Petition signed to defend Tutu

2011-01-13 08:12

Cape Town - Former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson, human rights lawyer Joel Joffe and singer Annie Lennox are among prominent people who have signed a petition in support of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, after he was labelled an anti-Semite for his views on Israel.

The petition, which counts some 1 600 signatures, states that the slur and calls for the Nobel Peace laureate to be removed as patron of the Holocaust centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg are "totally unacceptable".

It was launched in response to an online petition initiated by the vice-chair of the South African Zionist Federation David Hersch who decried Tutu's criticism of Israeli policy.

The original petition said Tutu's call for the Cape Town Opera Company not to perform in Israel and for academic institutions to cut ties with those in Israel were "only the most recent examples of Archbishop Tutu's anti-Israeli behaviour".

It went on to describe his support for sanctions against Israel as "morally repugnant".

The counter-petition was launched by members of Open Shuhada Street, an activist organisation campaigning for rights in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Human rights and equality

It said Tutu was "a most appropriate patron" of the Holocaust centres.

The petition also defended Tutu's call to the opera company as "based on his firm belief in human rights and equality".

The text added: "For his advocacy of non-violence and human rights Archbishop Tutu is an ideal patron for the Holocaust Centre because he reminds us that we have the strength and the duty to struggle against racism and violations of human rights at home and in every country around the world.

"To use the Holocaust in an attempt to delegitimise Tutu is to undermine its legacy and to insult the memory of its victims.

"To call him an anti-Semite, because he has attacked the policies of the Israeli government, is outrageous, renders the term meaningless and enfeebles the necessary efforts to defeat real anti-Semites and racists."

  • - 2011-01-13 08:26

    Israel should stop hiding behind labels of anti-semitism to defend their illegal land grabs. Where can i sign the petition?

      Irené - 2011-01-13 10:11

      Ah juju, how smart you are. as long as racism is alive, which it is, it will be a topic of conversation, however you dont contribute to anything, you just incite hatred. Congrats for being such a fine human.

      Spade - 2011-01-13 12:46

      If only it was as simple as an "illegal land grab"! Desmond Tutu has a untainted record as a human rights campaigner. As a young person I believed him to be a corrupted demon hiding behind a religious robe, but have since come to realize that he is a man of integrity and honesty. His stand is one of human rights abuse, rather than one of "illegal land grabs".

  • Greg - 2011-01-13 08:34

    David Hersch is NOT the Vice anything of the movement. He was suspended ages ago and does not represent them in any way or form. This was CONFIRMED yesterday, so where do News24 get their info? If I know this, surely a Journalist should too? Another yes with regards to control of the Media. Chops!

      methinks2 - 2011-01-13 09:07

      the reporter is not wrong Greg, the zionist federation confirmed that Hersch is one of 4 vice chairmen of the SA Zionist federation. he has a few months left on his 4 year term. they did say this was not an official petition by the federation, but at the same time they did not condemn hersch's petition.

      Mattt - 2011-01-13 16:21

      Oh snap!

  • ebdg3000 - 2011-01-13 08:41

    Tutu being patron of the Holocaust Center is mere lip service - one may as make Hitler the patron. Where can I sign the petition for his removal from this position?

      Marius - 2011-01-13 08:56


      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:23

      Pathetic rantings. What an insult to the millions who died during WW2 to make such a suggestion. You are truly sad men. Your insensitive comment is higly offensive to the memory of those lost, buyt fortunately no one cares what you think....

      Ruby Jane - 2011-01-13 11:54

      Let me know as well!!! I want to sign it too!

  • Ross - 2011-01-13 08:52

    Not a word about the +3000 rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians during 2010.

      Marius - 2011-01-13 08:58


      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:20

      Have you ever compared casualties of the Israelis and Palestinians? Your knowledge of world politics is clearly a joke. visit

      JuJu - 2011-01-13 09:29

      @Irene, having more casualties does not make them innocent. Firing the first rockets time and time again make them the guilty party not Israel.

      shogun - 2011-01-13 09:47

      Juju, do you know why they are firing rockets?

      Irené - 2011-01-13 10:13

      So juju, if a bully beats up a kid, and that kid, which by the way is much smaller, tries to fight back, he suddenly becomes the bully? ag please. gho read some history, you are a joke

      Niels - 2011-01-13 10:26

      Ross, 3000? that is more than 8 a day. You are an idiot.

