Wiesenthal Center Protests Archbishop Tutu Support for Israel Divestment Vote

April 14, 2010

The Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized a statement by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu supporting today’s vote for a UC Berkeley boycott of Israel.

“The divestment campaign at Berkeley is not an exercise in freedom, but an act of solidarity with tyrants and terrorists,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “To compare the State of Israel with South Africa under apartheid is both insulting and dishonest,” he continued.

“Archbishop Tutu knows very well that the State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East where all citizens, including close to one and a half million Arabs, have access to the Courts, representatives in the Knesset and live in a country where there is a freedom of the press,” said Hier said.

“I’ve never heard the Archbishop call for divestment from Arab nations where, for example, women are second-class citizens and many are denied basic human rights,” Hier concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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