[notice]Call for support from SA Christians as international campaigns against Israel mount[/notice]
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, has sent a letter of solidarity to South African evangelist Angus Buchan and the Christian community in South Africa, following a recent meeting between Buchan and Jewish representatives in Greytown, Kwazulu Natal.
According to a report on the Newscrate website, Metzger says that after hearing of Buchan’s meeting he wrote the letter “to offer my support to all those involved in the strengthening and support of the State of Israel”. He says the international community ignored recent atrocities in Israel in which terrorists murdered adults, children and babies. There are strong campaigns throughout the world aimed at demonizing and deligitimizing the country, Metzger says. He calls on supporters to tell the world that Israel is the strongest democracy in the Middle East offering equal rights to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and that it has the right to defend itself.
According to a report on Newscrate, Buchan recently met with three Jewish representatives at Shalom Ministries in Greytown to form ties between the Christian and Jewish communities and to unite in expressing support for Israel.
After the meeting, Buchan posted the following message on his Facebook page: “We need to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem now like never before ! Psalm 122:6 , when we see what is taking place in the middle East, we see scripture being fulfilled. We can no longer be those who sit on the fence waiting to see which way the wind blows, Jesus says : — He who is not for Me, is against Me Matt 12:30, Three fine looking young men visited me today, they flew in from JHB , and Cape Town, they are South African Jews , all they were basically asking, is that we, pray for Israel, and that the ” International Community ” would accept that the Jews have a legitimate right to live in the land that God gave to Abraham and His descendants . Genesis 17: 8, there is enough land for all, God Bless, angus & Jill .”
South African university cuts ties with Israeli university
Meanwhile, on March 23, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) became the first university in the world to sever ties with an Israeli institution, when it voted to terminate a collaborative agreement on water pollution studies with its 25-year research partner, the Ben Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev. The UJ decision followed pressure by a petition campaign launched by academics and students calling on the university to end its “apartheid era” association with BGU because of alleged BGU support of military action and abuses against Palestine.
The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel campaign have hailed the UJ move as a landmark development, saying it sets a worldwide precedent. More than 400 South African academics, including nine Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Vice-Chancellors, signed the UJ Petition. Well-known South Africans in the list of petition supporters are Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Professors Neville Alexander, Kader Asmal, Allan Boesak, Breyten Breytenbach, John Dugard, Antjie Krog, Barney Pityana and Sampie Terreblanche. South Africa’s popular cartoonist Jonathan “Zapiro” Shapiro, Bishop Rubin Phillips, former Minister Ronnie Kasrils and social activist Zackie Achmat.
Further, over 100 internationals began to lend their support, including several prominent international scholars: Professors Judith Butler, Vijay Prashad, Michael Burawoy, Wendy Brown, Ernesto Laclau, and acclaimed British author, John Berger.
Jewish and Israeli groups have criticised the UJ decision. Uri Keidar, the leader of the BGU student association, said: “I find it difficult to believe that BGU, the home of 20,000 freethinking students of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, is under this brutal attack.”
Rivka Carmi, BGU president, said: “The only losers in this decision are the people of South Africa,” while a spokeswoman for South Africa’s Jewish Board of Deputies said such boycotts threatened freedom of speech.
Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said it was a “misguided and shortsighted” move.
“In demonising and rejecting BGU solely because it is an Israeli academic institution, this highly political decision does nothing to promote Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and understanding.
“Moreover, it will deprive all South Africans of the new technologies being developed by BGU scientists to purify water.”