Tutu: Issue is the same in Palestine as it was in South Africa, ‘equality’

on 131 Comments

A letter from Desmond Tutu to the divestment-sponsors at the University of California, circulated by Emily Schaeffer, human right lawyer in Israel/Palestine, who asked Archbishop Tutu to write the letter.

Dear Student Leaders at the University of California – Berkeley

It was with great joy that I learned of your recent 16-4 vote in support of divesting your university’s money from companies that enable and profit from the injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and violation of Palestinian human rights. Principled stands like this, supported by a fast growing number of US civil society organizations and people of conscience, including prominent Jewish groups, are essential for a better world in the making, and it is always an inspiration when young people lead the way and speak truth to power.

I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings. 

I have been to the Ocupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.

In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.

Students played a leading role in that struggle, and I write this letter with a special indebtedness to your school, Berkeley, for its pioneering role in advocating equality in South Africa and promoting corporate ethical and social responsibility to end complicity in Apartheid. I visited your campus in the 1980’s and was touched to find students sitting out in the baking sunshine to demonstrate for the University’s disvestment in companies supporting the South African regime.

The same issue of equality is what motivates the divestment movement of today, which tries to end Israel’s 43 year long occupation and the unequal treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them. The abuses they face are real, and no person should be offended by principled, morally consistent, non-violent acts to oppose them. It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in particular for its abuses. 

To those who wrongly accuse you of unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one’s own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity. It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation. True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute. You, students, are helping to pave that path to a just peace.

I heartily endorse your divestment vote and encourage you to stand firm on the side of what is right,

God bless you richly,

Desmon/d Tutu. Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.

131 Responses

  1. otto
    April 11, 2010, 11:44 am

    Bravo, Desmond.

  2. UNIX
    April 11, 2010, 11:48 am

    Desmond Tutu needs to fix his own failed state.

    The fact of the matter is that these so called “religious humanists”
    can go on for days about the rights of Arabs and how they shouldn’t never budge one inch.

    But when it comes to Jews? Tutu and the rest of this anti-semites are all running to jump in the caterpillar and destroy.

    For these people it’s a simple equation, destroy Jewish homes and land in Judea and Samaria will promoting Arab growth.

    The opposite will happen though and their nefarious designs will be frustrated. It is the Jewish people that are thriving in their land, desmond Tutu will yet see a Hebron larger and more full of Jews than he ever dreamed.

    We are building Jerusalem day by day and there isn’t a damn thing Desmond bigot can say or do about it.

    • Chaos4700
      April 11, 2010, 11:50 am

      Reducto ad hasbara:

      link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

      This being:
      3) You suck

      and

      4) Everybody sucks

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 11:51 am

        Israel Haters logic 1:
        Israel should always be criticized in absolute terms and out of context.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 11:54 am

        No, really. I find you constantly attacking me just mildly irksome, but watching you and BSDNow attack Desmond freakin’ Tutu? That’s golden.

      • Avi
        April 11, 2010, 3:00 pm

        Israel Haters logic 1:
        Israel should always be criticized in absolute terms and out of context.

        You claim to be Israeli, but you don’t speak a word of Hebrew.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 4:59 pm

        “Israel should always be criticized in absolute terms and out of context. ”

        You’re right eee. Describing Israeli brutality as self defense is indeed out of context.

        How’s your lovely apartheid neighborhood today?

    • Chaos4700
      April 11, 2010, 11:51 am

      And now the African who suffered under colonial European apartheid is the bigot.

      Way to make friends there, Mr. Israeli.

      • UNIX
        April 11, 2010, 12:07 pm

        If the shoe fits, and he is wearing it, then he is a bigot.

        Only a bigot would say just because people happen to be Jewish they need to be expelled from their land.

        At the same time they say just because some people are Arab they stay put.

        Bigotry like this will not last and we will overcome this.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:00 pm

        “Only a bigot would say just because people happen to be Jewish they need to be expelled from their land. ”

        That’s true, but no one has said that, so we’re all good.

      • potsherd
        April 11, 2010, 12:09 pm

        These trolls are sucking all the oxygen out of the threads here only because people insist on getting into wrangles with them. Their absurdity speaks for itself and the odious nation they defend. Let it do so.

      • UNIX
        April 11, 2010, 12:12 pm

        Common belief on this website. Jews in their own land are sucking the oxygen and need to be forcefully removed with violence. Heaven forbid that be said about an Arab however.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:13 pm

        Potsherd, when somebody is kicking you repeatedly, lying on the ground and doing nothing doesn’t make them stop or go away. Any Palestinian could probably tell you that.

      • UNIX
        April 11, 2010, 12:16 pm

        If you want to take a cue from from the Arabs as you astuteley mention just find a pregnant Jewish lady, shoot her point blank range in front of her kids and proceed to murder them like Tali Hatuel.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:18 pm

        What, BSDNow, because “the Arabs” are all ravening murderers?

        This is Israel, folds.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:01 pm

        “Heaven forbid that be said about an Arab however. ”

        You already said that.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:03 pm

        “If you want to take a cue from from the Arabs as you astuteley mention just find a pregnant Jewish lady, shoot her point blank range in front of her kids and proceed to murder them like Tali Hatuel. ”

        The IDF have done that countless times, though they usually shoot their pregnant tatrgets in the back or from a safe distance.

        You shoudl kow this alrady UNIX. It’s on the t-shirt you’re wearing.

    • Sumud
      April 11, 2010, 12:46 pm

      Please announce your opinions on Israel and Archbishop Tutu more loudly and more publicly – people like you are just GOLD for anyone wanting to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of Israel’s blind-patriot defenders.

    • Shingo
      April 11, 2010, 4:58 pm

      “Desmond Tutu needs to fix his own failed state.”

      South Africa is a healthy and propserous state that never required massive aid chwques from Washington to stay viable, so it was never a failed state.

      Why do you hate black people UNIX? Are you that much fo a racist and a biggot?

  3. Chaos4700
    April 11, 2010, 11:48 am

    But of course, Witty would argue that Desmond Tutu doesn’t know a damn thing about apartheid or BDS apparently. I suppose we should defer to a white Jewish New-Yorker instead of the native South African spiritual leader?

