UN Human Rights Council High-Level Fact-finding Mission to Beit Hanoun, Head of Mission: Archbishop Desmond Tutu
| UN Photo |
On November 29, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was appointed to lead a Fact-Finding mission to "assess the situation of victims, address the needs of survivors, and make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli assaults."
On November 15, 2006, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution deciding "to dispatch urgently a high-level fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to travel to Beit Hanoun to, inter alia: (a) assess the situation of victims; (b) address the needs of survivors; and (c) make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against any further Israeli assaults;" (Human Rights Council Resolution S-3/1
) Desmond Tutu, already holds these views on Israel and Jews:
"I believe Israel has a right to secure borders. What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence...Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?...[T]he Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticise it is to be immediately dubbed anti-semitic, as if the Palestinians were not semitic...People are scared in this country [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful...Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust." (Address at a conference on Ending the Occupation held in Boston, Massachusetts, April 2002, as reprinted in The Guardian
"I experienced a deja vu when I saw a security check point...I was reminded so painfully of the same checkpoints in apartheid South Africa...which made me recall so painfully...in Cape Town...coloreds who had been thrown out of their homes and relocated in ghetto townships...[T]here were things that even apartheid South Africa had not done, for example collective punishment...But you who are called are they who are asked to deal with the oppressed...remembering what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany." (Address at Sabeel conference, October 29, 2007, The Boston Globe
"[The West] feels a deep, deep shame for what it did – or didn't do – during the Holocaust...You jolly well ought to feel that shame, but then the penalty, the penance, has been paid, not by the west, but paid by the Palestinians...[if the problems of Israel-Palestine weren't solved] 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." (Address at Guardian Hay Festival, May 28, 2009, as reprinted in The Guardian