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Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

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Women in Black, an international peace group, stand in hallmark silence at the Friends of Sabeel conference. Women in Black took this action to expose the racism and ethnic cleansing espoused by Sabeel, whose repeated vicious demonization of Israel([search]) stands as an obstacle to the peace process
 
 

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Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/

Well worth reading.....this is the blog of a participant in the Berkeley Conference held by "Friends of Sabeel"- an international hate group that has advocated the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Israel([search]).
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

kaplanwatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-happened-at-berkeley-sabeel.html

Another report from an independent blogger.
Was there anyone at all attending this conference that had anything positive to say? Maybe Women in Black had a good point- this seems like an incredibly one-sided event.

kaplanwatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-happened-at-berkeley-sabeel.html">kaplanwatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-happened-at-berkeley-sabeel.html
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Looks like some people don't like the hostilities that the Zionist's chosen war of conquest created. Mothers were crying in Dresden too.

"ehtnic cleansing"???

What some people call "Israel([search])" is Zionist occupied Palestinian lands. And Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands is a state of war forced on Palestinians by the Zionist crusaders.

Was Saladin guilty of "ethnic cleansing" when his forces drove the "Christian" crusaders out of the land??? Were the allies of world war 2 guilty of "ethnic cleansing" when they drove GERMANS out of France, etc???

What? Is it the Palestinian's fault that the murderous thieving Zionist invadors call themselves "Jews"???

If there is some way to liberate Palestine([search]) without drivng the Zionist crusaders out of Palestine, then lets hear it. Otherwise, scapegoating palestinians for the hostilities the Zionist's chosen war of conquest created is just showcasing your own vile prejudices, which, is good for those wishing to expose Zionism's vacant scapegoating of the Zionist's chosen victims as some sort of religious malidy.

SUCH AS:

"Stop the Jihad, end the hate"

says another sign. Ohhhh, so it is the Palestinian's FAILURE to APPEASE the Zionist's murderous theft of Palestinian lands that is the cause of the hostilities. Sure, like anyone who isn't a brainwashed tool would buy into such offensive scapegoating.

Thanks for the oportunity to trash such vile scapegoating racist propaganda.

It is ONLY when one is NOT thinking about what they are saying/writing that you can be sure that they are saying/writing exactly what they are thinking.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
What Happened at the Berkeley Sabeel Conference

The Presbyterian Church's Synod this year rescinded a resolution to divest from Israel([search]) that had run for two years after a small band of radicals managed to get control of the Synod's board and pushed through the divestment scheme. Even though the last Synod meeting voted to end the divestment by the Church, those from the pro-divestment clique on the board were still trying to tell people that it had not been
revoked when it had. The Church's leadership was doubly outraged when they learned this clique had spent $4 million dollars of the Church's money on anti-Israel literature.

Attacking Israel through the US Church system has become part of the modus operandi of the Internatioanl Soldiarity Movement. The colleges proved to be a good workable plan to try and get American youth to hate Israel, a pluralistic democracy, and support a Palestinian state in its place. Of course, the Palestinian state will be just another Arab-Muslim dictatorship, a government with a lifestyle that will be anathema to these same youths if they only understood the implications. Now, the Churches are next.

The ISM tactic of trying to equate Israel with apartheid South Africa is just a scam on the American psyche and is part of this scam. When Arabs run around screaming they want to kill Jews for Allah, the American public is turned off. Hence, the tactic, encouraged by American communists and anarchists, allied with the Arabs and Muslims, of trying to appeal to an American audience, and primarily a young naive one at that, is to elicit false sympathy by claiming the Palestinians are suffering worse than the blacks did in South Africa. This appeals to some well-meaning people who do not understand the revolutionary "code speak" used by the ISM (terrorism=legitimate resistance, security fence=apartheid wall)who might think they are supporting a humanist campaign. They are in fact, supporting a totalitarian campaign of anti-Semitism.

