TUTU: This is THE problem

Speaking at a literary festival in England apparently sponsored by The Guardian, South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu told the audience that it was urgent to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “If we don’t solve that problem, you can give up on all other problems. You can give up on nuclear disarmament, you can give up on ever winning a war against terror, you can give it up. You can give up any hope of our faiths ever working clearly amicably and in a friendly way together. This, this, this is THE problem, and it is in our hands”.

According to a report in The Guardian, Tutu said that the checkpoints in the occupied West Bank “brought back memories of what things had been like at home [in South Africa under apartheid] — the arrogance of the police or the soldiers. You depend on their whim whether they’ll allow you through or not.”

The Guardian reported that Tutu said “things happen in Israel that never happened in apartheid South Africa, Tutu said, pointing to the ‘collective punishment’, which sees the home of a suspected terrorist destroyed. But Tutu was clear that he doesn’t believe ‘ordinary Israelis would want to have supported something of this nature if they knew the effects of policies’, and said that there were ‘some incredible people in Israel … have felt it was something that was contrary to the best in their faith’, as well as women ‘who stand by at these check points who try to shame the soldiers into good behaviour [n.b., he is referring to Machsom Watch]’. ” The full report is posted on The Guardian’s website here .

Thanks to Sam Bahour for pointing to this…

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