Archbishop Tutu supports Marrickville BDS

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has sent a letter our Mayor, Fiona Byrne commending her and the other Councillors for their stand on BDS.

Archbishop Tutu wrote to Marrickville  saying “I want to pay my respects to you and your fellow Councilors in Marrickville for taking a stand to isolate the Israeli state, and before that for offering practical solidarity to our sisters and brothers under occupation in the Holy City of Bethlehem.”

The letter will be presented to Mayor Byrne at Marrickville Council Chambers on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

“Sometimes taking a public stand for what is ethical and right brings costs, but social justice on a local or global scale requires faith and courage,” wrote Archbishop Tutu.

“International Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory.”

“I’m honoured to receive this endorsement from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” Mayor Byrne said. “Desmond Tutu’s courageous stand against Apartheid in South Africa and ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights is an inspiration to us all. Palestinian civil society has called for support for the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to highlight the struggle of the Palestinian people for basic human rights. I am proud that Marrickville Council was able to support and highlight the human rights violations suffered by many Palestinian people,” Mayor Byrne said.

“We are humbled and inspired by this expression of support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” said Councillors Kontellis, Thanos and Peters, who along with Mayor Byrne maintained their support for the BDS despite intense media pressure.

Presentation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s letter by local Marrickville resident Karel Solomon – transcript

“Firstly I would like to acknowledge the original people of Australia – past present and future.

And would like to see the end of the NT intervention – a very racist policy

And the suspension of the racial discrimination act being lifted.

But tonight we here to support Clr Bryne and those of you who were brave enough to bring the plight of the Palestinian people to Australian mindset.

I know it’s not a easy task.

As someone who suffered under apartheid – it is all to clear that what exists in Israeli today is Apartheid – make no mistake about that.

Let me give you the definition of Apartheid

The crime of apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

On 30 November 1973, the United Nations General Assembly opened for signature and ratification the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (ICSPCA)[1] It defined the crime of apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”——-

How that does not fall into the ambit of what is happening to the Palestinians — I don’t know.

People were forcible removed from their homes and dumped into refugee camps – based on one criteria – and one criteria alone – by the race – by a accident of birth = people that were deemed non Jewish –  were forcibly removed from their homes they knew all their lives.

When such a action was taken against Black people in White South Africa – it was seen as a policy of Apartheid. – a racist policy

When we as Blacks were told you can’t stay here – but you must stay there – it was a policy of Apartheid– a racist policy

When we as Blacks were told we can’t buy this land – but you can buy there – it was a policy of Apartheid – a racist policy

When Israeli demands to be recognized as a state that is defined by race – then it is an of Apartheid state. – a racist policy

When people – through a accident of birth to a specific race – are being denied basic human rights by another race – that is Apartheid

Make no mistake Israeli is an Apartheid state.”


One thought on “Archbishop Tutu supports Marrickville BDS

  1. This is great news, and must help bring support from some areas otherwise hesitating. It seems to me that there are many people who support Palestinians and their human rights, as did the councillors who voted against the BDS motion, but they just don’t join the dots because Israel spills ink all over the paper! How can we talk about Palestinian rights to their homes and reconcile that with Israel’s ban on Nakba commemorations, and now with the shooting dead of so many innocent and unarmed protestors? There must come a point ——.

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