Dr Gavi Sacks national director of South African Friends of Israel comments on Africa4Paelstine’s bid to muzzle Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for expressing his Christian viewpoint on the Israel-Palestine conflict
South Africans watched on as the infamous organisation Africa4Palestine armed themselves for a fight in front of the judicial conduct committee. Their enemy? Chief Justice Mogoeng. His crime? Quoting biblical scriptures that support Israel.
Their complaint, if accepted, would prevent Christians from having a voice in South African judicial, legislative, and executive branches of the government. The end game being silencing freedom of religion under the sinful accusation that our faiths should not influence who we are as South Africans.
As the key importers of hatred for Israel into South Africa, Africa4Palestine’s single greatest agenda is to silence anyone, even the 80% Christian majority, should they quote New Testament scriptures that recognise Israel.
I write this as a Jew within a community that practices the five books of Moses, speaks the ancient language of our patriarchs and prays to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As Jews, we look towards our morality as a guiding light to all that we do in life especially within our work and callings. This same notorious organisation continues to tell me and all who will listen that my Jewish nation has no indigenous connection to Israel. They have been trying to silence the Jewish voice and its Biblical claims to Israel for over a decade.
This organisation previously known as BDS SA became infamous for singing “Kill the Jew” at a university campus, and for placing a pig’s head in a Kosher section of a supermarket. They claim to fight for equal rights, however, beyond their veil hides an insidious hatred for Jews and their biblical connection to a promised land, which currently possess 3% of the initial Abrahamic Covenant. This hatred includes all who oppose their agenda and the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East that welcomes freedoms that their neighbours continue to deny their citizens which include Palestinians.
We are finally starting to understand that organisations that stand against Israel will do anything in their power to silence the voices of those who quote the Old and New Testament and prevent Jewish and Christian morals from shaping a prosperous future for South Africa and its people. However, we are proud to have voices such as Chief Justice Mogoeng’s that unapologetically speak out for freedom of religion at the highest levels of government as well as voices that recognise what shapes us as South Africans.
One of our shared Biblical commandments is to establish courts and appoint judges to ensure justice. “Men who fear G-d, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain, set such men over them as officers… Let them sit as judges for the people at all times” — Exodus 18:17-24. In Israel, having its governments understand the different religious identities of people is the only way to secure freedom of religion. In Israel, the fourth-largest political party is an ultra-Orthodox political party representing Jewish values and the third-largest political party is the Joint Arab List representing Muslim and Arab values.
South African laws are based on Roman-Dutch and English legal origins both inviting influence from our Biblical scriptures. Doesn’t the goal of full equality demand the incorporation of our spiritual identity so as not to pretend to entertain but to actually realise democratic values? To deny religious influence on our South African identity is to deny a true democracy that should represent the beliefs of its people. If we can include our racial, cultural and indigenous heritage within our identity as South Africans then why shouldn’t we be allowed to realise the teachings, morals and values of our Holy Bible that make us better people? It is time for Biblical believers to unite in safeguarding the words of our scriptures and prophets. These are not the words of today’s leaders but rather, indelible values and morals of our patriarchs that we will not allow anyone to silence.