Archbishop Desmond Tutu is off his meds again. He writes in South Africa’s TimeLive that the University of Johannesburg should sever its academic relationship with Ben-Gurion University in Israel:
I never tire of speaking about the very deep distress in my visits to the Holy Land; they remind me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like we did when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. My heart aches. I say, “Why are our memories so short?” Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their own previous humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?
Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about all the downtrodden?
What I never tire of doing is reminding people like Desmond Tutu that when Gentiles, and especially Christian prelates, start talking like this, Jews the world over respond, “how dare you lecture us about our history, our religious traditions?”
Together with the peace-loving peoples of this Earth, I condemn any form of violence – but surely we must recognise that people caged in, starved and stripped of their essential material and political rights must resist their Pharaoh? Surely resistance also makes us human? Palestinians have chosen, like we did, the nonviolent tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Starved? Starved? The situation in the Palestinian territories apparently isn’t bad enough for Tutu, he has to start fantasizing about stuff that isn’t even happening. And as for the “nonviolent tools” of resistance that the Palestinians have chosen, I’m sure this guy will be surprised to hear about them.
I support the petition by some of the most prominent South African academics who call on the University of Johannesburg to terminate its agreement with Ben-Gurion University in Israel (BGU). These petitioners note that: “All scholarly work takes place within larger social contexts – particularly in institutions committed to social transformation. South African institutions are under an obligation to revisit relationships forged during the apartheid era with other institutions that turned a blind eye to racial oppression in the name of ‘purely scholarly’ or ‘scientific work’.” It can never be business as usual.
Apparently, UJ should sever its relationship with BGU because they worked together during apartheid. I’m sure that makes sense to Tutu, but it escapes me what kind of moral logic is being employed there.