    • unverified__dci7ge76
      April 11, 2010, 12:41 pm

      Well, they could defer to a white and universally respected Jew from South Africa and…

      Oh yeah, Justice Goldstone has ALSO been called a Jew hater

      • Psychopathic god
        April 12, 2010, 7:52 am

        unverified__dci7ge76 April 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        Well, they could defer to a white and universally respected Jew from South Africa and…

        Oh yeah, Justice Goldstone has ALSO been called a Jew hater

        now THAT’s golden.

    • Richard Witty
      April 11, 2010, 12:47 pm

      Phil is the white Jewish New Yorker. I live elsewhere.

      Tutu may not understand the maximalist efforts of some of the BDS proponents. He might not be as supportive of an effort to eliminate Israel from the map.

      For example, he used the term 43 years of occupation, implying post-67 war. Not all of the advocates for BDS use that language, instead regarding any Israel as occupation.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:50 pm

        So how come the same logic doesn’t apply to you and your support of Zionism? Take a good long look in the mirror, Witty.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:06 pm

        “Tutu may not understand the maximalist efforts of some of the BDS proponents”

        That’s because the so called maximalist efforts are a figment of your imagination.

        “He might not be as supportive of an effort to eliminate Israel from the map.”

        That’s becasue no such effort exists, except in your imagination.

        “For example, he used the term 43 years of occupation, implying post-67 war. Not all of the advocates for BDS use that language, instead regarding any Israel as occupation. ”

        That’s because you are deliberately truyign to conflate 2 seperate issues, the occupation and the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.

  4. eee
    April 11, 2010, 11:50 am

    Desmond Tutu is perhaps not aware that the US is a super racist country.
    Does he know that there is a huge difference in the SAT scores of blacks and whites?
    link to jbhe.com

    As usual, he picks on Israel instead of the world superpower. And as usual, the people on this blog are not interested in the rampant racism in their country, but want to deal with Israel. FIX YOUR OWN HOME.

    • Chaos4700
      April 11, 2010, 11:52 am

      So now not only should Americans only focus on the United States problems, now even South Africans should only focus on the United States’ problems?

    • Shmuel
      April 11, 2010, 12:29 pm

      For mindless repetition, unimaginative diversionary tatics and the inelegant abuse of the principles of logical argument, the TWAC is proud to present this week’s Trollie to eee.

      Troll of the Week Award 11.4.10

      Honourable mention: BSD/UNIX

      The Committee would like to thank potsherd for his invaluable help in reaching this decision and, at this point in time, heartily endorses his recommendation in their regard.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:32 pm

        Wow, Shmuel. Don’t take this the wrong way but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen you get so irked by behavior like this that you take a stand on it, directly.

        And I know this might be a sensitive question but I have to ask: Is this what it’s actually like to try to have a conversation like this in Israel?

      • Shmuel
        April 11, 2010, 12:57 pm

        Chaos,

        I am the proud founder and sole member of the Mondoweiss Troll of the Week Award Committee, which has thus far awarded Trollies to a very select group of trolls, some of whom are no longer with us. Speaking in a personal capacity (in no way reflecting the positions of the TWAC), there is a lot of room on this site for thoughtful liberal Zionists, but propagandists and time-wasters piss me off.

        I have tried to have conversations like this in Israel. The brainwashing is pretty thorough and the propaganda clichés fly fast and furious, but face-to-face is always easier than anonymous internet forums. As with most generalisations, there are many exceptions, for good and bad.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 12:49 pm

        Applauding eee the trollie TWAC award. It may be a good idea to stop responding – as hard as it is 9and I just did too…). This type of a troll is sent over primarily to thread-jack and divert. The more we feed it, the more they’ll yap.

        The experience with witty should give us strength. Fewer people respond to him these days – though, in the interest of equality, everyone should get a few chances to do so. I know chaos and yonira have a thing going, but that’s just for comic relief. Every thread needs some of that. Other than claiming to be an Israeli, eee has little by way of substance over yonira though the ax he grinds is a bit different (it’s all about hasbara point #4). BTW, eee I think is a relatively recent anglo zionist emigre, hence the eager-beever nature of his posts.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:52 pm

        Guys like this don’t go away if you ignore them. They just link to their unchallenged posts and pretend like they’ve built a consensus.

        And don’t blind yourselves that this tactic doesn’t work. It’s how extremist Zionists have hijacked Jewish American thought for over half a century.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 12:59 pm

        What’s the alternative, Chaos? this type of a person does not change or reform with better argument as the purpose is to disrupt, not to debate or have a conversation. It’s like a virus for the intellect. Notice how it caused BDSNOW to mutate into UNIX?

        I agree it’s time to administer the anti-biotic ie, to ban, and I have reported eee for abuse of terms of service – as I’m sure others have. Way too much name calling and spamming. I think a concerted effort from all will do the trick. It may buy us a week before the next one shows up.

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 1:03 pm

        You’re speculating on who UNIX is. The prior name was BSDNOW, BSD is also a technological accronym. Its only cute that it is similar to BDS.

        I think the only way to appeal to nationalists and/or religious is in their own language.

        What does Torah teach? To annex or to respect?

      • Shmuel
        April 11, 2010, 1:11 pm

        Danaa and Chaos,

        I’m not fond of the abuse button, and have only used it a couple of times – in cases of really vile personal attacks or very overt racism. I happen to think that ignoring does the trick with virtually all varieties of troll. The ones who spout patent nonsense and gobbledygook may be persistent, but no one takes them seriously anyway. Those who, like eee, make somewhat cogent arguments tend to tire and disappear before long. RW is sui generis.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 1:21 pm

        OK, I’ll try to desist from the reply button. I just worry a bit about the staying power of this one. It’s like a mosquito, down to the buzz name.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:12 pm

        I have already reported UNIX for abuse. Let’s hope Phil does some spring cleaning and gets rid of these vermin.

      • tree
        April 11, 2010, 5:29 pm

        BSDNOW was UNIX prior and reverted back to the old screenname recently. However, in his new incarnation he reminds me of “ethan”.

        eee reminds me of “OhioJoeS” slightly more temperate older brother.