      Zakiah - 2011-01-13 12:55

      ...and how long are they still gonna hide behind the Hitler card huh? If the American president could openly support Isreal why can't Tutu openly air his views about them? He's the most honest and outspoken activist and that's why he's loved by many. Get over greed and power issues and stop using ninety seventy voetjeks story to get support

  • themantshepo - 2011-01-13 08:56

    We support you Mr Tutu, i know that all south africans black and white except a few racist from cape town support you 100%. amandla chief

      lldoidge - 2011-01-13 09:30

      You could have said "we South Africans support you Mr Tutu" without bringing race into it but then why am I surprised? Eish!

      Totman - 2011-01-13 10:22

      Hey!!!!! What is your story with Cape Town??? Next time, when visiting, we will feed you to the penguins. We will make sure it is black-African penguins. LOL!!! Just admit it, you miss the MOUNTAIN Shepo.LOL!!!

  • AndV - 2011-01-13 08:59

    Why is Tutu so quit about the trash in Africa, Zimbabwe our neighbour, Ivory Coast? What about the human suffering in Africa due to dictators, corruption etc? Why is it that he was instigating school kids to burn down schools in Sa while his and other buddies, kids were studying in America? He only seek attention and should rather stick to his whisky and water as he is best known for.

      JuJu - 2011-01-13 09:31

      Well he is an anti-semite, only speaks out against Israel. He has nothing to say about Africa because he agrees with them and is buddies with these same dictators.

      Pleb - 2011-01-13 09:33

      Good point - these so called struggle things do nothing about the atrocities on their own doorsteps - but we all know by now how lazy arrogant and dumb they are so going forward let's completely ignore them

      AnneB - 2011-01-13 18:51

      You need to check your facts. Archbishop Tutu has spoken out about Zimbabwe and other problems in Africa.

  • noel - 2011-01-13 09:02

    Tutu has far more serious human rights issues to protest about at home (Zimbabwe, farm murders etc) than to be trying to influence Israeli policy - he is an anti-Semite - no doubt about it!

      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:21

      yeah playing the antisemite card, almost as old as the rtace card in SA. Grow up and get the facts

      JuJu - 2011-01-13 09:33

      @Irene, you seem to have the facts twisted. Remove the tin foil hat you are wearing. He is anti Israel but pro Mugabe. The worst kind of anti-semite.

      Marc Flowers - 2011-01-13 09:34

      Narrow minded idiot - what on earth has Zimbabwe got to do with it. Can only Israels neighbours comment on Israel?? You are far more racist than the Arch could ever be anti-semite.

      Thabz - 2011-01-13 12:04

      @Marc, fully agree. People just like pulling cards where it is irrelevant, if Israel is wrong does not mean that people who condemn it are anti-semite.. idiots.

  • Pleb - 2011-01-13 09:11

    So what do you expect Chaskalson and Lennox are tarred with the same brush as that heat seeking missile and prima donna called tutu - put on your tutu and go to the ballet you imbecile

      Marc - 2011-01-13 09:27

      And take that a*hole Chaskalson and that deranged bitch Lennox with you!

      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:58

      @ pleb and Marc so much anger and aggression. you people are not contributing to making this world any better. Its much easier throwing around unsubstantiated insults, way to show your maturity. Annie Lennox is an amazing artist who has done more for Africa in one day than you have in you entire life. I can only guess you lead a lonely pitiful life.

      Zee - 2011-01-13 11:49

      Irene I wouldn't even bother wasting energy replying to these savages. They are indicative of Zionism, criticise them in any way and you'll be labelled anti-semitic! There is no reasoning with them and when they can't respond appropriately they simply label you as anti-semitic. Not a great way to support an argument.

  • Marc Flowers - 2011-01-13 09:15

    Tutu has been the moral compass for SA for many, many years. Israel has committed many human rights atrocities and anyone who even questions these is immeadiately labeled anti-semite - Long live the Arch -

      JuJu - 2011-01-13 09:34

      Your comments just show you are an anti-semite. Defending your own people after being attacked first, time and time again is not a human right atrocity, it is called self defence.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:51

      juju stop throwing around the word antisemite if you dont even know us, we are not racist, but we can see when gross human rights violations are committed. You say it fine to defend your own people when attacked first, so according to that logic the rockets fired into Israel were also self defence visit

      QuintS - 2011-01-13 10:30

      @ Marc - yes he has but I think he is overstepping the mark this time. @ Irene - the solution to the issue in the Middle East is very complicated but the problem, when removing all the sentiment, emotion and political rhetoric is easy to explain. See

  • sahil1287 - 2011-01-13 09:23

    Criticising the policies of Israel (A COUNTRY!!!) does not, in any way, imply anti-semitism. Suppose I don't like South Africa, does that mean that I'm anti-Christian??? (majority of SA is Christian). This kind of reaction is ridiculous. It's people like Hersch who advocate violence and intolerance. @Ross...That is a separate issue man, learn to read and comment appropriately.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 09:52

      exactly, why do people always want to jump on the damn anti-semite, anti- whatever bandwagon. Grow up, read the facts, and then take part in a constructive debate.

