Influential Christian supporter of Israel and founder of Proclaiming Truth and Justice to the Nations (PJTN) Dr Laurie Cardoza-Moore yesterday wrapped up a six-day visit to South Africa during which she met with Christian leaders and engaged with Christian audiences in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Earlier this week Gateway News reporter Neziswa Kanju attended one of her Johannesburg events — a special screening of a PTJN-produced movie titled Boycott This that exposes the lies behind the antisemitic BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) movement.
The programme director for the evening was Tshego Motaung who shared her own story and introduction to antisemitism while she was a student at the University of Sussex.
The film Boycott This centres around a comic who is mistakenly taken to be Jewish. A Christian promoter says that he can introduce him to different churches all around America. He will need to tone down his pro-Israel stance though because some of the churches are boycotting Israel as they believe that Israel is an apartheid state.
The movie follows comedian Brad Stiles as he seeks to understand Israel for himself amidst growing resistance to anything that supports Israel. After being told to tone down his pro-Israel stance in his comedy to get more work Stiles goes on a journey that leads him to Washington DC, Los Angeles and ultimately Israel. Along the way, he encounters many who are affected by the situation in Israel and Palestine.
Cardoza-Moore whose Daystar TV show Focus on Israel has a huge global following, said Boycott This was “specifically produced for millennials, for the younger; for the next generation because these are the individuals who are confronting this BDS on college campuses”.
“We wanted to use a little satire to tell the story; the lies and the misinformation against Israel as it pertains to the boycott sanctions and Israel being an apartheid state,” she said.
The movie goes in-depth to prove that Israel is not an apartheid state. Making parallels with South Africa that was an apartheid state and the restrictions and mistreatment that Black people had to endure, Boycott This makes comparisons with how Arabs currently live in Israel. They can vote. they own land. they share equal rights with the Jews. Black South Africans did not have equal standing with other races in this country during apartheid.
ACDP leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe who is profiled in the movie says: ”As a member of the South African Parliament and as we know what apartheid was, I, therefore, ask those that are in the United States, Europe and anywhere else in the world who charge Israel with practising apartheid to stop doing so. You are damaging any chance for peace in the Middle East and most of all you are destroying the memory of the real apartheid.”
The film talks about the great work that Israel continues to do to better the lives of people all around the world despite the world’s growing hatred towards Israel. Inventions and cutting-edge technological advances continue to come out of Israel and these not only benefit Israel but are changing and impacting nations.
The film also touches on the ongoing threat of suicide bombers and Arab teenage soldiers who are taught and trained to kill the Jews.
The film screening was followed by a panel discussion led by Cardoza-Moore. The panellists were Apostle Linda Gobodo, the founder of Vuka Africa Foundation, Gavi Sacks national executive director of the South African Friends of Israel, Pastor Segun Olanipekun CEO of the Institute of Christian Leadership Development and Pastor Mpho Moseo who has been involved in many initiatives that stand with Israel.
Cardoza-Moore asked each of the panellists specific questions and what their thoughts are about BDS and the growing hatred for the nation of Israel.
Gobodo spoke about a call to the nation to be prayerful for the last 50 days of 2019 from November 12 to December 21. She said the Church should pray the prophetic words of God for SA, ushering in the Kingdom and see what God will do.
She said that Vuka Africa Foundation takes a message of hope, healing and restoration to South Africa and to the continent of Africa and to the diaspora, calling Africa to arise to lead and to rebuild Africa. A pillar of Vuka Africa is that Africa stands with Israel.
The narrative against Israel is not a South African narrative, she said. When we are silent we are seen as being anti-Israel. She believes that many more South Africans support Israel than the few voices who are vocal against it. She says: “It is time for us to have a voice so it can be known, because we are seen as anti-Israel and yet we are not. It is time that our voice be heard that we support Israel and we stand with Israel.”
Gavi Sacks shared the work of Friends of Israel and the challenges that Jews in SA face daily. “We have been building relations with different religious communities, predominantly the evangelical Christian community, to understand how people stand up and speak up for our shared biblical connections to the Holy Land.