The rest of this church-oriented movement is driven by replacement theology, the notion that the Christian church is replacing the Jews in the Holy Land contrary to what the Bible says. Arab Christian leaders try to claim Jesus was not a Jew but a Palestinian (Arafat did so too). The foundation for this thinking is grounded in anti-Semitism pure and simple.

kaplanwatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-happened-at-berkeley-sabeel.html
 

False flag

From Bay Area in Women in Black

We would like to clear up the deliberately created confusion about Women in Black at the Sabeel Conference in Berkeley on August 18, 2007. Bay Area Women in Black held no vigil outside the conference nor did any other known or established Women in Black group. The people in the photo posted on Boston Indymedia's site on August 29, 2007 calling themselves "Oakland Women in Black" are actually members of the San Francisco Voice for Israel([search]), who describe themselves as "a grass roots community based organization that takes to the streets to respond to enemies of Israel in the San Francisco Bay Area." They have counter-demonstrated against Bay Area Women in Black for the last four years and use tactics such as producing flyers intended to look like ours to confuse passersby and create disinformation at our weekly vigils. They also try to intimidate people participating in BAWIB vigils by aggressively taking their photo, breaking into picket lines, verbal harassment, etc.

Their intolerance of views critical of the Israeli Occupation and
their aggressive tactics are intended to confuse, misinform,
deceive, and silence others.

We do vigil weekly in Oakland, CA and would love you join us if you are in the area. Check out www.bayareawomeninblack.org for more information

Bay Area Women in Black
 

false flag

From Bay Area in Women in Black

We would like to clear up the deliberately created confusion about Women in Black at the Sabeel Conference in Berkeley on August 18, 2007. Bay Area Women in Black held no vigil outside the conference nor did any other known or established Women in Black group. The people in the photo posted on Boston Indymedia's site on August 29, 2007 calling themselves "Oakland Women in Black" are actually members of the San Francisco Voice for Israel([search]), who describe themselves as "a grass roots community based organization that takes to the streets to respond to enemies of Israel in the San Francisco Bay Area." They have counter-demonstrated against Bay Area Women in Black for the last four years and use tactics such as producing flyers intended to look like ours to confuse passersby and create disinformation at our weekly vigils. They also try to intimidate people participating in BAWIB vigils by aggressively taking their photo, breaking into picket lines, verbal harassment, etc.

Their intolerance of views critical of the Israeli Occupation and
their aggressive tactics are intended to confuse, misinform,
deceive, and silence others.

We do vigil weekly in Oakland, CA and would love you join us if you are in the area. Check out www.bayareawomeninblack.org for more information

Bay Area Women in Black
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Oakland Women in Black is not and has never claimed to be Bay Area Women in Black. All the literature distributed by Oakland Women in Black clearly identified it as being from Oakland Women in Black.

Oakland Women In Black has never represented itself as Bay Area Women in Black and claims no association with Bay Area Women in Black or any other group that endorses racism, violence, or anti-Semitism or stands with groups that do.

Furthermore, Oakland Women In Black has no official connection to San Francisco Voice for Israel([search]).

Peace, Salaam, Shalom, Namaste
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

A combination of Arab petrodollars, Marxist zeal and good old-fashioned anti-Semitism will be on hand at Sabeel's conference in Berkeley this weekend.

kaplanwatch.blogspot.com/2007/08/sabeel-conference-in-berkeley-this.html

Why doesn't anyone want to talk about the sabeel conference, and its racist agenda? Why the red herrings?
 

protest racist Sabeel Conference

I walked around the room to see where the microphones for question-and-answer would be. There weren’t any, and at the start of the evening we were told that if we wanted to ask a question we’d have to fill out an index card and hand it to one of the ushers. Screened in advance! I should have known. I complained to Phyllis Bennis, one of the moderators, who told me: “This is not an open discussion.” Indeed!

guidetotheperplexed.blogspot.com/2007/10/26-october-2007-cult-of-israel([search])-
 

begging the question

>Why doesn't anyone want to talk about the sabeel conference, and its racist agenda?

Sabeel's agenda is not racist. Israel([search])'s is.
 

Sabeel is a scam on Americans

Sabeel is a scam on Americans. By pretendig to be a "peace" organization, and then presenting open racism in a religious context, Sabeel is a propganda organ.
 

Save America. Dump Israel.

