In an interview with the Palestinian Embassy in South Africa, and the Palestinian delegation participating in the Israeli Apartheid Week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that the “west committed the holocaust against the Jews in Europe, while the Palestinians are still paying a historic price for it.Tutu, a senior religious, intellectual and social figure who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, said that the Palestinians should not be paying the price of what the west did to the Jews in Europe.

In a meeting with the Palestine Embassy in South Africa and the Palestinian media delegation participating in the Israeli Apartheid Week, Tutu said, “We support Israel’s rights to exist, but at the same time we denounce the ongoing Israeli violations, its rejection to recognize the legitimate Palestinian rights, and its repeated wars on the Palestinians, where innocent civilians end up paying a heavy price.”

Archbishop Tutu also denounced Israel’s persistence to force the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish State, slammed the attempts to hold Islam and all Muslims responsible for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, and said such parallels are not different from trying to hold all Christians responsible for the crimes the Ku Klux Klan committed.

“Those who founded, and maintained, the apartheid regime in South Africa weren’t Muslims,” he added, “The current stage requires us to have more faith, to be wiser – we must be in full solidarity with the Palestinian people, supporting their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence.”

Media officer of the Palestine Embassy, Tamer al-Masry, handed the Archbishop a gift in the name of the Palestinian people, thanking him for his support, wishing him well, and wishing him to be able to visit Bethlehem soon.

The Israeli Apartheid Week started on March 2nd, and will continue through March 8, in more than 250 cities around the world, and in more than 20 South African Campuses and 45 South African cities and towns.

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, protests, lectures, cultural performances, concerts, films and workshops) held in over 250 cities, communities and campuses across the globe. It is endorsed in South Africa by more than 75 organizations, trade unions, political parties and other groups.

The aim of IAW is to raise awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies towards the indigenous Palestinians and serves to garner support for the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s campaign, which seeks to bring an end to Israel’s apartheid policies and violations of international law.