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ADL Blasts Appointment Of Desmond Tutu As Head Of U.N. Fact Finding Mission To Gaza

New York, NY, November 29, 2006 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized the appointment of Desmond Tutu as head of the Beit Hanoun fact-finding mission created by the United Nations Human Rights Council, describing it as "an extension of the anti-Israel kangaroo court tactics."

A resolution passed by the U.N. Human Rights Council calls for a mission to "assess the situation of victims, address the needs of survivors, and make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli assaults."  The resolution, like many others put forward by the Human Rights Council, did not address the continuing barrage of Kassam rockets fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, killing and maiming Israeli citizens.

"The appointment of Desmond Tutu as head of the fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun is an extension of the anti-Israel kangaroo court tactics used by the U.N. Human Rights Council," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "No fact-finding mission can produce balanced and trustworthy results if its leader professes to know all the answers beforehand.  Tutu has already publicly expressed his anti-Israel views and his opinions regarding what happened in Beit Hanoun, and combined with the one-sided anti-Israel mandate provided by the resolution, the results of the mission are all-but preordained."

Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, has been an outspoken critic of Israel and has publicly stated his personal views about Beit Hanoun, calling it an "outrage that cries out to heaven" and one that "we must condemn."  In the past, Tutu has condemned the "Jewish lobby" in the United States, calling it "very powerful."

The Israeli government has acknowledged that the tragic deaths in Beit Hanoun were the result of a mistake and has expressed its condolences.

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.

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2006 Anti-Defamation League