Why Israel blocked Tutu, judge
ALLAN Wolman (Star Letters, July 3) questions whether Archbishop (Emeritus) Tutu and Justice Richard Goldstone were denied entry into Israel.
It might interest Wolman to know that both Tutu and Goldstone – as heads of UN commissions of inquiry investigating the death of Palestinians in 2006 and 2009 respectively – wished to travel to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) – not Israel.
But since Israel controls all entry into the OPT, they were forced to go through Israeli-controlled entry points, and were denied entry by Israeli authorities.
For 18 months Israel refused to grant visas to Tutu’s team. Tutu himself was denied entry visa by Israel, despite repeated requests.
Israel’s refusal to co-operate with Goldstone’s team meant that, as Yediot Aharonot (Ynet) states, “Goldstone – a Jew with close ties to the Jewish state – had to enter Gaza via Egypt.”
Rather than rely on a mere Google search, this information is from “Israel’s most comprehensive, authoritative daily source in English for breaking news and current events from Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.”
Israel is hiding its occupation of Palestinian life, the ongoing theft of Palestinian land through illegal settlement construction and its inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip.
This is the reason that Ecumenical Accompaniers, church leaders and theologians, UN investigators, journalists and members of human rights NGOs have all been denied entry to visit land that Israel occupies and controls. Director: Theology and Development Programme, UKZN