“It has been our work for the last 10 years to build bridges; education to your churches and advice on ways on how we can build bridges between South Africa and Israel. Israel has a huge amount of technology that could assist in empowering our communities and we would like to hold your hand and bring those technologies and ensuring that there is a friendship between the Jewish and Christian world here in South Africa.”
Sacks also shared that it has become very unsafe for Jews to practice their religion in South Africa as they face relentless threats daily.
Pastor Segun Olanipekun is the convener of the Africa Leadership Summit that is held in Jerusalem every second year. They work with an apostolic team that recruits political, business and community leaders. He is also founder and international president for the Africa Israel Chamber of Commerce that mobilises African entrepreneurs from around the continent to connect with Israel.
Onanipekun who is the CEO of the Institute for Christian Leadership Development says they encourage pastors and leaders who come through their training to love Israel and not just to respond to BDS and replacement theology but to go to Israel.
“Israel is hated by the world because of what Israel represents to the world. Antisemitism is a manifestation of an anti-Christ spirit. It is a hatred for God. We cannot tolerate that within the Church. Israel is a model for all the post-colonial states of the world. This is what the globalists actually hate about Israel.
“Israel was colonised but Israel fully recovered from colonisation. Israel recovered her language and her land. Israel is building a global economy. This is typical of God that if He restores the firstborn — Israel is firstborn — it means that all the nations that are coming after who have experienced colonialism will be not only restored but will build a great economy like Israel”, said Onanipekun.
Moseo said that his involvement with fighting for Israel was magnified when he came across the growing indoctrination of believers through replacement theology which teaches that God no longer has unique plans for the Jewish people.
He said that in his church they are intentional about combating this propaganda by teaching their young people about Israel. They show their youth through Scripture how God is for Israel. Their involvement also extends to marches, lending their voice and support against antisemitism.
He said he believed the only way to fight BDS and antisemitism was through education — especially educating the next generation. Together with the other panellists, he said he believed that another way to combat antisemitism was for people, especially South Africans, to go to Israel and see for themselves that it is not an apartheid state.
He shared a story of when he went to the Promised Land and they were taken to Jericho: “We went to Jericho, a massive board on the outskirts said, JEWS NOTALLOWED HERE. When we got out of the bus to say we are from South Africa the town was celebrating, to hear that we come from South Africa. They were celebrating that we are South Africans. Palestinians see us as their liberators. This is how we are seen and perceived in the West Bank. We are seen as liberators of the Palestinians against Israel.”
Pastor Jack Hayford a respected Christian figure and one who has devoted his life to the ministry of our Lord says in the film Boycott This:“The Bible warns that there will come a great deception, so much so that the great elect, the very people who believe that Jesus is the Saviour, many of them will be deceived. We are coming to a time where the deception will dominate the world. More and more we are turning our backs on Israel.”
Gobodo wrapped up the event with a prayer of repentance. She said that it is not a coincidence that we are facing a drought in South Africa. She said that we have been disobedient. South Africa hates Israel, God’s people and His children. We have promoted replacement theology. We have been silent when we are supposed to speak.
In 2 Chronicles 7 verse 13 -14 God said: “If I shut up the heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Gobodo reminded the Church that God is about blessing. If we want to be blessed then we must bless Israel and pray for peace in Israel because they need peace. We need to remind ourselves as the Church that we are Israel and Israel is us. We share the blessing of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. She noted that World War One ended at 11 o’clock on the 11th of November 1918. She said that 11 represents judgment in the Bible and it was no coincidence that the meeting was on November 11.
As we were praying, a loud thunder clap was heard from the heavens and the sound of pouring rain reverberated across the venue. At the end of the event we could not hear each other speak as the rain was so loud. When it was time for us to go to our cars we had to wait awhile as the rain fell so mightily. We thanked God for answered prayer. Let the church arise for the sake of Zion let the Church not be silent.