    • Danaa
      April 11, 2010, 12:29 pm

      Ooo eee,

      And this you compare to bone deep racism in Israel? Differences in SAT scores? which, BTW, are almost entirely attributable to differences in socio-economic conditions and parental education levels – in the US as in most other countries. The equivalent in israel is the gap in test scores and university admission levels between people of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi origins. If you check the statistics you’ll find the similar kind of gap, except possibly a bit larger.

      The racism in Israel is something else, which, as noted by Tutu includes rampant segragation between arab and [so-called] jewish sectors. Do you know how many jewish communities (moshavs, kibbutzim, townships) won’t let an arab family rent or buy? how many in Tel aviv won’t rent or employ an arabic person? how many arab engineers can’t find employment because much of the vaunted hi-tech employment is fueled by Israel’s military-industrial complex where arabs are not welcome?

      A recent poll showed 55% of Israeli “jews” want to have segragated seating from arabs in entertainment venues. Now that’s more like south africa style apartheid, and Jim Crow south. Something tells me you are not one of the remaining 45% minority who either didn’t approve or didn’t have a preference.

      We “pick” on Israel, BTW, because it is so pickable, and people like you are so peeked by all the pepper sprayed your way. Get used to it.

      Of course, you could just admit that Israel is a military ethnocracy (or junta-ruled theocracy) and then, like Mynamar, we’ll take it for granted that human rights and civilized behavior is not what we can expect. We’ll know there’ll be many more Kamms just like there are many Aung’s in Myanamar. See eee, how easy it is? just cut out the self designation as either “Jewish” or a “democracy” and then the Jews from the other, truer, zions – and their many no-jewish friends-in-arms – will stop picking on you for masquerading as their representatives. That’s all you – and israel need to do for members of the democratic west to stop trying to hold you up to their own standards. Just say these are not standards you share. Once it is accepted that israel is just like any other Arabic country in the ME, why, we’d criticize it much the same way we do Egypt. Of course, it’d help if you stopped telling america and the rest of the world what to do and perhaps sent back some of those billions that were pumped into you by american tax payers. We sure could use some of those 10’s of billions right now……

      Oh yes, and the nice thing about it is if you send us back some of them Billions, may be with a little bit of interest as compensation for our dead soldiers who gave up their lives in the killing fields of Iraq for you, then you too will get to criticize american “racism” to your heart’s content.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 12:35 pm

        I was trying to append a charming quote from eee:

        “Desmond Tutu is perhaps not aware that the US is a super racist country.
        Does he know that there is a huge difference in the SAT scores of blacks and whites?”

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:38 pm

        Oh Danaa,

        How blind can you be? You write with a straight face:
        “which, BTW, are almost entirely attributable to differences in socio-economic conditions and parental education levels”

        Why are there socioeconomic difference if it weren’t for the fact that the US is a deeply racist country and not a democracy?

        In which country is there the most white flight? Instead of limiting African Americans from coming in, white Americans left wholesale. You call that a democracy?

        Why are African Americans so over represented in American jails? Why do cops stop more cars with African Americans than with whites? Why is it so much harder for an African American to get a good mortgage?

        Enough with your condescending. The US is just as racist as Israel if not more.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:38 pm

        FIX YOUR OWN COUNTRY FIRST, eee. :)

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 12:53 pm

        eee, please consult hasbara point # 2 and #4 (“you suck” and “the world sucks”). Then fix and improve next time.

        Troll Grade: C-

        Obviously you did not immigrate from america.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

        Danaa,

        Take the blinders from your own eyes. Israel is a flawed democracy and a work in progress. So is the US, at a more advanced stage. Your insistence in judging Israel based on some perfect standards is irrational. Just look where the US was 60 years after its creation and what the man you so proudly put on your twenty dollar bill did.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:58 pm

        Israel haters rule #1:

        Judge Israel based on standards that are unreasonable. Then, when this is pointed to you, tell the person to consult hasbara points.

        Get real. My argument is not the two wrongs make a right argument. My argument is that your judging is unreasonable and is clear double standards.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 1:14 pm

        Your “argument” is what we call here a witticism. Please credit Richard Witty, our resident apologist. He is working that side of the street. Warning: he may be using yonira as a goon – though not a very effective one.

      • lyn117
        April 11, 2010, 1:19 pm

        We judge Israel based on its claim to be a “light unto nations” and note that it was founded by and for ethnic supremacists, with deliberate ethnic cleansing including mass murder, terror and rape.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 1:32 pm

        You probably did not read Herzl. He wanted a normal state with Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes. Israel is no better or worse than other states. Its people are not more moral or less moral than anybody else.

        The US is the “shining city on the hill’ no? Why don’t you judge it then?

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 1:33 pm

        “Your “argument” is what we call here a witticism. Please credit Richard Witty, our resident apologist. He is working that side of the street. ”

        You can call the argument whatever you like. I haven’t read yet a good answer to it.

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 1:38 pm

        Your consistent misrepresentations of my views, generalized to any that bear any sympathy for Israel, demonstrate how liberals must remain wary of radical dissent.

        Name-calling as progressive politics.

      • Avi
        April 11, 2010, 3:11 pm

        You probably did not read Herzl. He wanted a normal state with Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes.

        That’s exactly what Israel is. At least Hertzel wasn’t a hypocrite like you, eh?

        It’s funny how you spell Herzl with the common English spelling, unlike the way its written in Hebrew – Hertzel.

        Only a liar from the US who pretends to be Israeli would do that. You’re a joke.

      • Donald
        April 11, 2010, 3:54 pm

        I’m always baffled by this argument when it comes from a Zionist,probably because I agree with it and can’t see how it is a defense of Israel and until recently, the only people talking about the similarities between Israeli and American crimes were people like Chomsky. We are a racist country and have done and still do terrible things. And one of those things is our kneejerk support for Israel and its war crimes. I think many American liberals are actually more willing to criticize our own war crimes than those of Israel, probably because they fear being accused of antisemitism.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 4:12 pm

        Avi,

        You are a prejudiced individual. You think all Israelis make the mistake of misspelling Herzl? What kind of generalization is that?

        Leave your BS aside. I am in the high tech business and don’t like the muddled keyboard.

