"In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were the Jews," said Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, speaking April 13 at a peace conference in Boston.
"Jews almost instinctively had to be on the side of the disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones, fighting injustice," he said. "I have continued to feel strongly with the Jews. ... I believe Israel has a right to secure borders."
But Israel's right to security does not justify its actions in the West Bank, he said. "I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land," he added. "It reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. They suffer like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. ... Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their own humiliation?
"Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. We condemn the violence of suicide bombers, and we condemn the corruption of young minds taught hatred, but we also condemn the violence of military incursions in the occupied lands and the inhumanity that won't let ambulances reach the injured.
"Israel has three options: revert to the previous stalemate filled with hatred and vengeance, exterminate all Palestinians or strive for peace based on justice — withdrawal from the territories and establishment of a viable Palestinian state with secure borders. Peace is possible."
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers