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Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu: Boycott and Divest From Companies Profiting From Israel’s Occupation

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

The United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network (UCC PIN) announced that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, one of the heroes of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, has issued a letter expressing his support for the resolution to boycott and divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation.

Letter from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

My dear sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, through whom we share work and witness on behalf of God’s love and God’s justice.

I write to endorse, “A Call for the United Church of Christ to Take Actions Toward a Just Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, Resolution #4, which will be put to the vote at your 30th General Synod later this month in Cleveland, Ohio.

We grieve over Israel’s decades long oppression of Palestine and Palestinians: The illegal occupation; the expanding West Bank settlements; the separation wall; the siege of Gaza; the manipulation of water rights; the network of checkpoints and settler bypass roads; the detention of people without charges; the travel restrictions, identity cards, and disruption of every aspect of daily life for Palestinians.

We condemn the brutality of Israel’s policies. But we do not condemn Judaism or Jews.

As South African, we recognize institutionalized racism when we see it. We have experienced the corrosive effects of segregation – and have witnessed the healing power and joy of reconciliation.

It is unconscionable to remain silent, or neutral, in the face of injustice. Neutrality maintains the status quo and compounds the injustice.

The depth of my commitment to justice in the Holy Land has cost me friends and elicited vehement criticism. It is the cost of discipleship that requires us to name evil and clearly oppose it. Calling me anti-Semitic will not stop me from speaking out for justice.

We do not seek to demonize the architects of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, but to implore those with the political power to change their policies and their ways. Injustice brutalizes the humanity of the oppressors as well as that of the oppressed. Freedom for Palestinians will liberate Israelis, too.

We are sisters and brothers of one family, the human family, God’s family. We are made for each other, for inter-dependence, for goodness and for love. When we recognize each other for what we truly are, we make the impossible possible.

Thank you for recognizing our common humanity, for taking a stand for justice. Your resolution places you on the side of justice and human rights for all.

I endorse fully your resolution’s proposal to use the powerful non-violent tools of economic leverage. These tools helped us to engineer a new day for my own country, South Africa. With you, we proved that economic pressure can force the most powerful to the table. I am grateful that your denomination stood with us then, voting to join the South African divestment movement, and that you are prepared once again to take this stand for justice.

I applaud your decision to be guided by the faithful voice of the Christian community of Palestine, and to encourage widespread study of Kairos Palestine – a Moment of Truth (2009). It was just such a document which, in 1985, allowed the world to hear our voice and learn the depth of our oppression in South Africa. May we all heed the Kairos Palestine call, as people of faith, to engage in “resistance with love as its logic.”

I affirm your resolution’s condemnation of all violence and your uncompromising commitment to the path of non-violence and inter-religious dialogue. And I commend the resolution’s call for accountability from your own, United States, government over its annual $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel.

As US citizens you have the responsibility to speak truth to the power of your own government. As Christians you have the duty to side with the oppressed and by so doing to liberate the oppressor.

I endorse your resolution, and fervently pray for the day when Palestinians and Israelis will be reconciled and live together in dignity, security, and peace, with equal rights for all. When that day comes our collective hallelujahs will resound across the world we share.

God bless you.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa

What people are saying

19 thoughts on “Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu: Boycott and Divest From Companies Profiting From Israel’s Occupation

  1. Adam Gantz says:

    Wow, I didn't realize what a bigoted and ignorant fool Bishop Tutu is! You learn something new every day. There are over 200 nations in this world, almost all of which have a repressed minority population. Tutu ignores 200 other nation states, and singles out the world's only Jewish state. This fits the TEXTBOOK definition of anti-Semitism. The 3 Ds. De-legitimation; Demonization; and Double Standards. Bishop Tutu is an anti-Semite who demonizes and holds Israel to double standards.

  2. Seif Zidan says:

    So because he ignored the others (according to you) we should ignore this one as well. buddy wake the f up, Israel runs around the world claiming they're the only democracy in the ME. at least those other countries you're talking about don't go around the world lying. you're the one that's bigoted, and the whole world is sick of you and Israel. the tide is truly changing, get on the right side of history you fool, stop pretending to be something you're not.

  3. Edward Moss says:

    151 of 162 of the world's countries covered by Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study are currently in conflict. So why does this alleged holy man boycott ONLY Israel? I used to admire him. Now he's just yet another ignorant bigoted anti-Semite.

  4. Edward Moss says:

    Seif Zidan 151 of 162 of the world's countries covered by Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study are currently in conflict. So why does this alleged holy man boycott ONLY Israel? Just like the Nazi BDS who have clearly shown so often that actually don't care about the Palestinians, which is why the USA are now taking steps to boycott the boycotters.

