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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Desmond Tutu to head UN mission to Beit Hanun

Al-AP is reporting that 'Nobel Laureate' Desmond Tutu is going to be heading the United Nations 'fact-finding mission' to Beit Hanoun. According to the president of the UN Human Rights Council, Luis Alfonso De Alba, Tutu will travel to Beit Hanoun to "assess the situation of victims, address the needs of survivors and make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli assaults." It goes without saying that they will not be looking at ways to protect Israelis from Kassam rockets being shot at Sderot from Beit Hanoun.

Now you had to know that if the mission was being sent by the 'Human Rights Council,' it was going to be biased against Israel. After all, Israel is the only item on its agenda - even Darfur cannot make the grade. But Tutu has his very own special history of relations with Israel. And that's why he was chosen for this 'mission.' It was Tutu who - in April 2002 - brought the comparison between Israel and the apartheid state in South Africa to the fore.
In a speech in the United States, carried in the UK's Guardian newspaper, Archbishop Tutu said he saw "the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about".

The archbishop, who was a leading opponent of apartheid in South Africa, said Israel would "never get true security and safety through oppressing another people".
But of course, Tutu denies being an anti-Semite:
Archbishop Tutu said his criticism of the Israeli Government did not mean he was anti-Semitic.

"I am not even anti-white, despite the madness of that group," he said.
Tutu's speech was made shortly after Israel cleaned up Jenin in Operation Defensive Shield.
The archbishop said that while he condemned suicide bombings by Palestinian militants against Israel, Israeli military action would not bring security to the Jewish state.

Israel must "strive for peace based on justice, based on withdrawal from all the occupied territories, and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state on those territories side by side with Israel, both with secure borders," he said.
It should be noted just how wrong Tutu was in 2002. Defensive Shield was the beginning of a drastic reduction in the number of 'Palestinian' suicide bombers, and it worked specifically because it was a military action.

In a January 2003 article, John Perazzo wrote the following about Tutu's relationship with Israel:
Tutu further claimed that Americans are sometimes afraid to criticize Israel. "The Jewish lobby is powerful, very powerful," he said. "[Y]ou know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic. . . I am not even anti-white, despite the madness of that group."

Asserting that "Israel is like Hitler and apartheid," Tutu urged his Boston listeners to oppose Israeli "injustices" as fervently as they once opposed Nazism and South Africa’s system of racial separation. "We live in a moral universe," said Tutu. "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." How remarkable it is that he chose to compare Israel’s government to the regimes of such monsters, yet had no words of condemnation for his fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient Yasser Arafat – the man single-handedly responsible for the murder of more Jews than anyone since Hitler.

As a tangible expression of his view that Israeli policies stand in the way of peace in the Middle East, Tutu now endorses the burgeoning Israeli Divestment Campaign. "The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century," he says, "but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. . . . [A] similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation. Divestment from apartheid South Africa was fought by ordinary people at the grassroots. Faith-based leaders informed their followers, union members pressured their companies’ stockholders, and consumers questioned their store owners. Students played an especially important role by compelling universities to change their portfolios. Eventually, institutions pulled the financial plug, and the South African government thought twice about its policies. Similar moral and financial pressures on Israel are [now] being mustered one person at a time."

Notably, Tutu makes no call for divestment from any other Middle Eastern nation, though the political oppression, human rights abuses, and barbaric atrocities characterizing life throughout much of that region dwarf anything that the Palestinians have ever suffered in Israel, which Tutu dubs America’s "client state." This double standard is reminiscent, of course, of the equally curious double standard that characterized the anti-apartheid crusade in the 1980s. In those days, there was nary a whisper about possible divestment from any of the myriad African nations where campaigns of ethnic cleansing, wholesale torture and mutilation, and the genocide of millions were simply a way of life.
In sum, Tutu may be the only more 'worthy' candidate to head the Beit Hanoun 'investigation' than Dhimmi Carter. After all, he's not an American.


At 8:23 PM, Blogger Yzerfontein said...

The world is slowly detribalising, but until then we need to find a way to accommodate all religious group.

Like other human being Desmond Tutu isn't perfect, but he's got a lot of heart.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Tadhg Ó Muiris said...

Does putting the words "Noble Laureate" in quotation marks mean he really isn't one? In that case, I "agree" with your article. But I've never been able to understand why Zionists get so offended when comparisons with Apartheid are made - the tone of your article indicates you still harbour a warm spot for the poor, misunderstood Afrikaaners ... and for obvious reasons.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Tadhg Ó Muiris,

The quotes (they were 'scare quotes') were meant to indicate that I do not think he is worthy of what the Nobel Peace Prize supposedly stands for.

Given that the prize has been given to Yasser Arafat, Mohammed ElBaradei, the UN and Dhimmi Carter over the last several years, in addition to Tutu, there are a whole lot of 'prize winners' whose 'Nobel's' ought to have scare quotes attached. In my not so humble opinion anyway.


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