Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Divesting from injustice

So I haven't been writing much lately, mostly posting articles, videos, and press releases. The thing is that preparing those videos, being present at the incidents, and doing media work following the incidents has been taking up my time. Also, my allergies have been killing me and I am taking an allergy medication which is making me super sleepy during the day. All that to say, I hope to get to some overdue posts about life in the South Hebron Hills on my upcoming 'days off.'

So to tide you over, here is an excerpt from Desmond Tutu's piece in support of the UC Berkeley student senate who voted 16-4 to divest from companies which have ties to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.

In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.
Tutu continues:
To those who wrongly allege unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one's own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity. It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation.
I suggest reading the full article, especially if you think South African apartheid was one thing but the Israeli system is a whole different thing, because Tutu clearly sees the links and the need for a strong BDS (boycotts, divestments, sanctions) movement against Israel, like we saw against the South African apartheid system

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