        I studied in Golan elementary school in Ramat-Hasharon, then went to the Alumim middle school and went to high school in Ramat-Aviv in Handesaim. I then spent many years in the IDF. I am more Israeli than you will ever be you prejudiced liar and ignoramus.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 4:16 pm

        Donald,

        Thank you for acknowledging what I am saying.

        If you admit that your country has many faults, why are you busy criticizing Israel instead of taking care of your own country?

        You know, you are the superpower so lead by example. Why are you expecting anything from Israel if America the trend setter is just a bad? People learn from good examples set by others, not from criticism. Show us that you are “the shining city on the hill” and we will follow.

      • lyn117
        April 11, 2010, 5:11 pm

        Herzl wanted a state in Palestine without its native Palestinian Arabs. He was an ethnic supremacist. As far as I know, he may not have explicitly advocated violent expulsion by terror and force of arms as do (and did) many Zionists. I haven’t read him enough to know if he advocated expulsion by state force, i.e. some state office just telling people they had to leave because they weren’t Jews – he probably did – as if that’s “peaceful”. He advocated “denying them [Palestinian Arabs] employment,” i.e., rank discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, enforced poverty for the non-Jewish population by the Zionist state and institutions in order to get them to seek opportunity elsewhere.

        The U.S. has always had a law against instituting a state religion. It has laws against discriminating on the basis of race, creed or place of national origin – not always followed they have been used to prosecute some of the worst offenders. Israel has no such policy, and in fact, deliberately discriminates on the basis of religion, and uses the state apparatus to do so. It uses the state apparatus to “legally” murder, torture and confiscate land outside its borders of people who don’t happen to be Jews, for Jewish-only use. I utterly condemn the U.S. practices of exploiting the resources of third-world countries, which have lead to our propping up and sometimes installing criminal dictators and mass murderers. I utterly condemn the U.S. for its policies abroad, but in so far as they do discriminate on the basis of race, creed and place of national origin, it’s particularly the policies supporting Israel.

        I don’t claim the people of Israel are more or less moral than anyone else, I claim that Israel the state and Zionism the ideology are racist, and promote mass murder and ethnic cleansing on the basis of ethnicity.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:14 pm

        “Israel is a flawed democracy and a work in progress.”‘

        A work in progress that’s becomming more broken by the day. As Barak said, it is heading towards a Jewish apartheid state.

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:16 pm

        So you don’t speak Hebrew eee?

      • Shingo
        April 11, 2010, 5:18 pm

        “Israel is no better or worse than other states.”

        A South African emphatically stated as far back as 1961 that “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state” (Rand Daily Mail, 23 Novemeber 1961).

        Those were not the words of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu or Ruth First, but were uttered by none other than the architect of apartheid itself, racist Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 5:21 pm

        Lyn117,

        How can you claim with a straight fact that the US does not discriminate based on race? There is only one explanation for the huge difference in SAT scores between blacks and whites in the US: DISCRIMINATION!

        Why are African-Americans over represented in US jails by such a huge factor? There is only one explanation: Racial DISCRIMINATION!

        Your are blind to what your country is and criticize Israel. Do you even know how many African Americans were lynched in the US?

        I am an atheist and I have suffered no religious discrimination in Israel. In the US, saying you are an atheist is the death of a political career. The US strongly discriminates against atheist.

        Where do you find the audacity to criticize Israel?

      • Avi
        April 11, 2010, 5:33 pm

        I studied in Golan elementary school in Ramat-Hasharon, then went to the Alumim middle school and went to high school in Ramat-Aviv in Handesaim. I then spent many years in the IDF. I am more Israeli than you will ever be you prejudiced liar and ignoramus.

        That’s a nice story. Did you plagiarize that from someone’s facebook page?

        I already know that you were not born in Israe and I also know that if you are indeed in Israel now, that you are a recent Oleh, one who is a liar tool. Why don’t you hang out with Ethan Bronner’s son and exchange stories about your days in Brooklyn?

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 5:38 pm

        Avi,

        You are just lying. Believe what you want. There is no evidence anyway that I can give you that will convince you if you accuse me of stealing stuff from facebook pages. Man, you are low.

        I was born and raised in Israel and spent many years in the IDF.

        Now, let’s discuss the issues as Shmuel says.

      • tree
        April 11, 2010, 5:40 pm

        So where do you find the audacity to criticize the US? If you can’t follow your own advice then stop giving it. If you really think it is wrong to criticize any country but your own unless your country is perfect, then why aren’t you criticizing Israel? Why are you getting upset that others are criticizing Israel? You can’t seem to stop criticizing the US, so you are no different from those that upset you so for criticizing Israel.

        Come on, lets here some criticizing of Israel from you. Let’s see you do something to fix your own country. Lead by example here if you want to make a difference. Stick to your principles and don’t criticize any other country but your own. (Or really just a wannabe, living in the US?)

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 5:46 pm

        Tree,

        I criticize Israeli policies a lot on the appropriate forums.
        You can also criticize Israel. But put what Israel does in the context of what most countries do and especially the US, the world superpower and trend setter. You set the standards that everyone including us to follow.

      • tree
        April 11, 2010, 6:07 pm

        No, you don’t follow us. You do not have separation of church and state. You do not have civil marriage. You do not have a Constitution. You do not have laws against discrimination in housing and employment. You don’t agree with the concept that a country should be for the good of all of its citizens, instead you claim it for Jews everywhere. I could go on and on. You don’t follow us. That’s merely a transparent excuse for what you do. It may make you feel good to say it but it isn’t the truth.

        I criticize Israeli policies a lot on the appropriate forums.

        Why is this not an appropriate forum? Please enlighten us as to what forums you consider “appropriate” and what your criticisms are. If you insist tha you criticize Israel on other forums, why did you insist that you knew that no one here criticizes the US on other forums? Again, you want to judge us by standards that you won’t apply to yourself.

      • lyn117
        April 11, 2010, 6:29 pm

        May I refer you to the 14th and 13th amendments to U.S. constitution? And, may I politely point out with all praise to your perspicacity that I didn’t say the U.S. wasn’t racist, I said they had laws against discrimination. Which have upon occasion been used to successfully prosecute abusers of state power, e.g. the policemen who beat Rodney King.

