1. Tutu is expressing his Christian faith

In a January 10 letter by Howard Rubin and Samuel Stein (respectively, executive Director and President of the Westchester Jewish Congress), it was stated that some of the comments made by Archbishop Tutu during his visit to Israel had to be refuted by the Jewish community. One of the comments made by the Archbishop urged the Jewish people to forgive the "perpetrators of Holocaust." To this, Mr. Rubin and Mr. Stein implied that such an idea "is something which most members of the Jewish community, and indeed the world, cannot accept."

What Mr. Rubin and Mr. Stein seem to overlook here is that Archbishop Tutu is not a rabbi but a Christian priest. When he urged the Jewish people to forgive (but by no means to forget) the cruelty that was directed their way in the past, he was only corresponding his words to his faith. In the Bible, Matthew writes, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." (Matthew 5:43-44).

This passage is found in the New Testament, a part of the Bible that Mr. Rubin and Mr. Stein probably have not read. I would hope that the true Jewish community holds more respect for the teachings of others' religions. January 23, 1990