      Thangy - 2011-01-13 11:34

      @sahil1287 well said!!

      Thabz - 2011-01-13 12:06


  • Pete_Tong - 2011-01-13 09:24

    Should've left Hitler to win WW2. There'd be peace in the middle east cause theres really no interest in that effing desert, the Arabs could have it. A land for all caucasians in beautiful europe and africa could be left alone to go the route that is inevitable.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-01-13 09:26

    I signed the petition. He has never been to Israel to see what the situation is there. He has never spoken against the 1000's of rockets falling in Israel. He has never spoken when the Palestinians kill Israelis. He said nothing when 4 people were shot assassination style while one was pregnant last year.

      Johann M - 2011-01-13 10:14

      I would also fire rockets at them if I had any.

      Niels - 2011-01-13 10:28

      Carl, why do you embrace the lies of israel so enthusiatically?

      Observer - 2011-01-13 10:35

      @ Johann M - and then you'd cry victim when there a response!(?) The irony of it all...

      Johann M - 2011-01-13 11:06

      them = Israel

      Zee - 2011-01-13 11:52

      And the little Palestinian girl that was made to watch her entire family shot to death, then raped, then shot and her body set alight? I'm not advocating that the Palestinians are perfect (far from it) but Israels use of disproportionate force (especially against innocents) is beyond belief. In the 2006 war 13 Israeli SOLDIERS killed, 1300 Palestinian CIVILIANS killed. Stop being blind.

  • purpleprimula1 - 2011-01-13 09:31

    Tutu a truly great moral leader even at this late stage of his life. We should be proud as a country to be asscociated with some of the world's most revered leaders.

  • G0ldf!nger - 2011-01-13 09:45

    Tutu is not demonising Israel. Israel has demonised itself. You would think that for a nation who suffered through the holocaust and know all about oppression, they would do all they can to prevent it happening ever again. Instead they are the perpetrators of the worst human rights atrocities, and they hide behind the "anti-semitism" label. Its as bad as the Americans who hide behind the "unpatriotic" label for anyone who accuses America of anything untoward.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 10:23

      Someone SANE. America has been protecting Israel for way too long. Its all about money at the end of the day, and sorry to say, but we know who owns a big chunk of America... jews. This is not about religion, its about basic human right and recognizing what America and Israel is doing there is much like apartheid. Come on this is the 22 century but it seems these religious cooks (from all sides) have not evolved much, as they believe their gods made them perfect. I say we should ban all religious states. We are all human, and religious states are so damn medievil. If you dont believe what I believe I will fight with you. Our entire human race is screwed, we really are so much more stupid than we would want to admit.

      Zakiah - 2011-01-13 13:12

      nou so 'n bek moet jam kry......

  • nduk'zempi - 2011-01-13 10:00

    Tutu an anti-semite?Nope.Do I agree with him on his stance wrt the jewish state?Nope.The jewish ppl deserve a place to call home,a jewish homeland,and thats what Israel is.Now why harass them.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 10:09

      what about the palestinians, dont they deserve a home too? all humans have the same basic needs.

      rwahidaz007 - 2011-01-13 10:18

      Israel does not belong to the Jews, go back and do some research. for the truth about the war between Israel and palestine, watch the arrivals on youtube. there would be no Israel today had it not been for the holocaust.

      QuintS - 2011-01-13 10:34

      @ Irene - please have a look at this - it will only take 5 minutes.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 11:16

      Thanks quints, I watched the video, and sure it brings up a lot of good points, but you cannot deny it isnt atleast a little biased. There are many muslims who want to live peaceful lives. Just as there are many jews bent on killing muslims, thats the problem with religion. My point is that the way Israel is behaving doesnt really help their stance. The cases where Israeli soldiers torutured Palestinians are becoming as frequent as the US soldiers torturing the inmates at Guantanamo bay. Did you not read the recent Wikileaks article about Israel taking bribes before allowing aid and goods to enter the gaza strip? The israelis are making themselves guilty of many war crimes, and they need to take responsibility for their actions.