        On the other hand, Israel has laws supporting discrimination. Official, apartheid laws. Aside from those within Israel itself, it rules over 3.5 million people who have no vote in the actual government, it uses the state apparatus to kill, beat, torture and expel non-Jews, to confiscate their property for the exclusive use by Jews to prevent them from opportunity to live in or thrive in their own land. (and no, despite Israel’s claims to be acting in the name of all Jews everywhere, I don’t blame all Jews everywhere for this)

        Convert to Islam or Christianity, then explain to me again about your wonderful political career in Israel. Where do you find the moral sense to praise Israel?

      • MRW
        April 12, 2010, 7:53 am

        “If you admit that your country has many faults, why are you busy criticizing Israel instead of taking care of your own country?”

        We are. The fault is that we’ve supported Israel unconditionally.

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 5:30 pm

        Lyn, don’t get sucked in to discuss “discrimination” in the US. That’s exactly the purpose of eee ‘s silly comments string. I think this is known in hasbara parlance as “changing the focus” otherwise known as distraction.

        One thing to take into account is that our eee-ior is not originally from the US. My guess is canada.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 5:33 pm

        Danaa,

        I am originally from Israel. Born and raised. Stop lying.

        Great advice you are giving Lyn. When someone raises good points, don’t answer him. Because why would we want to discuss discrimination in the US when all we want is to criticize Israel in absolute terms and irrationally?

      • tree
        April 11, 2010, 5:44 pm

        So, are you saying that you are not in Israel now?

      • Danaa
        April 11, 2010, 9:35 pm

        Good catch, tree.

    • Sumud
      April 11, 2010, 2:19 pm

      I’m sure if you make a compelling case to Archbishop Tutu about the apartheid conditions in the US he’ll write you a letter.

      He’s written another letter recently in support of the Palestinian Kairos Document – the cry for help that was sent out late last year by Palestinian christians in the Occupied Territories.

      link to kairospalestine.ps

      Let us know how you go making your case to Tutu.

    • Avi
      April 11, 2010, 3:02 pm

      Desmond Tutu is perhaps not aware that the US is a super racist country.
      Does he know that there is a huge difference in the SAT scores of blacks and whites?
      link to jbhe.com

      As usual, he picks on Israel instead of the world superpower. And as usual, the people on this blog are not interested in the rampant racism in their country, but want to deal with Israel. FIX YOUR OWN HOME.

      How come you were born and raised in Israel, claim to currently live in Israel, but have no Hebrew keyboard?

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 4:13 pm

        Avi,

        How come you are using ad-hominem arguments? Did not Shmuel teach you? Or you are used to employing double standards?

      • Avi
        April 11, 2010, 5:35 pm

        What’s ad hominem about that question? Do you have a reading comprehension disorder?

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 5:40 pm

        Avi,

        What’s ad-hominem about it? Are you serious?
        You are not trying to discredit my ideas, you are trying to discredit me as a person with that question. If you wanted only to address my points, why would you even ask such a question?

      • Avi
        April 11, 2010, 5:52 pm

        You seriously need to read up on the definition of ad hominem. You’re clearly confused.

    • Shingo
      April 11, 2010, 5:10 pm

      “Desmond Tutu is perhaps not aware that the US is a super racist country.”

      There is racism yes, but the racism isn’t written into the state’s laws like in Israel.

      “Does he know that there is a huge difference in the SAT scores of blacks and whites?”

      Is it as big as scored between Ashkenazi and Sephardicand Ethiopian Jews?

      “And as usual, the people on this blog are not interested in the rampant racism in their country, but want to deal with Israel.”

      We had a civil right smovement, and under our laws, it’s illegal to descriminate basedon race or religion. Your country has based it’s identity on racist and degergation, so yes, we will continue to talk about your vile, racist, apartheid state.

      You don’t have to join in if you don’t want to.

  5. David Samel
    April 11, 2010, 11:51 am

    While Tutu’s entire letter is a masterpiece, and it is difficult to highlight any portion without doing a disservice to the remainder, I found this passage especially meaningful: “It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in particular for its abuses. To those who wrongly accuse you of unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one’s own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity.”

    Just as significant: “True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute. ” In 2010, one would expect that this would appear to be an anachronism from an earlier era, a sentiment so obvious that its repetition at this late date would be almost embarrassing. But what is remarkable about this conflict is that the Israeli viewpoint, fully endorsed by the most powerful nation in the world, not only is indifferent to true equality but completely antagonistic to it. It is a shame that anyone could read Tutu’s statement and feel that Israel represents a legitimate exception to this simple, universal truth. There is indeed an irreconcilable conflict between Israel’s actions (and even Zionist theory) and the notion of ethnic equality, and the biggest difference of opinion is over which one should triumph.

    Tutu’s beautifully formulated letter would make a difference to anyone with an open mind. Let’s hope it reaches the widest circulation possible.

    • Avi
      April 11, 2010, 3:14 pm

      To those who wrongly accuse you of unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one’s own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity.”

      Yes.

  6. eee
    April 11, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Tutu is a great man?
    Why then doesn’t the South African government lead the effort in BDS? Why can’t he convince the ANC to BDS Israel? You know actions speak louder than words.
    Instead of writing platitudes to people in Berkley, how about making your own country follow your preaching? Or can your own people see right through your BS?

    • Chaos4700
      April 11, 2010, 12:10 pm

      I wasn’t aware that South Africa converted and became a Roman Catholic theocracy.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:26 pm

        Just explain something, if Tutu makes so much sense, why don’t his own country men listen to him? My explanation is simple. They see through his BS. What is yours?

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:29 pm

        You mean people like this?
        link to cosatu.org.za

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:33 pm

        Why doesn’t the SA government BDS Israel?
        Simple question.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:34 pm

        So now trade union members don’t count as “people?”

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:35 pm

        Is anyone else amused by that? The white guy in Israel talking about black South Africans this way? Sort of resonant.

      • eee
        April 11, 2010, 12:39 pm

        I am saying the SA government is smart to see through Tutu’s BS.
        And you still have not answered the question.
        Why doesn’t SA break its diplomatic ties with Israel and BDS it instead of having roaring trade between the two countries?

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 12:45 pm

        So now Archbishop Desmond Tutu is full of bullshit, huh.

        Anyone else think Israel’s foreign ministry being represented by Avigdor Lieberman is exactly the true face of Israel to the rest of the world?