No wonder they hate us. We deserve it. Our tax money funds Israel([search])'s racist colonialism.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

I wouldn't be surprised if Women in Black protested sabeel- they have a history of racism and anti-Semitism- this is a report from an earlier conference

Sabeel= racism

The Sabeel conference has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism. All this talk about Women in Black's protest is a red herring to distract from sabeel's program of ethnic cleansing the Jews out of their ancient home land. Don't fall for it.

www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/006846.shtml

To: Rabbi Aaron Sherman and the Congregation of Temple Judah From: the Dept. of Philosophy and Religion of Coe College [As issued by Prof. John Lemos, Chair] Date: Oct., 21, 2005
Re: The Sabeel Conference

"The Dept. of Philosophy and Religion at Coe is aware that some anti-Semitic remarks were made at the recent Sabeel Conference held on our campus and which our department sponsored. We are also aware that there were other breaches of civility during the conference."
 

there they go again

>The Sabeel conference has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism.

That's what the Zionists say about EVERY critic of their ethnic cleansing. They've cried wolf far too often for anyone to ever believe that charge again.

>All this talk about Women in Black's protest is a red herring

All this talk about Women in Black's protest is just one more example of Zionists getting caught in the act of impersonating their enemies. It sort of makes you wonder who's REALLY shooting those rockets that they use as an excuse to kill more Palestinians, doesn't it?

>the Jews out of their ancient home land.

It's not their ancient homeland. It's the "Promised Land," which means that by definition, they were someplace else when the "Promise" was made. Before the ancient Canaan the place by force, and ethnically cleansed it of Canaanites, they were in Egypt. If you want to trace them back all the way, Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees.

"Homeland"!?! Pah-leeze. These people are colonialists invaders. They have done to Palestine([search]) what the French did to Algeria, and they will suffer the same fate.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

"colonialists invaders"

What a crock!

There has been a continual Jewish presence in the land for over 3,000 years. Israel([search]) is a nation of refugees fleeing persecution, not colonialists.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

1. Oakland (California, I presume)is no where near St. Louis. Why is this on our local IMC?
2. If this was actually street theater- its LOL funny. Kudos to the group that pulled it off.
3. If this really was a Women in Black group- kudos again for taking a stand that goes counter to political correctness and stands firmly on the side of justice and equality. Sabeel is evil and corrupts church doctrine in a way that would make medieval monarchs proud. Sabeel needs to be confronted
 

To oppose the existance of Israel is to stand

firmly on the side of justice and equality.

Israel([search]) is evil
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Israel is not evil.
Israel([search]) has made some bad decisons.
All countries have made bad decisons. Including this one.
Sabeel advocates the destruction of israel for reasons other than bad decisons. Care to guess their motivation?
It is an abomidation that they subvert church doctrine to accomplish their nefarious goals. Its racist and evil. The more I learn about Sabeel, the more disgusted I am. The church should not be used in this cynical manipulative manner
 

Oakland Women in Black protest Sabeel

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Oakland Women in Black.jpg
Oakland Women in Black
This is a legitimate Women in Black Group, protesting the racist agenda of Sabeel
 

Re: Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/27/18468987.php

For many years, a coalition of progressives including Women in Black, the SF ADC, and Jewish Voice for Peace organized a Christmas eve vigil in Union Square in support of the Palestinians. In good faith, we agreed we could not do it again this year. More and more it seems the worse enemy of the Palestinian people are the Palestinian leadership. The murder of Christians in Gaza([search]), the call for a future Palestinian state to be empty of Jews, the continued bombing of S'derot while the first peace talks in 7 years were being conducted, and the racism and humiliation shown to the Jewish delegates at Annapolis were all factors in our decision.

We will continue to support the true peacemakers, in the Bay area, in the nation, and in the world.
 

Apparently not all Women in Black have this level of courage

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BAWIB 02-09-08 008.jpg
Bay Area Women in black- not beloved in their community
Apparently not all Women in Balck groups are created equal
 

"Israel has made some bad decisons."

Israel IS a bad decision. It is evil for the same reason the Third Reich was evil, i.e., it is based on the same evil ideology, ethnic supremicism.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Israel's declaration of Independence: Israel([search]) will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions;
 

"Israel's declaration"

Talk's cheap. In real life, Zionists control all of Palestine([search]), where they have created an apartheid society in which nearly half the people have no rights, and live under martial law.

