Desmond Tutu, How far are you going to keep falling?
Desmond Tutu I am writing this article to you, to Cosatu and the South African Government in general. Your views on the Middle East conflict and your recent comments are entirely disingenuous. Once again you have failed to be impartial, you have chosen a side and through your influence you perpetuate misunderstanding and violence. I write this because as a man in your position, you have a very distinct responsibility and you continuously fail!
Desmond Tutu you have been silent when Hamas has been firing rockets on innocent Israeli civilians for the past 12 years. You have never stated that Hamas initiated the violence. Over 12000 rockets have fallen on Israeli cities and the silence from your mouth is deafening. The ONLY time you have raised a voice is when Israel has retaliated. You claim that “fanatics” on both sides are claiming to “[act] with the approval of God”. When did Israel ever make such claims? You brand both sides fanatics when one side has repeatedly made offers for peace, has never rejected a peace offer and has never initiated violence but only responded to it. That country is Israel. Have you forgotten or never heard of the Peel Commission of 1937, the Partition Plan of 1947, the Camp David Accords of 1978/9, the Oslo peace talks of 1993, the Camp David Summit of 2000, the Taba talks of 2001 and the Roadmap to Peace in 2007? Each time the Jews or Israel either accepted or offered a solution, one for 2 states and each time this was rejected! Instead you choose to justify the endless violence that has erupted after each failed attempt at peace. Yours and other’s mislabeling of the aggressor only impedes finding any solution!
Desmond Tutu, you have never once condemned Hamas for using their own population as a political tool. You have not once condemned their use of the population as human shield. You have not once condemned their placing of ammunition depots and rocket launching sites inside civilian populations, next to mosques, schools, hospitals or Red Cross buildings. This is a war crime! You have not once condemned or mentioned those Palestinians killed by Hamas for dissent. You have not once mentioned those Palestinians killed by Hamas rockets not making it out of Gaza. Instead you draw a moral equivalency or even worse, criticize a country, without shame, who sanctifies life; a country that sends warning, at great expense to itself, to the people of Gaza before an operation is about to take place; a country, Israel, that sends aid through to Gaza even in a time of war; a country that has on numerous occasions aborted an attack because of the presence of civilians and a country who surgically targets terrorist infrastructure unlike the hundreds of indiscriminate rocket attacks fired from Gaza! For this YOU should be condemned!
It’s quite strange that you, coming from South Africa should feel the need to get involved in this conflict at all. Does South Africa not have enough of its own issues to deal with? Last I checked the statistics, according to various United Nations Reports, the summary being the Human Development Report, the Palestinian Territories have better literacy rates than South Africans, lower infant and maternal death rates than South Africans, far fewer people living under the poverty line than South Africans, better access to sanitation than South Africans! With all this information it seems that South Africans rather than those in the Palestinian Territories are facing a humanitarian crisis! Where is your voice now? If you are so interested in international politics, where is your voice for Syria, for Sudan, for Burma, for Egypt and for Nepal? Why are you silent for these REAL genocides and human rights abuses? Is there no one pandering you to issue a statement? Are they not important enough?
Desmond Tutu, for a man in your position to abuse your power and influence, is a crime. Your ignorance and clearly superficial and biased knowledge of the issues at hand is inexcusable, especially when you comment on a local or international stage! You give rationalization to terror, to murder of innocent civilians and inspire a group of people to move further from reconciliation than ever before!
Desmond Tutu, I suggest you do some soul searching and fact finding for yourself. Force the world to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and force the Palestinians to seek peaceful resolutions opposed to the use of violence to get their demands. As a religious man you should be using your power for the progress of humanity and not push it further into the darkness!