        And I did answer your question. Your reaction was, “Well, the opinion of mere peons doesn’t count. What do the ruling political elites have to say, about it, huh?”

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 12:57 pm

        I don’t Tutu’s motivation or approach is bullshit. I think his basic goals are sound.

        I criticize BDS for its punitive effort in practice and in the minds of many proponents, and particularly for its vagueness.

        I strongly prefer the more consensual approach of persuasion to the prospect of habitual and prospectively anti-semitic forced isolation of much BDS efforts.

        The European boycott of South Africa was more important in effecting change there than the US. South Africa felt the change.

        Israel does roughly equal amount of business with Europe as US. The relation between Israel and the US and Israel and Europe is much much more intimate than between South Africa and Europe even.

        A boycott of Israel is a boycott of families, a boycott of American leading corporations, a boycott of Mediterranean agriculture (and therefore fraught with the prospect of competitors’ opportunism).

        Israel is very much part of Mediterranean Europe, much much more than South Africa.

        BDS is therefore that much more substantively divisive, not a boycott only, but a wedge in the name of opposing wedges.

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 1:00 pm

        And further than that, there is anti-semitic racist violence in Europe that hides behind anti-Zionism.

        Unless the BDS movement is concise and extremely careful, it very easily can devolve to racist isolation and collective abuse, rather than liberation. I would hate for that to be the affect of Tutu’s elder life, the consequence that he dies with and must grapple with.

        He can’t be silent, and shouldn’t be, but he must express actual care that the urge for justice results in justice.

      • Sumud
        April 11, 2010, 2:59 pm

        You’re not making any sense. Here’s another critic of BDS, also not making sense:

        link to democracynow.org

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 4:12 pm

        Simple question Sumud.

        What do you mean by “occupation”? 67 borders, any Israel?

      • Sumud
        April 11, 2010, 4:40 pm

        Occupied Palestinian Territories, as per the UN.

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 4:47 pm

        So which do YOU mean?

      • Richard Witty
        April 11, 2010, 4:47 pm

        I don’t believe that the UN uses the term “occupied Palestinian territories”, as there is not yet any sovereign Palestine.

        There should be, but there is not yet.

      • Chaos4700
        April 11, 2010, 7:47 pm

        Witty, that’s no better than the “land before a people” argument. What are the Palestinians supposed to do, then? Rise up with a military force and wipe out Israeli cities, towns and villages? Because that’s exactly what Israel did to become a nation. That was Zionism, Witty. Is that what you’re endorsing? Or do different laws apply to Jews than to the rest of us?

      • Sumud
        April 12, 2010, 5:37 am

        “So which do YOU mean?”

        I mean the OPTs as defined by the UN: June 4 1967 borders. I advocate for the rule of international law, why don’t you?

        “I don’t believe that the UN uses the term “occupied Palestinian territories”,”

        You’d be wrong.

        “The United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, International Committee of the Red Cross and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland all refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        “The Court observed that under customary international law as reflected in Article 42 of the Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention of 18 October 1907, territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army, and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.
        The State of Israel raised a number of exceptions and objections,[5] but the Court found them unpersuasive. The Court ruled that territories had been occupied by the Israeli armed forces in 1967, during the conflict between Israel and Jordan, and that subsequent events in those territories, had done nothing to alter the situation.”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • MRW
        April 12, 2010, 7:59 am

        ”I don’t believe that the UN uses the term “occupied Palestinian territories”, as there is not yet any sovereign Palestine.
        There should be, but there is not yet.“

        There was before the Naqba. Everyone had ‘PALESTINE“ passports: Jews, Arabs, and Christian. And their money said ‘PALESTINE’ on it in three languages.

  7. Richard Witty
    April 11, 2010, 12:22 pm

    “It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another”

    That is my hope as well and of Fayyad and Abbas. Is it the hope of Palestinian cadre and solidarity? Hezbollah, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Hamas?

  8. sky7i
    April 11, 2010, 1:31 pm

    I hope Tutu sends a copy of this to his fellow four-letter friend Bono.

    link to facebook.com

    And if they do play, will they show Tutu’s speech during the concert, as they have been doing here in North America?

  9. Elliot
    April 12, 2010, 7:18 am

    If we’re to win over Jewish Israelis, we need to address their legitimate concerns about the future. They have to live with the consequences of being brave.

    If I were a Jew living in Israel I’d be asking myself:
    -Since the end of Apartheid, 3,000 White South Africans have been murdered.
    -The killing of white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche shows that racial violence there is not getting better.
    -The Jews have largely fled South Africa.

    How do I know, that by dismantling the discriminatory legal system that is the State of Israel, I won’t end up like the Whites in South Africa?

    • MRW
      April 12, 2010, 7:34 am

      Elliot,

      The free lunch theory? Promise me a future and then I’ll stop acting illegally?

    • MRW
      April 12, 2010, 7:37 am

      They’re fleeing Israel.
      link to pulsemedia.org

    • Shmuel
      April 12, 2010, 8:00 am

      Simple question for pragmatic Israeli Jews: How viable is the current arrangement in the long run – both within Israel and in the OT? I think that is the sort of thinking that won over white South Africans in the end. The boycott served to unnerve them and to raise the cost of maintaining the status quo. The question cannot be answered without factoring in Israel’s international standing, even if one believes that direct BDS will be largely ineffective.

      Once that question has been answered honestly, alternatives can truly be discussed, addressing the real and imagined fears of both sides.

  10. Shingo
    April 12, 2010, 7:27 am

    “If we’re to win over Jewish Israelis, we need to address their legitimate concerns about the future.”

    We’re not going to win over the Israelis, becasue the Israelis have demonstarted they have no intention of being brave.

    “Since the end of Apartheid, 3,000 White South Africans have been murdered.”

    Unfortunate, but more have died due to road accidents.

    “The killing of white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche shows that racial violence there is not getting better.”

    The killing of a white supremacist is probably the result of his own incitements to violence. If you live by the sword, you’ll die by it.

    “The Jews have largely fled South Africa”

    How many of them are among the wealthy white South Africans who have also fled South Africa, most of whom simply didn’t like the idea of living as equals with black people?