Actiona speak louder than words.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Zionists control all of Palestine([search])

What are the borders of Palestine?
There has never been an independent nation of Palestine, so how can you make a statement like that?
Two thirds of the area known as Palestine is now jordan- ain't no Zionist control there. Any no Zionists there at all, in fact. No Jews allowed.
Jews control the area that is now Israel([search]) becuase it is a one vote one person democracy. Majority rules. And for now, Jews are the majority.
 

more Zionist lies

>There has never been an independent nation of Palestine([search]), so how can you make a statement like that?

Palestine is a geographic region, just like Italy. Today, we think of Italy as a country, but that's a recent phenomena. For many, many centuries, Italy was known only as a geographic region, because the nation state of Italy did not yet exist. But the place was still Italy and the people who lived there were still Italians.

We are not defined by nation states, but who and where we are. Nation states are an artificial construct imposed on geographic regions, and the people who live there, by force.

By definition, anyone who lives in Palestine is a Palestinian, for the same reason that anyone who lives in New York is a New Yorker. This is true of all people who live their, Jews included. What makes Zionism an apartheid regime is that it uses the armed might of the Israeli state to deny the non Jews of Palestine the rights and privileges it reserves for Jews, in much the same way that the National Party regime used the armed might of the South African state to deny the non whites of South Africa the rights and privileges it reserves for whites, only worse. Zionist apartheid is much worse than South African apartheid ever was. Even at its deepest moral nadir, the apartheid regime in South Africa never bombed Bantustans from the air, or shelled them with artillery. Zionists do these things to Palestinians routinely.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference


Palestine([search]) is a geographic region, just like Italy. Today, we think of Italy as a country, but that's a recent phenomena. For many, many centuries, Italy was known only as a geographic region, because the nation state of Italy did not yet exist. But the place was still Italy and the people who lived there were still Italians.

No, wouldn't it be the Roman empire, and didn't it extend through much of t he known world? Your assumption is as logical as calling Israelis Romans because iSrael([search]) was once part of the Roman empire.

We are not defined by nation states, but who and where we are.

Nowadays, many people define themselves by their nation state. Its not wrong or right, it just is.

By definition, anyone who lives in Palestine is a Palestinian,

There is no Palestine- there has never been a Palestine. If you define Palestine through the area defined as such by the british mandate, or the Ottomans, it extends through Jordan and Syria.

What makes Zionism an apartheid regime is that it uses the armed might of the Israeli state to deny the non Jews of Palestine the rights and privileges it reserves for Jews,

But much of what you consider Palestine deprives Jews of the rights and priviledges of non-Jews. There are no Jewish Jordanians- they aren't allowed, by law. The rest of the Middle east deprives the Jewish Palestinians of their civil and human rights. Israel is the only area where they are protected.
 

This is historical Palestine

300px-Early-Historical-Israel-Dan-Beersheba-Judea.png
If your thesis is that palestine([search]) is a geographic area, then the geographic area known as palestine encompasses much of jordan, a country so racist and anti-semitic that their constitution expressly forbids jews from becoming citizens.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Heshemite rulers occupying "jordan" are not Palestinians, but are Arabs that England gave the land now known as Jordan.

The heshemtie occupation of some palesitnian lands doesn't denigrate the Palestinian's basic human right NOT to be destroyed by Zionist invadors or heshemite invadors any more than the Soviet occupation of Eastern poland would make the Nazi occupation of western poland any less of an offense. Duh.

Tipical Zionist plug. Ohhh, don't think about how ZIonists are murderous thieves of Palestinian lands, look hundreds of miles, even thousands of miles, away from the the suffering that the ZIonist's murderous theft of Palestinian lands has cause for the Zionist'schosen victims.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

By definition, anyone who lives in Palestine([search]) is a Palestinian, for the same reason that anyone who lives in New York is a New Yorker.

By your definition, the Jordanians are Palestinians
 

"By your definition, the Jordanians are Palestinians"

Some Palestinians used to be ruled by Jordan. Now they are ruled by Israel([search]). Either way, they are still Palestinians. Who people are is determined by what they believe, not by who rules them.
 

