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Global rights group calls for solidarity with Palestinians

Published on 07/11/2011

The international community should display the same solidarity with the Palestinians as it did in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, the Russell Tribunal rights group said Monday.

the Tribunal urged “that the Global Civil Society replicate the spirit of solidarity that contributed to the end of apartheid in South Africa”.

Earlier, at the opening of its annual session in Cape Town on Saturday, South African peace icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu accused Israel of collective amnesia.

“They have forgotten their own history. They have forgotten what their own prophets have said about our God,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner said in his opening address to the International Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

The group was created in 2009 along the model of its mother organisation, co-founded by the late philosopher Bertrand Russell, which shed light on US war crimes in Vietnam in the 1960s.

The group’s eight-person “jury” includes Irish Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan and French feminist Gisele Halimi.

It announced its next meeting would be held next year in New York, to question why the United Nations has failed to act on its resolutions on Israel.

In all, the Russell Tribunal has some 30 committees focussing on various conflicts.

The Federation of South African Zionists denounced the group’s Palestine wing as a “political smear campaign”.