The reports that Tutu’s UN fact finding tour to Gaza was cancelled because of Israel’s lack of cooperation may be a bit more involved than initial reports. Kudos to Reuters for getting the story wrong.
The Jerusalem Post gives some real detail regarding Israel’s “Lack of Cooperation”. It seems that Tutu is upset because he is not getting what he wanted –the VIP treatment.
Israeli government officials told The Jerusalem Post that the discussion was over what type of visa to issue. Whereas Tutu, according to the officials, wanted a VIP visa, Israel was only interested in granting him a regular tourist visa.
There is no word whether the former Nobel Prize winner wanted Champaign in his hotel room, little mints on his pillow, his comforter turned down, or free pay per view movies.
The original post follows:
Israel to Tutu: Get out of Town !The Olmert Government had an accident today, they actually did something right. They refused to authorize Desmond Tutu’s “Kangaroo Court” investigating the incident at Beit Hanoun. (for more about Tutu’s mission click here)
From Reuters: UN mission, set to depart to region Sunday, called off due to Israel’s refusal to authorize trip, spokeswoman says. Olmert’s office responds: ‘Commission was sent on premise that Israel targets civilians, did not take into account rocket fire from Gaza’ A UN mission to be led by South Africa’s Desmond Tutu to probe last month’s deaths of 19 civilians in Gaza under Israeli shelling has been called off because Israel did not authorize the trip, a spokeswoman said on Monday. In response to UN decision to investigate circumstances surrounding Beit Hanoun incident several days ago, Israel’s foreign ministry states move rewarding to terrorism, hindering to those fighting it. The Nobel Peace laureate, who was asked to head the team by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, had other engagements and could not wait any longer for Israeli permission, she added “It has been cancelled. We were supposed to go yesterday (Sunday),” Spokeswoman Sonia Bakar said, “Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Israel had investigated and acknowledged its mistakes in the incident, seeing no role for the UN mission. “The commission was sent on the premise that Israel targets civilians and it did not take into account the daily rocket fire targeting Israeli civilians.”