Just say "NO" to a state for the Jews


I wholeheartedly agree. Jews are a problem where ever they are. In the first place, its repugnant that Jews have a country at all as it allows them to conduct their superstitious rituals and deviant plotting where they can't be monitored. Then, the idea that Jews may be the governing authority over other, non-Jews, such as Arabs is simply unacceptable. Just say "NO" to any state for the Jews. These Jews must be dealt with and harshly.
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

Jordanians have chosen to call themselves Jordanians. And that is their right. They don't have any obligation to be ruled by the Palestinians who have chosen to call themselves Palestinians.

Kuwaitis call themselves Kuwaitis, rather than Iraqis, even though the area now known as kuwait has a long history of being ruled from Bagdad. These are exaples of peopl's right to self determination.

Lebanon([search]) and Palestine([search]) have a long history of being ruled from Damascus. But Lebanese and palestinians would rather not be ruled from damascus and would rather have their right to self determination respected by all who would rule or destroy them, as Zionists have chosen to do to the palestinians.

But no, not all people in palestine are Palestinians. Zionist crusaders sure as hell are not, just as oscar Schindler wasn't a Pole.

Don't get so hung up about what people chose to call themselves. It is just a diversion ment to confuse the weak minded folks.

Ohhh, palestinian is a made up name. It was formed from a name roman occupiers chose.

Tell that to the Brittish.

Ohhh, because the folks in that land named themselves from the Roman name brittania, they are supposed to be somehow less of a real people and have no right to self determination. yep, that sounds pretty stupid. So how would Palestinians choosing to name themselves after a name romans created for the place denigrate their basic human right to self determination and their right NOT to be destroyed by murderous thieving Zionist crusaders??? That is what the Zionist propagandists like to say, ISN'T IT??? And many people fell for the dung propaganda, HAVEN'T THEY??? What? is it just selective stupidity resulting from programed prejudices???
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2007/09/charles-jacobs-et-tu-tutu/

Most of our parents voted for Stevenson, despised McCarthy and fought racism before the rest of America saw it was the right thing to do. We stood with Martin Luther King and were crushed when he – and John and Bobby Kennedy – were killed. We hated Nixon, boycotted grapes with Caesar Chavez, cheered for Bella and Gloria on women’s rights and defeated apartheid in South Africa.
Like most of America’s Jews, we’re LFBs – Liberals From Birth. Why? Because Jewish and American values are in almost perfect harmony.

On Israel([search]), we were never uncritical, but loyal to the cause of a Jewish homeland and to the Jews who fought to keep it. Not only because we were Jews, but also because tiny beleaguered Israel is, or should be a, liberal cause.

But it’s not. Not now. Many of our friends disagree with us about Israel, and in increasingly disagreeable ways. They got the story wrong, from the media, from academics, and from clergy. Painfully, we see former allies, even heroes of past struggles, attacking the Jewish state – and its supporters: us.

So what will Boston’s Jews do when Desmond Tutu, the anti-apartheid hero who likens Israeli treatment of Arabs to apartheid, headlines an anti-Israel hate-fest at the Old South Church in October? The “Israel Apartheid” Conference is organized by Sabeel, whose leader says Israelis are “crucifying” Arabs like the Jews did Jesus.

The two-day rant against Israel features speakers who pose as human rights activists who care about injustice – yet their concerns are oh so selective. Israel is an “apartheid state,” they say, with an “apartheid wall.” It’s worse for Palestinians than South Africa was for blacks. It’s the world’s worst human rights situation. None of this is close to being true.
Israel’s Arab citizens vote, are elected to the Knesset, and enjoy better health care and education than most Arabs in the region. Yes, Arabs in the territories are treated differently, yet not because of their “race” – but because their leaders are at war with Israel. Israelis don’t act on the basis of race, like white South Africans did. Shame on Desmond Tutu for deliberately ignoring all this.

Calling Israel racist pleases the Sabeel-ites, but has nothing to do with a concern for justice. There is real apartheid in the Middle East – racist apartheid: blacks slaughtered and enslaved by Arabs in Sudan; gender apartheid: women in Saudi Arabia may not drive cars or walk unaccompanied; religious apartheid: churches cannot be built in Saudi Arabia and Jews can’t be citizens in Jordan. It’s not justice these folks are fixated upon, it’s the Jewish state.

