Archbishop Tutu's Report On Gaza Shelling 'Nonsensical And Outrageous'
New York, NY, September 19, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned Archbishop Desmond Tutu's report on the 2006 shelling of a Palestinian village, calling his conclusion that Palestinians are paying the price for the West's guilt over the Holocaust, "nonsensical and outrageous."
"Archbishop Tutu's judgment must be so impaired by his bias that he cannot think clearly, for his conclusions are so nonsensical and outrageous as to border on the absurd," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Once again, the United Nations Human Rights Council has made a mockery of itself by choosing an outspoken critic of Israel to reach a predetermined outcome, rather than selecting an impartial observer. It is clear that the Archbishop's observations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were really just forgone conclusions all along."
Archbishop Tutu was mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council to investigate Israel's November 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun, which killed 19 civilians. In his report Archbishop Tutu stated that "the West … is feeling contrite, penitent for its awful compliance with the Holocaust … the penance is being paid by the Palestinians." His report concluded that "there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime."
"Archbishop Tutu's comments will only serve to deflect attention from the more complex reasons why Palestinians continue to live under an embargo in Gaza, including the inability of Hamas to reject terrorism, to stop the shelling of Israeli towns or to accept Israel's existence," Mr. Foxman added. "In blaming the West, Archbishop Tutu takes the onus off of the Palestinians to consider the effect of their actions and to start to reform their society."
Following an internal investigation, Israel concluded that "a rare and grave technical error" of an artillery radar system led to the inadvertent shelling of civilian homes.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.