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Economic Pressure Is All That Will End Apartheid, Tutu Says in Calling on Presbyterians to Divest

Business  (tags: boycott Israel, boycott, divest, sanctions, end all US military aid to Israel, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, apartheid state regime, Apartheid Wall, OPPRESSION, Palestinian human rights, Economic Crisis, Gaza siege-blockade, JUSTICE, equality opportunity denie )

- 1406 days ago -
I know firsthand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed.

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fly bird (26)
Sunday June 15, 2014, 11:17 am
The Presbyterian churchís biennial general assembly is taking place this week in Detroit. Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican bishop who was active in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, has released this letter calling on the Presbyterians to pass measures supportive of Palestinian human rights, including divestment from three companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

As the Presbyterian General Assembly gathers for its biennial meeting I reach out in prayer and solidarity that the Assembly will make a strong witness for reconciliation, justice and peace. I am aware that the Assembly will consider eight overtures on the confounding and intractable conflict in Israel and Palestine, however I am especially urging the Assembly to adopt the overture naming Israel as an apartheid state through its domestic policies and maintenance of the occupation, and the overture calling for divestment of certain companies that contribute to the occupation of the Palestinian people. Both are worthy of adoption, by speaking truth in the first instance, and owning up to the Churchís complicity in maintaining the occupation through its investments in the second.

The sustainability of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people has always been dependent on its ability to deliver justice to the Palestinians. I know firsthand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed. Realistic Israeli leaders have acknowledged that Israel will either end its occupation through a one or two state solution, or live in an apartheid state in perpetuity. The latter option is unsustainable and an offense to justice. We learned in South Africa that the only way to end apartheid peacefully was to force the powerful to the table through economic pressure.

The overtures proposed at the General Assembly are not about delegitimizing the State of Israel, but about ending its suppression of 4,000,000 Palestinian sisters and brothers. Itís about naming an unjust system and refusing to participate in it. The stubbornness of Israelís leaders in wanting to hold onto and settling land that is not theirs can only lead to tragedy for both peoples. For the sake of them both as Godís cherished, the strong witness of the two overtures is the only peaceful route left in the cause of justice and ultimate reconciliation. My prayers today are with the members of the General Assembly and with all the peoples of the Holy Land in Israel and Palestine.

Sue Matheson (79)
Sunday June 15, 2014, 12:07 pm

Evelyn B (62)
Sunday June 15, 2014, 12:59 pm
The Presbyterian Church (US) took a position against investing in weapons - but took a "soft" approach over Caterpillar, whose equipment is used as a weapon against Palestinians. The wrote to them, asking for ware to be taken over use of their equipment .... & Caterpillar denies any responsibility for how their machines are used. Seems like an echo of statements made after WW22, concerning death camps & gas ovens .....

The anti-divestment arguments being presented to the Presbyterian GA stress targeting of Israel: the proponents of divestment are being more specific - divestment from companies that benefit from the occupation. These may - indeed usually do - involve Israeli companies, but the divestment proposals (ordinances?) do NOT target Israel. The calls are very clear. I do hope that this time, there will be less pussy-footing around facts, hiding eyes out of fear of being accused of anti-semitism, responding to calls of guilt for past/ historical discrimination against Jews ...

Because yes, it is through the pocket that pressure to respect human rights & international law may come. Those who opt always to assume that Jews/Israelis are automatically THE victims will only see divestment as proof of their fears, but already, discussion of why BDS is supported is leading part of the Israeli Jewish population to re-examine the situation ... with some actively supporting it. To the point that laws are being passed against BDS! Which isn't stopping Israeli shops & restaurants from refusing to stock & sell supplies from the (illegal) settlements ....

Thanks, Jess

Evelyn B (62)
Sunday June 15, 2014, 1:03 pm
See also:
Presbyterian Church's Next Move Could Be A Tipping Point In The Israeli Divestment Debate
Presbyterian Divestment - A Jewish Perspective By Cantor Michael Davis, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council - Tikkun

Abo r (107)
Monday June 16, 2014, 7:20 am
noted thanks Jess for both posting and forwarding

Abo r (107)
Monday June 16, 2014, 8:03 am
Thanks Evelyn for the 2 links.

Roger G (154)
Monday June 16, 2014, 1:19 pm
noted, thanks

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday June 16, 2014, 2:39 pm
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