דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Photo: EPA
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid campaigner and Israel critic, dies aged 90

South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for racial justice died peacefully in Cape Town; retired Anglican Archbishop was ardent supporter of anti-Israel international boycott; urged Israelis to forgive the Nazis

Ynet, Reuters |
Published: 12.26.21, 13:57
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, veteran of South Africa's struggle against white minority rule and an ardent Israel critic died on Sunday at the age of 90, the presidency said.
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  • In 1984 Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The outspoken Tutu was considered the nation's conscience by both Black and White, an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.
    He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years was hospitalized on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.
    "The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa, Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal," President Cyril Ramaphosa said. The presidency gave no details on the cause of death.
    Tutu preached against the tyranny of the white minority but even after its end never wavered in his fight for a fairer South Africa, calling the Black political elite to account with as much feistiness as he had the white Afrikaners.
    In his final years, he regretted that his dream of a "Rainbow Nation" had yet to come true.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu
    (Photo: EPA)
    Tutu was also known for his criticism of Israel, and he called on many occasions to impose an international boycott on the Jewish state and often compared its treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime in South Africa.
    Back in 1989, on a Christmas pilgrimage to the Holy Land, upon his visit to Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Tutu urged Israelis to forgive the Nazis for killing six million Jews during World War II. ''We pray for those who made it happen, help us to forgive them and help us so that we in our turn will not make others suffer,'' he said in a message to the descendants of those who suffered the Nazi crimes.
    Tutu said that the Palestinians pay the price for the feelings of guilt of the West because of the Holocaust. "I think that the West, with great justice, felt a huge regret because he turned a blind eye during the Holocaust, in which European Jews were slaughtered by Nazi Germany."
    In 2006, he was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to be the head of a commission that investigated the 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun, which killed 18 Palestinian civilians. In his report, Tutu stated that "Israel may have committed war crimes in the bombing, but the Palestinians are also guilty because they are firing rockets at Israeli civilians."
    When he filed the report, Tutu called upon the UN to take care of the Israelis hurt by terrorism, the same way they took care of the Palestinians living under occupation.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    דזמונד טוטו מת בגיל 90 דרום אפריקה
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu
    (Photo: AP)
    Dr. Ramphela Mamphele, acting chairperson of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust and Co-ordinator of the Office of the Archbishop, said in a statement on behalf of the Tutu family, Desmond "died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town this morning,"
    A frail-looking Tutu was seen in October being wheeled into his former parish at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town, which used to be a safe haven for anti-apartheid activists, for a special thanksgiving service marking his 90th birthday.
    Dubbed "the moral compass of the nation", his courage in defending social justice, even at great cost to himself, always shone through - and not just during apartheid. He often fell out with his erstwhile allies at the ruling African National Congress party over their failures to address the poverty and inequalities that they promised to eradicate.
    Just five feet five inches (1.68 meters) tall and with an infectious giggle, Tutu helped rouse grassroots campaigns around the world that fought for an end to apartheid through economic and cultural boycotts.
    Talking and traveling tirelessly throughout the 1980s, he became the face of the anti-apartheid movement abroad while many of the leaders of the rebel ANC, such as Nelson Mandela, were behind bars.
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