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Photo credit: Sumaya Hisham

I applaud the Russell Tribunal on Palestine for its timely action in pulling together a special session to investigate alleged crimes committed by Israel against Gaza and its people in the prosecution of its so-called Operation Protective Edge.

Many in the world have viewed Israel’s response to rockets fired from Palestine as horrendously disproportionate. This is not only illustrated by the body count, but also by the utter devastation of infrastructure in Gaza.

There is no military solution to the conflict in the Holy Land. Violence begets violence, which begets more hatred and violence. Nor have the world’s political and diplomatic leaders succeeded over many years to engineer a just and sustainable peace.

Civil society must step into the breach, as it did in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is an important civil society initiative to hold Israel to account.

The liberation of Palestinians from injustice and indignity will ultimately liberate Israelis, too.

Desmond Tutu

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