    “How do I know, that by dismantling the discriminatory legal system that is the State of Israel, I won’t end up like the Whites in South Africa?”

    You don’t, but then, it’s not like the situation in Israel isn’t already contributing to mass murder is it?

  11. Elliot
    April 12, 2010, 7:37 am

    Shingo,
    I favor the U.S. and world community imposing a solution on Israel. However, if Israelis cooperate it will be that much more successful for all involved. And, it’s going to be a lot harder for them than it is for us talking heads.

    How much fundamental change have we been able to effect in our own countries?

    • Shingo
      April 12, 2010, 7:50 am

      That’s all well and good Elliot, but the argument that we have to satisfy Israel’s kinsatiable need for assurances sounds like one of Witty’s recipes for stonewalling.

      It’s goign to be hard for Zionists the way it was hard for staunch communists to accept the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their beliefs and realilty have been built on an susutainable model, so there’s no way to prevent them comming to terms with reality.

      As you said, fundamental change rarely comes about through people’s willngness. It’s almost always the conequence of a crisis.

  12. Elliot
    April 12, 2010, 8:04 am

    Shingo,

    I used South Africa as a model rather than East Germany not just because “apartheid” is part of our Israel/Palestine lexicon. There is no reunification waiting for Israeli Jews. If a Palestinian heads the new country that emerges, it will be no Angela Merkel.

    Unsustainable systems are perpetuated if there is no hope for a better system afterwards. I’d rather not sit around waiting for a catastrophe to happen so that a new, possibly equally violent, order can emerge from its ashes.

    I am truly interested if anybody has thoughts on how a post-Jewish Israel/Palestine can succeed better than post-apartheid South Africa.

    • Shingo
      April 12, 2010, 8:10 am

      Elliot,

      The most likely outcome is that like South Africa, the elite will flee the country and return to the Western or European states they migrated from originally. The poor will either remain and try to hold on to their supermacist eutopea or also head to Europe.

      It’s not going to be pretty, but there is 60 years of pain that needs to be vented.

      Unsustainable systems are perpetuated by those who profit from them.

      • eee
        April 12, 2010, 8:57 am

        The bottom line, Israel will be trashed. Even in your vision.
        The much more likely thing that will happen is a devastating civil war.

    • Shmuel
      April 12, 2010, 8:18 am

      Elliot: I am truly interested if anybody has thoughts on how a post-Jewish Israel/Palestine can succeed better than post-apartheid South Africa.

      There are no guarantees, but there can be safeguards and moutains of practical international assistance that were not available to South Africa. I believe the socio-economic (not to be discounted as a – perhaps the source of post-Apartheid violence) and cultural differences are also more easily resolvable in I/P.

      Analogies only work up to a point. One might cite N. Ireland, although there was a bomb there today. The bottom line is that nothing can absolutely guarantee the security of Israeli Jews – least of all continued repression and dispossession of Palestinians.

      • Elliot
        April 12, 2010, 8:55 am

        Thanks, Shmuel.
        In the world of analogies, the I/P racial and religious conflict is somewhere between N. Ireland and South Africa.
        Money always makes problems easier to bear and will take the sting out of the tensions in Israel. If U.S. aid helped for Egypt and Jordan, not to mention Israel, the same should hold true for I/P.
        Regarding South Africa, it’s actually the rural White South Africans – the ones who couldn’t leave or buffer themselves with money from the new South Africa – who are bearing the brunt of Black violence.

      • UNIX
        April 12, 2010, 8:56 am

        Typical “There can be no gaurantees” So forcefully remove Jews from their homes with violence just so there can be no gaurantees for the safety of the refugees after. Sick.

      • eee
        April 12, 2010, 9:01 am

        Don’t worry UNIX. Nobody is going to force such a solution on us.
        But we do support a one state solution, that is Mexico should unite with the US. There is no other way to get justice. The American settlers in Texas and California will not be removed. Down with the American puppets in Mexico City!

      • UNIX
        April 12, 2010, 9:06 am

        Yes! Give the land of the Raza back to Mexico! US out of East LA! East LA has a Mexican Majority! It’s occupied!

    • MRW
      April 12, 2010, 8:51 am

      Elliot,

      The problem is SA now is far more complicated than reported in the news. Ask any SA white what it was like after Mandela took over. They were terrified that everything was going to go to hell in a handbasket, but even the most ardent anti-Mandela person was won over in the 90s; that’s why Mandela is saint there.

      The problem is Zimbabwe and Mugabe. When there was a monthly 60,000% (yes, that’s correct) inflation rate a few years ago and the hunger and torture of so much of the black population except for Mugabe’s 100 best friends, the Zimbabweans streamed into South Africa on foot. Stream is not the word. They could barely walk from the extreme hunger. I saw 22 year old women who looked nine months pregnant, because of distended stomachs, and 45 years old dazed with hunger stumbling into Northern SA. Mugabe gave the great breadbasket farms (taken from whites) that produced so much of Africa’s food to his friends who ran them into the ground because they didn’t know what to do.

      It is almost as if an entire country chose to occupy another, and, now the social problems from being overrun are taking their toll. These uneducated desperately poor blacks from Zimbabwe do things like pull up the telecommunications wiring to get the copper to sell for food. No one stops for lights at night because marauding gangs attack your car from both sides to get your purse.

      Mandela’s house has a 10′ solid fence and bodyguards. No one is immune.

      I could write for an hour here. Just jotting down a sense of what the problem is.

      • MRW
        April 12, 2010, 9:00 am

        The woman who drove me around and with whom I was staying was contemplating leaving, and this was at the start of Bush II’s term. She was not poor and, luckily, could move anywhere; her family had large holdings in SA. She mourned that Mandela was not still President or PM or whatever he was, and her family had been so fearful of the changes when Mandela first took over. She said Mandela was the best thing to ever happen to SA. Mugabe was completely fucking it up. What I saw there, of the Zimbabweans, was heart-breaking. Images etched in my mind for life. I suppose once they got food in the camps in SA, they then got desperate.

      • eee
        April 12, 2010, 9:06 am

        MRW,

        It is easy to blame Mugabe, but Mandela and M’beki backed him to the hilt and refused to deal with him. THEY let the situation get out of control and have only themselves to blame. They did not want to sanction or criticize a fellow fighter against “colonialism”. And now they are paying the price.

