Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) leader Archbishop Thabo Mokgoba “has, in my opinion, discredited and jeopardised his chances of being a credible mediator in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by taking sides with one against the other”, said ACDP leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe.
Meshoe was responding to a October 28 decision by the Provincial Standing Committee of ACSA to label Israel an apartheid state.
In a media statement released on Friday, two days before Hamas terrorists murdered hundreds of Israeli men, women and children, Meshoe called ACSA’s decision “shocking, shortsighted and disappointing”.
In the statement Meshoe said: “Archbishop Thabo Mokgoba knows that the Church is given a ministry of reconciliation, and thus, to be a credible facilitator of reconciliation, one has to be objective and not take sides with any of the parties in conflict. The Archbishop expressed his concern for Palestinians but does not express similar concerns for many Israeli victims of terror attacks at the hands of Palestinian terror groups.
“The Archbishop has, in my opinion, discredited and jeopardised his chances of being a credible mediator in the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict by taking sides with one against the other.
“Except for security concerns, there is no place in Israel that Palestinians are not allowed to access as it happened in apartheid South Africa. There are no amenities or buildings, schools or universities that are designated for Jewish use only as it happened in South Africa during apartheid.
“Labelling Israel an ‘Apartheid State’ is inaccurate, malicious, and will not help to promote peace and harmony in the Middle East. Its only purpose is to demonise Israel and to isolate her to delegitimise Israel’s existence.
“The unfortunate decision taken by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to label Israel an ‘Apartheid State’ betrays the memory of those who suffered through the real apartheid of South Africa. Having visited Israel on several occasions, I know that nothing happening in that country, that I have seen or read, can be compared to apartheid in South Africa.
“Those who say what is happening in Israel is like apartheid South Africa are trivialising the suffering that black South Africans suffered. They are taking the sting out of the pain that we suffered under apartheid. If South African apartheid was like what people are seeing in Israel, then there would never have been any need for Nelson Mandela and others to go to prison because they would have had all the rights Arabs in Israel are enjoying today such as the right to vote and the right to choose, and freedom of movement.
“There are judges in Israeli courts who are not Jewish, and yet are allowed by law to preside over cases involving Jewish suspects. In apartheid South Africa, that was not allowed. You have Arab teachers in Israel who are teaching Jewish children. In apartheid South Africa, black teachers could never teach white children. This was real apartheid in South Africa where even separate amenities were enforced.
“The charge that Israel is an ‘Apartheid State’ is a lie about the real Israel, and it is a lie about the real apartheid that South Africa observed and practised.”
“The regrettable decision by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to label Israel an ‘Apartheid State’ will never be supported by the ACDP as it is based on a lie, political correctness, and hatred for the only democratic Jewish State in the Middle East.”
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