S.Africa's Tutu thanks online supporters

JOHANNESBURG- Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday thanked people who supported him after an online petition accused him of "demonising Israel" when he urged the Cape Town Opera to abandon a trip to Tel Aviv.
"We would like to say thank you to all the people who supported us through this difficult period," said Tutu in a statement.

A petition by three Cape Town locals last year accused the Nobel peace prize laureate of being a bigot and a "defamer of Israel and the Jewish people" and demanded he be axed as the patron of local holocaust centres.
However, a counter-petition in support of the anti-apartheid icon was also opened.
The Sapa news agency reported in mid-January that the anti-Tutu petition had 397 signatories while the pro-Tutu petition had 2,486.
"We received messages from individuals and faith-based organisations, from across the world including from Palestine and Israel. But mostly, we would like to say thank you to so-called ordinary members of South Africa's Jewish community," Tutu said.
Tutu, who retired from public life ahead of his 79th birthday last year, is a vocal international activist whose numerous targets have included Israeli policy toward Palestinians and the occupied territories.
Last year he urged the Cape Town Opera to cancel a trip to Israel, saying Palestinians would not have equal access to the performance and drawing parallels with the international boycott against apartheid South Africa.

Tuesday, February 1st 2011

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