      • MRW
        April 12, 2010, 9:09 am

        The toughest image was watching a young family, mother, father, two under-five-year olds, walking in a line separated from each other by about 15 ft, the babies naked walking down the middle of the road (north of J’burg), stomachs bloated, and the tears dried on their faces, all four struggling like cadavers with the most haunted look in their eyes.

      • MRW
        April 12, 2010, 9:23 am

        Mugabe is to blame, first and foremost. (You’re using the circular Israeli argument that it’s always someone else’s fault for what it’s doing.) Mugabe IS to blame.

        Secondarily, when Mandela came to power in 1994, Mugabe hadn’t been found out. He was still a darling to the international crowd, seen as strict and heavy-handed, but a darling nonetheless. It was only when Britain discovered the farms that were taken over was going to his inner circle, not the populace as promised that the money stopped flowing to him. M’beki no more confronted him than Livni is confronting Netanyahu publicly over what he’s doing with the settlements now. But Mandela did, publicly two years ago. Called Mugabe a colossal failure and a tragic leader who destroyed the country.

      • Elliot
        April 12, 2010, 10:34 am

        Thanks for that, MRW.
        I’m getting my news on SA from the BBC programs. Lots of talk there about the tensions between White farmers and black laborers.

  13. Cliff
    April 12, 2010, 9:18 am

    Because of what the early colonizers did we now have laws forbidding such behaviour.
    A) They are not retrospective laws.
    B) These countries are no longer colonizing.
    C) Parts of Mexico were legally annexed to the USA. The UK legally annexed the Falklands.
    D) Australia is no longer dispossessing the Aboriginals, it is addressing land rights issues. The Australian Aboriginals have not asked us to leave. The Canadians have addressed their native rights issues.
    E) Israel is still colonizing via illegal settlements, it has never legally annexed any territory and is still in breach of the law.

    I know racist, pro-apartheid, Jewish supremacists like eee and BSD/UNIX would like to advocate all sorts of archaic, draconian practices, like slavery for instance – I mean, the US kept slaves for a long time. You’re all antisemitic for criticizing Israel for keeping slaves! Why do you single Israel out for keeping slaves? Clearly, you hate Jews!

  14. Cliff
    April 12, 2010, 9:22 am

    More censorship from the Canadian Zionist lobby:

    link to normanfinkelstein.com

    • MRW
      April 12, 2010, 9:28 am

      “My reading of the book is I walk away feeling hurt and marginalized and offended by the falseness of what’s in the book. I don’t walk away feeling I’ve just read a nice little story,” said Anita Bromberg, the legal director of B’nai Brith.

      oh jesus. more maudlin posturing.

  15. Sherri Munnerlyn
    October 29, 2011, 12:14 am

    I know this is a really old thread to add a comment to, but I found myself here as I was looking for a good statement defining what the BDS Movement really is, to address some comments of posters on a discussion board on Beliefnet who have extremely negative ideas about BDS. Desmond Tutu’s letter to the students of Berkeley addresses what BDS is, and it is written by a man who experienced firsthand Apartheid situations himself, in South Africa. It is a very personal letter. I tried to use this letter and quote his words and I was censored, once, then twice. I think there is too much truth in his words for some to face.

    I found each time I was challenged to restate what he was saying, and not being allowed to quote him because of censors, I found myself understanding more of what he was saying and getting more out of his words and doing a better job of getting to the essence of his words in that letter.

    I want to share here my statement of what he is saying in that letter and what I said about BDS, when I was challenged to put his letter into my own words.

    What else did Desmond Tutu say in the letter he wrote to the students at Berkeley, that I did not discuss in my last post, that is so important to addressing the true nature of BDS?

    Desmond Tutu has been to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and he tells the students he has been there and he tells them what he has witnessed in the OPT, which is racially segregated roads and housing that reminds him so much of the same conditions he had experienced personally before in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid in South Africa that he lived under there.

    He tells the students of Berkeley that he has witnessed the humiliation of the Palestinian people, the humiliation of men, women, and children made to wait routinely at Israeli checkpoints for hours trying to just make basic trips, to visit relatives, to attend schools, to attend colleges , and he tells them that that humiliation is familiar to him, too, as well as many black South Africans under Apartheid in South Africa, who were regularly corralled, and who were regularly insulted by Apartheid South African security forces.

    He tells the students of Berkeley that in South Africa, without the help of the global international community, they would never have achieved freedom from Apartheid and they never would have achieved a just peace.

    And that right there is why BDS is so important today, why people of conscience everywhere should embrace it, so that the people of Palestine can be freed from their Occupation and their own Apartheid situation. BDS freed South Africa from Apartheid, and it will free Palestine of Apartheid.

    Desmond Tutu addresses in his letter to the students of Berkeley, the nature of BDS, it is using non violent means, such as boycotts and divestments, to encourage corporations and governments to withdraw their support from the Apartheid regime.

    BDS is people of conscience all over our world joining together, in solidarity, and using and embracing nonviolent methods to bring to an end an unjust Occupation of men, women, and children in Palestine.

    And the global community will never stop morally embracing BDS and standing against the Occupation until it ceases and all people in Palestine are free.

  16. Sherri Munnerlyn
    October 29, 2011, 2:16 am

    My fifth attempt to discuss this letter to Berkeley students, by Desmond Tutu, on a Beliefnet discussion board, that I shared in my last post, was also censored , leaving me seriously wondering whether it is even worth it anymore to keep trying to talk to people with that mentality on a discussion board. BDS has been labelled genocide and that is considered acceptable by Moderators. Defense of BDS is censored. Discussing the hate of illegal settlers who viciously attack Israeli activists is labelled hate speech and is censored. Using the word Juhadists is engaging in hate speech, to refer to attacking settlers with their covered faces, to hide their identities as they terrorize. How does one respond to this? Do we walk away and just leave them to wallow in their extremism and hate and prejudice and bigotry? They are mostly Zionists, Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists.

    • annie
      October 29, 2011, 2:23 am

      Defense of BDS is censored. Discussing the hate of illegal settlers who viciously attack Israeli activists is labelled hate speech and is censored.

      sherri, i would start posting elsewherw.

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