Some Boston Jews and LFB’s may have turned away from this conflict. But now it’s time to choose: When Tutu comes, many of us will protest. If the anti-Israel demagogues are led by a black man who led his people to freedom – but who attacks and defames another free people – Israel’s and America’s Jews must decide: Which side will you be on?
 

Re: Women in Black protest racist Sabeel Conference

If Zionists have a right to steal the palestinian's homeland and murder the Palestinians who dare to resist the Zionist's theft of Palestinian lands, then lets hear it.

otherwise, I see no reason for liberals or anybody else to be so offensive as to support the Zionist's war of conquest. Why would liberals or any American want to sell out America's peace by supplying Zionists with the means to destroy our Palestinian neighbors?
 

This is what the Zionists didn't want you to hear at the Sabeel conf.

www.democracynow.org/article.pl

Fmr. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Israel([search]) Should Heed Lessons of Scripture -- and Apartheid

The South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a key leader in the South African fight against apartheid. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and today continues to speak around the globe for peace and justice. Denouncing the U.S.-backed occupation of Palestinian land, Tutu says Israel and its supporters should follow biblical tradition of “forever taking the side of the weak, the oppressed, the downtrodden against the kings and the powerful oppressors.” [includes rush transcript] The keynote speaker at the conference was the former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu was an inspirational leader in the South African fight against apartheid. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and today continues to speak around the globe for peace and justice. In 2006, the Israeli government blocked Tutu from leading a UN delegation into Gaza([search]). He was to investigate the killing of 19 Palestinians in Gaza.

Tutu made headlines recently when the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota canceled an invitation for him to speak at the school next spring. The president of the university, the Reverend Dennis Dease, revoked the invitation over Tutu’s criticism of Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories. Dease also fired Cris Toffolo as head of the university's peace and justice program, though she remains a professor at the university. Toffolo had written Tutu a letter explaining to him what had happened and why he was disinvited.

After a vocal public outcry from students and faculty, Dease apologized to Tutu and invited him back to speak at the university. Tutu began his speech at the historic Old South Church by addressing the issue.

* Desmond Tutu. Former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
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AMY GOODMAN: The keynote speaker at the conference was the former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was an inspirational leader in the South African fight against apartheid, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, today continuing to speak out around the globe for peace and justice. In 2006, the Israeli government blocked Tutu from leading a UN delegation into Gaza. He was investigating the killing of nineteen Palestinians in Gaza.

Tutu made headlines recently when the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota canceled an invitation for him to speak at the school next spring. The president of the university, the Reverend Dennis Dease, revoked the invitation over Tutu’s criticism of Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories. Dease also fired Cris Toffolo as head of the university's peace and justice program, though she remains a professor at the university. She had supported the invitation to Tutu. After a vocal public outcry from students and faculty, Dease apologized to Tutu and invited him back to speak at the university. Tutu began his speech at the historic Old South Church in Boston by addressing the issue.

DESMOND TUTU: As you probably know, someone put out a rather distorted version of what I said here in 2002, and on the basis of that, the president of St. Thomas University decided I shouldn't visit his campus. It is good that he has since reversed this decision, and I want to commend him very warmly for his courage in admitting publicly that he was wrong. It is never easy to do that. I have received the president's invitation, in which he makes a very handsome apology, which I have accepted. And I am happy to accept his invitation, provided it can be fitted into my schedule and if Professor Toffolo is reinstated with no adverse comments in her academic file arising from this unfortunate episode.

I thank God for my Hebrew antecedents. I thank God that I, too, am a descendant of Abraham. I give thanks to God for the gift of the Holy Scriptures, made up substantially of the Hebrew Scriptures, forming what we conventionally refer to as our Old Testament. Even our New Testament, which would be distinctively Christian, is incomprehensible without taking its Jewish setting seriously. For instance, the name Jesus is Greek for Joshua, the one who led God's people into the Promised Land, and the word Christ is Anointed One, in Hebrew, Messiah, whose coming was predicted in the Jewish scriptures and who was longed for so poignantly by the Jews. I tell you nothing you do not already know. I refer to it only to assert that spiritually I am of Hebrew descent. That legacy has been of crucial importance for me in our struggle against apartheid.

