Archbishop Desmond Tutu slams Israel's 'apartheid' policy
- View SourceFriends,
The South African newspaper, Mail and Guardian today carries a
stinging critcism of Israel coming from Arcbishop Desmond Tutu.
I hope the Isarelis don't declare him to be an anti-semite.
Read and reflect.
Monday, April 29, 2002
Tutu slams apartheid in the Holy Land
Daily Mail & Guardian
Johannesburg, South Africa
SOUTH Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu accused the Israelis of
treating Palestinians in the same way the apartheid South African
government treated blacks.
In a commentary published on Monday by The Guardian, Tutu said: "I've
been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me
so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa", Tutu
said during a conference this month in Boston, Massachusetts,
extracts of which were published as a commentary under the
headline "Apartheid in the Holy Land".
"I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and
roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers
prevented us from moving about," said the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize
"I say why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and
brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the
collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so
soon? "If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the
The archbishop went on: "You know as well as I do that, somehow, the
Israeli government is placed on a pedestal (in the US) and to
criticise it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if
Palestinians were not Semitic.
"People are scared in this country (the US), to say wrong is wrong
because the Jewish lobby is powerful very powerful. Well, so what?
"The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer
exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin
were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.
"Injustice and oppression will never prevail," Tutu declared.
"In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were Jewish
people. They almost instinctively had to be on the side of the
disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones, fighting injustice,
oppression and evil," he said.
Meanwhile, SA president Thabo Mbeki has urged the Non-Aligned
Movement to be relentless in its efforts to find a lasting solution
to the conflict in the Middle East.
Speaking at the official opening of the ministerial meeting of the co-
ordinating bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement in Durban, Mbeki also
stressed that dialogue rather than acts of occupation or terrorism
should be pursued to achieve this goal.
Foreign ministers and senior officials from the 115 NAM member states
started their three-day meeting in Durban on Saturday to discuss a
number of critical issues facing them and to finalise the agenda for
the coming 8th NAM summit of heads of state and governments.
The situation in the Middle East has thus far dominated the agenda.
On Saturday the Committee on Palestine met in Durban to discuss the
Their resolutions on future action taken during the three-hour
meeting were relayed to the ministerial meeting and will be made
public on Monday.
Mbeki on Sunday said self-determination for the Palestinian people
was a basic principle of non-alignment.
"The success of the movement in the liberation Southern African
should serve as further motivation for the movement to address the
outstanding issues of occupation and foreign domination.
"I need not remind you that our brothers and sisters in Palestine are
still fighting the scourge of occupation. Our movement must not
relent in its support for a just and lasting solution to this
conflict. In the true spirit of non-alignment therefore, the path to
enduring peace must be taken through dialogue rather than either acts
of occupation or terrorism," Mbeki said.
He said the challenge for the movement in the coming years was to
continue to strengthen the unity among its members and enhance
partnerships with the G77 and China.
NAM should also actively ensure that the United Nations and other
multilateral fora focus on development in a sustained manner. Mbeki
said the most important challenge for NAM member states was to
acquire the capabilities to successfully compete and benefit from
globalisation in a bid to eradicate poverty.
The 115 NAM member states represent two-thirds of the world's
He said the principle of economic equity remained and had to remain
fundamental to non-alignment.
Despite promises that current global economic trends would benefit
developing countries, there was evidence that the vast majority of
non-aligned countries continued to be marginalised.
"Consequently, the challenge ahead for NAM is to find ways and means
to strengthen our capacity for united action, responding creatively
and expeditiously to the issues facing the movement and the
developing world. NAM mechanisms such as the NAM Troika and the co-
ordinating bureau should be strengthened and utilised to achieve the
movements objectives in multilateral fora on the basis of the agreed
positions of the members," Mbeki said.
He also said he was "deeply disturbed" by the appearance of strong
right wing tendencies, especially in Western Europe.
This was most recently illustrated during the first round of the
French presidential elections, where right wing tendencies deeply
informed by racist sentiments had emerged.
Mbeki said victory over racism wherever it may occur, the building of
a true partnership between the North and the South and respect for
the people NAM represented, required unity from the movement's
"Inertia still makes it possible for those who have exclusively
decided the fate of the world in the past to work in a manner that
says that some are more equal than others," Mbeki said. - Sapa