Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, will be visiting Israel shortly, as the guest of Israel’s International Center for Peace. The invitation was extended by phone Tuesday by Citizens Rights Movement Knesset member Yossi Sarid.
Sarid said that Tutu replied that he was accepting the invitation because it was extended by an Israeli organization which opposed apartheid and carried out a public campaign against that racist practice.
Tutu, who visited New York in 1984, praised the Jewish people as “a light unto the nations,” but at the same time expressed criticism of both Israel and the Arab nations. Addressing some 300 students and guests at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the Black South African human rights leader said he was distressed by Israel’s “collaboration” with South Africa, which is “carrying out policies that are so reminiscent of Hitler’s Aryan madness.”
He also said that he was “sad that Israel, with the kind of history and tradition her people have experienced, should make refugees of others. It is totally inconsistent with who she is as a people.”
At the same time, Tutu criticized Arab nations for “being totally unrealistic in not recognizing” Israel that he said should “be given every bit of security and she should have her territorial integrity guaranteed.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.