In this photo taken on Saturday, former South Africa president Nelson Mandela is reunited with The Elders, three years after he launched the group, in Johannesburg. Photo: AP

Nobel-winning Elders deplore Gaza flotilla attack

The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.

At least 10 people are reported to have been killed when Israeli commandos raided the boats on Monday in an operation that has drawn international condemnation.

“The Elders have condemned the reported killing by Israeli forces of more than a dozen people who were attempting to deliver relief supplies to the Gaza Strip by sea,” the 12—member group said in a statement issued in Johannesburg, where it met over the weekend.

The group, which was launched by Mr. Mandela on his birthday in 2007 to try to solve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts, called for a “full investigation” of the incident and urged the UN Security Council “to debate the situation with a view to mandating action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip.” “This tragic incident should draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18,” the group said.

Israel’s three—year blockade of Gaza was not only “one of the world’s greatest human rights violations” and “illegal” under international law, it was also “counterproductive” because it empowered extremists in the Palestinian territory, they said.

The Elders includes six Nobel peace prize winners — former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former US president Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Mandela and Tutu.

Norway’s first female Prime Minister Gro Brundtland; former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso; former Irish president and ex—UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson; Mozambican social activist Graca Machel; Indian women’s rights activist Ela Bhatt; and Algerian veteran UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi are the other members.



  1. June 1, 2010 at 23:38

    […] THE ELDERS CONDEMN ISRAEL’S DEPLORABLE ATTACK « Desertpeace. June 1st, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments are closed | […]

  2. June 3, 2010 at 16:14

    If ever there was an occasion to obey that old adage: Listen to your Elders, it is NOW!

    These ‘Elders’ are, without doubt, amongst the wisest individuals alive today – it would seem to me that if they find the acts of Israel to be worthy of condemnation after these deplorable acts of violence against unarmed civilians, the entire world should be taking a similar stance. So, what’s the problem?

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that even MSNBC was covering the massacre, interviewing people who had been on the flotilla and who were disputing the ‘official story’ coming from Israel. The truth was actually getting out on the main stream media! Take that, conspiracy theorists.

    Several of the ‘flagship’ MSNBC shows featured stories about the flotilla and the coverage was, quite frankly, surprisingly fair in regards to the presentation of facts without allowing hysteria to overwhelm the broadcast. Refreshing.

    Wie viel ist Aufzuleiden!

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