Israel again flouts international law in snubbing Tutu

Reports that Israel has sabotaged a UN mission led by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to investigate the Beit Hanoun massacre in Gaza is further evidence of the shameful efforts by the Jewish state to prevent any probes of its brutal policies against Palestinians.

This blatant snub of Tutu is symbolic of Israel’s continuous defiance of international law, particularly the Geneva conventions.

While it may rejoice in the fact that it has successfully foiled this mission, it certainly cannot hide the fact that its behaviour towards the Palestinians, whether in the Occupied Territories (post-1967) or inside historic Palestine (post-1948), will lead to its marginalisation and eventual isolation.

Ehud Olmert’s regime claims that its internal investigation is done and over with – thus disputing the validity of an international probe.

Yet most human rights observers believe that the "kangaroo" approach by Israel has effectively swept the horrors of Beit Hanoun under the carpet.

This effort to hide evidence from surfacing is also an indication of the extreme sense of nervousness rampant among Israeli politicians and military commanders, who collectively are aware that their day in court at the Hague is no more a "pipe dream".

That there is a significant swing away from unconditional support of Israel is beginning to manifest itself in very substantial ways. One of the latest and most credible voices to emerge in labelling Israel an apartheid state is former US president Jimmy Carter. His best-selling book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, is in his words intended to provoke debate on Israeli policies.

One hopes the South African media will not remain silent on Tutu’s snubbing and that more voices will be added to that of Cosatu and others demanding that our government suspends ties with Israel.