News Release

Desmond Tutu’s Last Piece: Biden Should End the Farce on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons


via Wikimedia Commons

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a major figure in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and other causes, has died at 90.

A year ago, on Dec 31, 2020, The Guardian published what appears to be his last article: “Joe Biden should end the U.S. pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons.”

Tutu condemned successive U.S. presidents for refusing “to acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons.” Even though U.S. law calls for a cut off of funds to nuclear weapons proliferators, he wrote that “U.S. taxpayer funds to Israel exceed that to any other country. Adjusted for inflation, the publicly known amount over the years is now approaching $300 billion.”

Wrote Tutu: “This farce should end. The U.S. government should uphold its laws and cut off funding to Israel because of its acquisition and proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

He urged weeks before the Biden administration took office: “The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement U.S. law.” In the year since, the administration has not addressed this issue.

Tutu continued: “Apartheid was horrible in South Africa and it’s horrible when Israel practises its own form of apartheid against the Palestinians, with checkpoints and a system of oppressive policies. …

“It’s quite possible that one of the reasons that Israel’s version of apartheid has outlived South Africa’s is that Israel has managed to maintain its oppressive system using not just the guns of soldiers, but also by keeping this nuclear gun pointed at the heads of millions. The solution for this is not for Palestinians and other Arabs to try to attain such weapons. The solution is peace, justice and disarmament.

“South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely — and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

Available for interviews:

BILL FLETCHER, Jr.,, @BillFletcherJr
Fletcher is past president of TransAfrica Forum.