New York, Jan 26: The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, has resigned from a peace institute he founded here after condemnation of his reported comments calling Israel and Jews "the biggest players" in a global culture of violence.
In his resignation letter to the board of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, Arun Gandhi wrote that his January 7 essay posted on an online forum "was couched in language that was hurtful and contrary to the principles of non-violence. "My intention was to generate a healthy discussion on the proliferation of violence. Clearly I did not achieve my goal. Instead, unintentionally, my words have resulted in pain, anger, confusion and embarrassment," he added.
The institute is housed at the University of Rochester and has a university-paid director. Gandhi submitted his resignation to the board on Thursday and it was accepted yesterday.
An unsigned statement on the universitys website said: "The essence of Arun Gandhis work has been to educate and promote the principles of non-violence."
"In that spirit, the institute plans to work with the University of Rochester and other community groups to use the recent events as an opportunity to deepen mutual understanding through dialogue employing the principles of non-violence and peace," it said.
Gandhi's comments were part of a discussion about the future of Jewish identity on the religion blog On Faith at washingtonpost.com.
He wrote that Jewish identity is "locked into the holocaust experience," which Jews "overplay . . . to the point that it begins to repulse friends."
The Jewish nation -- Israel, he wrote -- is too reliant upon weapons and bombs and should instead befriend its enemies.
"Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don't befriend anyone, you dominate them. 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," he wrote.
The posting drew 438 comments -- an exceptionally high response for an On Faith essay -- and prompted such a backlash that Gandhi later posted an apology. The website also apologised, the Washington Post reported.