  5. Adam Gantz says:

    Seif: My position (that anti-Zionism is filthy bigoted anti-Semitism in disguise) is the official policy of the United States government, the European Union, and the Pope/Vatican. So, you're an anti-Semite according to all of them, not me!

  6. בת שבע says:

    And Christians are the safest here in Israel compared to the rest of the Middle-East. What a shame that he does not support his fellow Christians.

  7. בת שבע says:

    And Christians are the safest here in Israel compared to the rest of the Middle-East. What a shame that he does not recognise that. I guess Christians are not that important to him after all.

  8. David Hersch says:

    Seif Zidan, dream on!

  9. The archbishop is a racist who was caught out very early on following on from the end of apartheid lecturing the Jews about how to behave. He would never preach to any other group about how to behave. The worse thing is that this intellectual nematode thinks that Jews who have suffered must be better than everyone else – although I suspect that he would never demand that of his own racial brothers and sisters. If some a-hole was to tell a black person that having suffered slavery they should be more honorable, more tolerant and to turn the other cheek in all diversity someone would slap him (or her) for the stupidity inherent in the idea. Persecution makes you resentful and, bitter and twisted, not holier than thou. But Arch nit wit Tutu thinks Jews have to be better than everyone else so that he can then accuse us being superior and self-righteous! I despise the man and anyone who slobbers over this smiling bigot.

  10. This is quoted from an earlier blogger (2013):

    Tutu proclaimed, many years before Iran’s Ahmadinejad, that the West had muted criticism of Israel because of guilt over the Holocaust. He has accused Israel of acting in an “un-Christian” way. He has complained of “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust” and has demanded that its victims must “forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust,” while refusing to forgive the “Jewish people” for “persecuting others", which in itself is untrue.
    Tutu has asserted that Zionism has “very many parallels with racism.” He has compared Israel to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, saying that they too were once “very powerful” but they “bit the dust,” as will “unjust” Israel. Tutu has claimed that the Christian God sides with the Palestinians, whom he compares to the Israelites under slavery in Egypt.

  11. Chaim Silver says:

    when tu tu goes to lunch, he orders two portions. one for each face..he won't pass through the eye of a needle. satan is waiting for his brother in personal engrandisement.

  12. Sam J Woolf says:

    "at least those other countries you're talking about don't go around the world lying" – Seif Zidan, who you kidding!

  13. Israel is a settler-colonial state just as white-minority ruled South Africa and "Rhodesia" were before. Yet those who stood against those regimes were not bigoted or full of hate for opposing a system based on white supremacy. Opposition to the colonization of Palestine is no different.

  14. Go away you racist Zionist trolls.

  15. The false church hates the Jews because the false church hates the true God of the Bible. The Jews are God's chosen people, so naturally the world hates them. The anti-Jew sentiment is rising in the world again in preparation for the next event in prophecy – the time of Jacob's trouble.

  16. It does not appear that Tu Tu is a Christian, according to the Bible. However, only God knows the heart. I would say it is unlikely this man ever became saved.

  17. Adam Gantz says:

    Caleb: "Israel is a settler-colonial state". What is Turkey? What is China? What is Russia? What is the U.K. What is the United States? Turkey occupies Cyprus, but you don't care. Russia occupies Crimea, but you don't care. England occupies Scotland and Ireland, but you don't care. England has a state religion, like Israel, but you don't care. As long as that religion isn't so damned Jewish! France colonizes Africa, but you don't care. Massacres about in Sudan, but you don't care. Indigenous people in Canada have their land stolen, and are second class citizens, but you don't care. China occupies Tibet, but you don't care. Myanmar's Buddhists put the minority Rohingya in REAL concentration camps, where they starve and die or risk their lives at sea, but you don't care. Libyan citizens are fleeing by sea to survive, but you don't care. Jews are targeted by the government of Venezuela, but you don't care. In fact, you probably agree with it! That is what "double-standards" means with respect to the 3d test. You are guilty of holding Israel to double standards vis a vis the rest of the world, on a shocking and ridiculous massive scale, and you don't even realize it, even when it is shoved in your face.

  18. Ron Bier says:

    Tutu is a filthy piece of dreck. He doesn't shock me anymore.

  19. Ron Bier says:

    Seif Zidan: stop whipping up your bullshit. I'm sick and tired of punks like you spreading your hateful lies. My advice to you is to lay low before someone, that isn't as peaceful as I am, will take exception to you and will deal with you in a more aggressive way.

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