  • Pulverturm - 2011-01-13 10:09

    I don't really agree with all of the ANC's policies. Does that immediately make me a racist? Having an opinion on the policies of another country, doesn't not necessarily make you anything, other than a debator. I also feel that that Israel's tactics are heavy handed, and I do question some of the occupation they have. I also have a lot of Jewish friends. I grew up in a Jewish neighbourhood. I'm certainly NOT an anti-semite!

  • Johann M - 2011-01-13 10:20

    Semites are people originating from the Middle Eastern region. 90% of Israeli's do not have any roots in that region. How is someone who speak out against Israel's atrocities an anti-semite?

  • Niels - 2011-01-13 10:23

    What does being anti-Israel have to do with being anti all things Jewish. I am very anti-Israel as a nation... doesn't mean I hate jews. You go, Tutu! You have my support forever.

      Johann M - 2011-01-13 10:52

      Exactly! The two are very different entities. But if jews are also fanatic zionists they fall into the Israel-category because they support the state.

  • truthseeker - 2011-01-13 10:48

    to AndV. tutu has always been ver vocal about Zim. its just that mugabe supporters never signed a petition against him. i think for jews to sign a petition against tutu for his anti Israel views is the same as africans signing a petition helen zille for her anti mugabe views. the man is not anti jew. he is disagreeing with israels policies.

  • - 2011-01-13 11:03

    can't we all just get along for fun

  • RManne - 2011-01-13 11:17

    Have any of you actually EVER heard of TUTU criticizing Egypt? Do ANY of you even KNOW that Israel AND Egypt entered into the Gaza blockade TOGETHER? Israel blockades most of the sea routes while Egypt blockades most of the land routes into Gaza from their side. Did you also know that of the two countries, Egypt lets almost 400% less humanitarian aid items in, while Israel has agreed to allow almost ALL goods in, once it has checked them (which no one seems to be happy about. Wonder why? I mean if it's just food and other DESPERATELY needed health care items, why not allow it to pass inspection and be let in a few days [possibly a week or so] later?) . I hear everyone always crying about this blockade and how TERRIBLE and EVIL Israel is, but then where is the criticism of Egypt (a predominantly Arab country)? Why is it that only Israel is targeted? And this is merely 1 of the countless issues that are consistently raised against Israel.

      Zee - 2011-01-13 17:04

      I have to agree with you - it sickens me that no one is making a noise about Egypt, the owner of the other border with Gaza. But it has to be pointed out that Egypt hasn't used military force against the civilian population, Israel has and far too heavy-handed in my opinion. Israel also has only just allowed basic goods to be delivered recently. there are many documented incidents of them holding back critical medical supplies for hospitals, fuel for generators. There is also a cable from Wikileaks documenting how Israel confirmed to the US that it purposfully kept Gaza's economy 'on the brink'. But Egypt has been helluva lucky to get away with keeping up the other side of the blockade, definitely agree with you there. Good point.

      Irené - 2011-01-13 17:44

      Very valud point, but i agree with zee

      ebdg3000 - 2011-01-14 14:59

      Well, helloO, Zee! Do you see Palestinians firing rockets into Egypt EVERYday???? Do you think the Egyptians would tolerate that? And Irene, I see you're commented on just about every post above, insultingly and aggressively, demanding that posters back up their observations and debate objectively - but where have you done so, except for one little biased website that you keep on posting. I think, rather, it is you who should wake up and rub the anti semitism out of your eyes. I bet you also say you're not a racist 'cos you have lots of black friends ... you do, hey? I knew it.

  • randrdunbar - 2011-01-13 12:16

    Israeli's should not be held responsible for their leaders decisions.The leadership is under the influence of the New World Order seated in Washington & London.

  • Stylin - 2011-01-13 16:22

    Don't mess with our Tootooooo

  • mjd.vaalie - 2011-01-13 16:48

    Israel and Palestine are as bad as each other. Israel treats the Palestinians like dogs, but then given half a chance the Palestinians would wipe the Israelis off the earth. As for Tutu, I can't stand the man, he is a terrible advocate of Christianity (and has made plenty of anti-Christian statements) and a snake, can't the guy just bugger off to the old age home and keep quiet for the rest of his life?

  • Michael-Lee - 2011-01-16 23:31

    Anyone whon is against Israel should not be allowed to be a patron of the Holocaust centres and I support David Hersch and anyone who is against Tutu having anything to do with Judaism. What single thing has he done for Judaisim? Bridged For Peace, Christian Mission To The Jews, Christian Action For Israel are just a few organisations that support the jews and Israel. And they have been commended by Chaim Weitman for the good work they do amongst the soldiers and Israelis. Please wake up and realise what is going on.

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