Hindu American Foundation Disturbed by Comments about Jews by Arun Gandhi

Washington, DC (January 27, 2008). The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) absolutely rejects an entry by Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, appearing on the blog "On Faith" carried by the Washington Post, the foundation said today in a press release. Gandhi sparked widespread condemnation with his entry on January 7 lambasting Jews, writing that, "We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity." Gandhi failed to categorically disown his remarks in a carefully written follow-up posting, and in the face of opposition, now has resigned as the director of the MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence based at the University of Rochester.

"The simplistic and biased comments by Gandhi were not just unbecoming of one who presumes to lead a conflict resolution institute, but dangerously misguided," said Nikhil Joshi, Esq., a member of the HAF Board of Directors. "His resignation is a rather unhappy end to his controversial career as director of the MK Gandhi Institute."

The Foundation took strong exception, especially, to Gandhi's sweeping attack on Jews as a people, rather than focusing an argument against specific policies of Israel in response to the daily threats against and attacks on Israel. "Jewish identitity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience -- a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed," Gandhi wrote. "It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends." The American Jewish Committee, The Anti-Defamation League and many other prominent Jewish-American organizations released statements condemning Gandhi's remarks.

"The Hindu American Foundation continues to believe that true inter-faith dialogue must be predicated on mutual respect, tolerance and understanding," Joshi said. "Sadly, Arun Gandhi failed to uphold these principles, and by his capricious comments could reverse many gains of painstaking progress."

The Hindu American Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3), non-partisan organization, promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.