At the height of the struggle, when apartheid's repression was at its most vicious and it seemed indeed as if the apartheid rulers were firmly ensconced in power, when they had all but knocked out the stuffing of their opponents and they were strutting the stage as invincible cocks of the walk, then we turned to the inspiration of our Hebrew tradition and antecedents.

We were able to revive and sustain our people's hope for their vindication and the ultimate triumph of good over evil, of freedom over injustice and oppression, by our references to our biblical traditions. It was often quite exhilarating. I remember once when there had been a massacre in one of our townships, which had been instigated by a sinister Third Force linked to the apartheid security apparatus, our bishops quite unusually suspended a session of Episcopal Synod so that, as in the case of an Ezekiel, who sat side by side with stunned exiles, so we would be a ministry of presence, and we held a service in one of our ghetto township churches. The people were stunned, devastated by the naked violence of that massacre. I preached, and I used Exodus 3:1-9, God's words which Yahweh asked Moses to announce to the children of Israel. And I said to our people gathered there, "Our God is not deaf. Our God has heard our cries. Our God is not stupid. Our God knows our suffering. Our God is not blind. God has seen and sees our pain and anguish. And, yes, our God will come down and set us free." Yes, our God will come down to open the prison doors and lead our leaders from prison and lead our leaders back from exile, for we had learned from our Jewish tradition that God, our God, is notoriously biased, forever taking the side of the weak, the oppressed, the downtrodden, against the kings and the powerful oppressors.

Our God had been met first in the Bible story not in a sanctuary; our God was met first in the mundane world of politics, our God taking the side of a rabble of slaves against the mighty Pharaoh. God, we said to our people, is not neutral. God sided with Uriah the Hittite against his own favorite, King David, after David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. Thou art the man. Anywhere else, the king could have got away with both actions, but not in Israel. It really seemed as if the Jewish scriptures were written specifically for us. The story of Naboth's vineyard and King Ahab and Jezebel being confronted on Yahweh's behalf by Elijah seemed to have been written especially with our situation in mind, where blacks -- not exclusively, but overwhelmingly -- were shipped in their millions, like so many pawns in population removal schemes, and dumped in poverty-stricken Bantustan homelands, hardly able to eke out a living, cut off from the more affluent so-called white South Africa.

AMY GOODMAN: Former South African archbishop, Nobel laureate, Desmond Tutu, giving a speech at the Old South Church in Boston. We’ll return to the conclusion of his address in a minute.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: We return to the conclusion of the address of the former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who’s speaking at the Old South Church in Boston, speaking at a conference sponsored by the Palestinian Christian organization Sabeel. Nobel Peace laureate Tutu spoke about his struggle against the apartheid government in South Africa as a religious leader.

DESMOND TUTU: It was exhilarating preaching to the oppressed and downtrodden. The well-to-do, the powerful, often complained that we were mixing religion with politics, and we would declare that we were doing no more, in fact, than just preaching the Gospel. That’s -- they had brought us the Bible from wherever, and we were taking it seriously. We would be accused of being political, and I often retorted, “I don't know which Bible you are reading.” I must say I have never heard the poor complain, “Bishop Tutu, now you're being political!” If anything, they would possibly have said, “You are not political enough.”

And God vindicated us. Apartheid's rulers bit the dust, as all oppressors have done always, for this is a moral universe. Right and wrong matter. It cannot happen that evil, injustice and oppression can have the last word. No, ultimately goodness, justice, freedom -- these will prevail.

What is this to the point? Now, I could have spent a great deal of time rehearsing what we all know, how I experienced a deja-vu when I saw a security checkpoint which Palestinians had to negotiate most of their lives, that I was reminded so painfully of the same checkpoints in apartheid South Africa, when arrogant white policemen treated almost all blacks like dirt, or when someone pointed to a house in Jerusalem and said, “That used to be our home, but now it has been taken over by the Israelis,” which would make me recall so painfully similar statements in Cape Town by coloreds who had been thrown out of their homes and relocated in ghetto townships some distance from the town center. I could have bemoaned the illegal wall that has encroached on Palestinian land, separated families, divided property and made what used to be a short walk to school turn into an expensive nightmare voyage running the gauntlet of checkpoints, etc., etc. I could have said there were things that even you didn’t find even in apartheid South Africa, that we had things that you didn’t see in an apartheid South Africa, such as collective punishment.

