SA Friends of Israel tell ANC: 'Hands off Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng'
Johannesburg - The South African Friends of Israel have defended Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng amid calls for him to retract comments he made in support of Israel over Palestine.
The ANC, EFF, the House of Mandela, student organisation Sasco and movements sympathetic with Palestine, have condemned Mogoeng’s comments which he made this week.
Mogoeng has been criticised for his comments during a webinar hosted by the Jerusalem Post and South Africa's chief rabbi Warren Goldstein.
The chief justice is believed to have said the country was missing out on an opportunity to have a balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestine issue.
In a statement, Reverend Reuben Chapasuka, Pastor Barry Isaacs and Apostle Mpho Mosoeu, who described themselves as South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), said there was a spiritual connection between SA Christians and the ‘Holy Land of Israel’.
They said they condemned those who were trying to ‘break that bond’.
“We fully support the right of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to express his Christian convictions and support for peace in the Holy Land. We denounce those who are mischievously misinterpreting his message towards their hateful agenda.
“The Chief Justice said that South Africa could play a positive role in bringing about peace and that we as South Africans ‘are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation’.
“He went on to say that ‘the people of South Africa, is an asset we must use around the world to bring peace when there is no peace and to mediate effectively based on rich experience’.
“Attacking the Chief Justice for expressing his Christian views is a direct attack on freedom of religion and expression in this country. SAFI objects to this fundamental right being undermined,” said SAFI.
They accused the ANC of being ‘hijacked’ by the BDS movement, which they said, wanted to deny Jews their biblical connection to Israel.
“We furthermore see this as an attempt to undermine the independence of the Judiciary according to the South African Constitution.
“As Christian South Africans we will not be silenced. We will not tolerate the undermining of our democracy by those with a narrow agenda. We will not have our connection to Israel undermined.
“”We are united in our support of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and applaud his convictions to speak out as a Christian believer.Hands off the Chief Justice. Hands off the Constitution. The ANC must leave Christain believers alone,” they said.IOL