Statement issued by the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation
“People who are denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings. Those who turn a blind eye to injustice actually perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said.
“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under Apartheid. I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the Apartheidgovernment.
“In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy 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.
“The same issues of inequality and injustice today motivate the divestment movement trying to end Israel’s decades long occupation of Palestinian territory and the unfair and prejudicial treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them.
“I associate myself with the objectives of the 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week.
“It doesn’t matter where we worship or live. Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Atheist; Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Gaza – we are members of one family, the human family, God’s family.
“God bless you.”
Issued for the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation by Oryx Media.