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Desmond Tutu Likens Israeli Actions to Apartheid PDF Print E-mail
Oct 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

by Adrianne Appel

BOSTON - South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu compared conditions in Palestine to those of South Africa under apartheid, and called on Israelis to try and change them, while speaking in Boston Saturday at historic Old South Church.”We hope the occupation of the Palestinian territory by Israel will end,” Tutu said.

“There is a cry of anguish from the depth of my heart, to my spiritual relatives. Please, please hear the call, the noble call of our scripture,” Tutu said of Israelis.1029 03

“Don’t be found fighting against this god, your god, our god, who hears the cry of the oppressed,” Tutu said.

Tutu spoke with political activist and lecturer Noam Chomsky and others to a largely religious audience about “The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel,” a conference sponsored by Friends of Sabeel North America, a Christian Palestinian group.

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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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