Desmond Tutu. Picture: Schalk van Zuydam, File

Cape Town - The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has voiced its support for Israeli Apartheid Week, saying the successful boycotting of apartheid South Africa was indispensable in bringing about its downfall.

“People who are denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings,” Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Sunday night.

“Those who turn a blind eye to injustice perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

“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 apartheid government.

“We could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”

Tutu said similar injustices were driving the disinvestment movement trying to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and the prejudicial treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government.

“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.”

Israeli Apartheid Week is an international series of events aimed at raising awareness of Israel’s policies and gaining support for the disinvestment and sanctions campaign.

Cape Times