Embassy downgrade would hurt SA Christians, not help Palestinians — ACDP

The downgrade of the South African embassy in Israel will negatively impact South African Christian community, and it will not benefit Palestinians, said ACDP deputy president Wayne Thring yesterday.

Speaking in a debate in Parliament on a motion tabled by NFP member Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam calling for the embassy to be downgraded to a liaison office.

Thring said: “The ACDP would want to remind this House and South Africans at large, that all political parties are guided by their world view.

“Some are driven by a secular/liberal world view, others a secular humanistic, or social/ communistic/ atheistic world view.

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“I wish to make it very clear, that the ACDP is guided by a biblical world view and underscoring this view is the recognition of our Judeo-Christian historical background. It bears repeating that our Messiah, Christ Jesus, was born a Jew. It must also be noted that while those who have a different world view from ours, draw their inspiration from books written by Karl Marx, Stalin, Mao Zedong or Charles Darwin, we in the ACDP draw our inspiration and guidance from our holy book, the Bible.

“It is this book which compels us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”, in accordance with Psalm 122:6, and for the descendants of Abraham, the patriarch of Israel, according to Genesis 12:3. As the ACDP we can do no other.

“We believe that efforts to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel will have a deeply negative impact on the South African Christian community (around 44 million Christians) who make up the vast majority of pilgrims to the Holy Land.

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“Israel-bashing appears to be in vogue, but it reveals the hypocrisy of those bashers, who remain silent on the genocide of over 1 million Muslims in Xinjiang, China. They remained silent when Isis extremists beheaded Christians and they remain silent when hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Christians in Mozambique, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Mali have had their homes and churches burned to the ground, their women raped, men murdered and children abducted by religious fundamentalists.

“South Africa has a moral and constitutional obligation to support a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to distance itself from a radicalised position on Israel, which position simply undermines any hope of a negotiated process and peaceful outcome.

“A downgrade would not be of any benefit to the Palestinian people. It would entirely remove South Africa’s ability and authority to play a mediator role in a future peace effort between Israel and the Palestinians. A mediator must, by definition, have relations with both parties in the room, otherwise it cannot be a mediator.”

Deputy Minister of International Relations Alvin Botes says South Africa still believes a peaceful solution was still possible in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, reports IOL.

He said that South Africa recalled its ambassador in Israel in May 2018 and the mission in Tel Aviv was now headed by a Charge d’Affaires.

Botes said they have a moral obligation to support the Palestinians.

They have since launched a strategic dialogue with Palestine to galvanise its support on the African continent and the world.

Botes said they also supported the African Union’s decision to remove an Israeli diplomat at the summit in Addis Ababa two weeks ago.

The EFF said it did not want the downgrading of the embassy into a liaison office, but a complete closure of that office.

Mergan Chetty of the DA said the debate was used by political parties to pick a side in the Israeli-Palestine conflict instead of pushing for peace.

He said nothing will be achieved through divisions.

South Africa had walked this path during apartheid, it can do the same for a peaceful resolution in the Middle East, said Chetty.

Emam, who tabled the motion, said a solution was needed in the Middle East. He called on South Africa to be on the right side of history, saying it could not allow the continued escalation of the violence and human rights abuses against the Palestinians.

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  1. Extraordinary. The Palestinians regularly attack and murder unarmed Israeli civilians, which is of course OK with the ANC. But if the Israelis react and punish the Palestinian terrorists, they are accused of murder. What an absolute disgrace our ANC government is.
    Cry the beloved country…

  2. We have a comuniest government in power in SA
    The ANC have lied to the world
    They are not Democratic party
    They don’t beleave in peaceful resulution
    The have Bee Aoarthied policey that has destroyed people’s live in SA
    They are not Christans or Democrats
    They are pure comuniest and currupt
    They are using Democratic oarlement to implement their comuniest principals in place in christian Country

  3. Michael Higgs

    “Cry the beloved country” indeed -it’s come full circle. I wonder how much longer Christians will be allowed to quote from the Bible in parliamentary debate. God bless the ACDP and all other committed Christians M.P’s. God bless all who pray for the peace of Jerusalem, standing for Israel; – and may the works of those who oppose God’s people be confounded.

  4. Downgrading the embassy will be of absolutely ZERO benefit to the so-called “palestinians” and will have zero effect on the standing of Israel. The only thing that will happen is that SA will remove itself from any negotiating role between the two parties., this is just a cheap political move to appease antisemites. The most obvious question to ask is whether SA will downgrade its embassy with China and with Russia, two countries that have far worse human rights records. If SA does not, it just exposes the hypocrisy of a ruling party that has so little influence and standing in the international community.