Tutu: East Jerusalem echoes Cape Town

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine opened its session in South Africa yesterday. Here are Desmond Tutu and Michael Mansfield writing in the Guardian on the applicability of the word apartheid:

We have visited Israel/Palestine on a number of occasions and every time have been struck by the similarities with the South African apartheid regime. The separate roads and areas for Palestinians, the humiliation at roadblocks and checkpoints, the evictions and house demolitions. Parts of East Jerusalem resemble what was District Six in Cape Town. It is a cause for abiding sadness and anguish. It revolves around the way in which the arrogance of power brings about a desensitisation. Once this has occurred it permits atrocious acts and attitudes to be visited on those over whom power and control are exercised. What such people are doing to themselves just as much as their victims should also be of concern.

As part of a South African religious delegation to Israel in the 1980s, Michael Nuttall, the bishop of Natal, pointed out that there were things happening in Israel that did not even happen in South Africa – forms of collective punishment. This has special resonance in the light of Richard Goldstone’s attempt to pre-empt the tribunal in the New York Times this week by an assertion that nothing in Israel comes close. His analysis is simplistic. No one is suggesting the two situations are identical.

These are all matters the tribunal will be assessing in order to ascertain what parallels and comparisons can be drawn. Whatever they may be, the ultimate objective is to consider the Israel-Palestine situation on its own facts and apply the norms of international law to identify three major issues. Have there been violations? If so, what are they and who is responsible? And thirdly, what are the legal ramifications and processes which should ensue?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 9 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. lobewyper says:

    Great find, Phil. Powerful!

  2. RE – Tutu: East Jerusalem echoes Cape Town

    ALSO SEE: Moshe Dayan’s Widow Ruth: Zionist Dream Has Run Its Course ~ Newsweek/DailyBeast, 11/30/11

    (excerpts)…“I’m a peacemaker, but the current Israeli government does not know how to make peace. We move from war to war, and this will never stop. I think Zionism has run its course.”…
    “Today we use foreign labor to work in Israel because Palestinians are not allowed. And this continuous expansion of the settlements everywhere-—I cannot accept it. I cannot tolerate this deterioration in the territories and the roadblocks everywhere. And that horrible wall! It’s not right.”

    SOURCE – link to thedailybeast.com

    • Proton Soup says:

      She sighs, and adjusts herself before continuing. “I long for the old Israel, where I traveled alone to Gaza the day after we won the 1956 war. Moshe was already a war hero, known to Israelis and Arabs alike. When I met the Palestinian mayor, I introduced myself as Ruth Dayan. The mayor almost had a heart attack.” She giggles. “His aides fled the scene. He cautiously asked me what my business was, and I replied that I wanted to see their rugs. He was astonished. ‘Rugs?’ he asked me. I was the head of Maskit at the time, a chain of arts-and-crafts stores. We were employing Bulgarian immigrants, and I wanted to include Arabs. I hired Arabs all over the country to make rugs and other merchandise.

      hahaha! well, you can say one thing about the original israelis, they weren’t cowards!

  3. Kathleen says:

    “It revolves around the way in which the arrogance of power brings about a desensitisation.”

    So glad that they called Goldstone out be name.

  4. “In the government you call civilized, the happiness of the people is constantly sacrificed to the SPLENDOR OF EMPIRE.
    Hence the origin of your codes of criminal and civil laws; hence your dungeons and prisons.
    We have no prisons; we have no pompous parade of courts; we have no written laws; and yet judges as highly revered among us as they are among you, and their decisIons are as much regarded.
    We have among us no exalted villains above the control of our laws.
    Daring wickedness here is never allowed to triumph over helpless innocence. The estates of widows and orphans are never devoured by enterprising swindlers.
    We have no robbery UNDER THE PRETEXT of law.”
    Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) – Mohawk