I have not gone that route. I have not gone that route. No, I have chosen a different approach. My address is really a cri de coeur, a cry of anguish from the depth of my heart, an impassioned plea to my spiritual relatives, the offspring of Abraham like me: please, please hear the call, the noble call of your scriptures, of our scriptures, to be with the God of the Exodus who took the side of a bunch of slaves against the powerful Pharaoh. Be on the side of the God who intervened through His prophet Elijah on behalf of Naboth. Hear the plea of your scriptures and stand with the God who intervened through his prophet Nathan on behalf of Uriah against King David. Be on the side of the God who revealed a soft spot in his heart for the widow, the orphan and the alien. Be on the side of the God whose "Spirit sends us out to preach good news to the poor." Don't be found fighting against this God, your God, our God, the God who hears the cry of the oppressed, the God who sees their anguish, the God who will always come down to deliver them. Be not opposed to the God whose Spirit, when it anoints you, makes you concerned for the poor. This is your calling. If you disobey that calling, if you do not heed it, then as sure as anything one day you will come a cropper. You will probably not succumb to an outside assault militarily. With the unquestioning support of the United States of America, you are probably impregnable. But you who are called are they who are called, asked to deal with the oppressed, the weak, the despised, compassionately, caringly, remembering what happened to you in Egypt and, much more recently, in Germany. Remember and act appropriately. If you reject your calling, you may survive for a long time, but you will find it is all corrosive inside, and one day, one day, you will implode.

A recent report by a clinical psychologist who was himself a soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, Nufan Yishai Katrim at the Hebrew University, speaks of how Israeli soldiers were gratuitously cruel and carried out acts of brutality to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. One of the soldiers, he said, told of how a new commander went out with them on patrol. Because the curfew, there were no Palestinians in sight, except a four-year-old Palestinian boy who was playing with the sand in the backyard of his home. And this commander went and broke the arm of this four-year-old. And another soldier told of how, whilst they were on patrol, they encountered one Palestinian, and, quite unprovoked, one of the soldiers shot him in the stomach, and they left him writhing on the ground dying as they drove off. When you uphold an unjust dispensation, it corrodes your humanity. In South Africa, a former cabinet minister in the apartheid dispensation showed this. When he was told of the death of Steve Biko in detention, Jimmy Kruger said it left him cold.

Thanks be to God for the many, many Jews who know what their divine calling is and who want the Israeli government to live it out. We believe in a two-state solution of two sovereign, viable states, each with contiguous borders, guaranteed as secure by the international community. We condemn all acts of terrorism by whoever they are committed. The suicide bomber has to be condemned for targeting innocent civilians. But equally, the Israelis are to be condemned for their acts of indiscriminate reprisal that, too, target innocent civilians. We say, we say: please, please, learn at least one positive lesson from apartheid South Africa.

Under Mr. F.W. de Klerk, who must be commended for his outstanding courage, the apartheid rulers decided to negotiate, to negotiate not with those they liked, but with their sworn enemy, and they found the security that had eluded them for so long and that had cost so much suffering and blood. It came not from the barrel of a gun. No, it came when the legitimate aspirations and human rights of all were recognized and respected. That was thirteen years ago, and the peace is still holding. Many had predicted that South Africa would be overwhelmed by a catastrophic racial bloodbath. It did not happen. It did not happen, because they negotiated in good faith with their enemies.

Somebody has said if something has happened once, then clearly it is something possible. It happened in South Africa; why not in the Middle East?

The world needs the Jews, Jews who are faithful to their vocation that has meant so much for the world's morality, for its sense of what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is just and unjust, what is oppressive and what sets people free. Jews are indispensable for a good compassionate, just and caring world.

And so are Palestinians.

Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking recently at the Old South Church in Boston, along with Noam Chomsky and others, at a conference sponsored by the Palestinian Christian organization Sabeel.
 

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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