Nobel Prize winner, and civil rights leader, The Most Reverend, Archbishop Emeritus of the Anglican Church of Capetown, Desmond Tutu declared his support for the the boycott, sanctions, and divestment movement, BDS, in an interview with News24, a South African media group reports The Jerusalem Post, in Desmond Tutu: Israel guilty of apartheid in treatment of Palestinians.
"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."
"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 told News24.
"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."
"'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."
The Digital News Journal provides more detail.
"People who are denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings," Tutu said of the Palestinians. "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," Tutu continued. "I have witnesses the systematic 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." ...
"I associate myself with the objectives of the 10th International Israeli Apartheid Week," Tutu added. "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."
I haven't made up my own mind about the BDS movement, but this is certainly a significant development. The Most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu spent nearly his whole life fighting arpartheid in South Africa with Nelson Mandala, so has a great deal of personal experience and credibility on the issue.
The Jerusalem Post published the first set comments on their front page yesterday, without comment. I'm just heading over to read the reaction for today, and will post any interesting findings in an update.
5:03 PM PT: I should point out that I've always been a supporter of a peaceful and secure two-state solution for both Israel and Palestine. And, I support non-violent change.