing the finest in “civil and democratic” values and “reasoned debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Wouldn’t you??
And for sheer smarminess let’s give the last word to Swiler’s boss:
“All the parties involved learned something,” said Steve Hunegs, executive director of the community relations council. “We should make it clear … that we are strong supporters of free speech on Middle East issues and all other important issues. That’s even more important in context of Archbishop Tutu, who is a great champion of civil rights.”