Tutu sees echoes of apartheid in Israel

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IOL pic mar10 desmond tutu Associated Press South Africa's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu sees reminders of apartheid in Israel's segregated housing. File picture: Ashwini Bhatia

Johannesburg -

The racially segregated roads and housing in Israel was a reminder of the conditions experienced in South Africa during apartheid, South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Sunday.

“I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces,” he said in a statement.

“Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

With the South African leg of the 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week beginning on Monday, Tutu associated himself with the objectives of the movement.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He said people who were 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,” Tutu said.

“It doesn't matter where we worship or live. We are members of one family, the human family, God's family.” - Sapa


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