Kairos SA OPEN Letter to Rev Meshoe and the ACDP

“Towards humanity with a Kairos consciousness”

OPEN letter to Rev Meshoe and the ACDP

20 June 2012

Dear Rev Meshoe and members of the ACDP

Re: Your support for the racist apartheid State of Israel

Greetings to you.

We write to you at this moment not merely because we feel that we wish to, but because it is becoming increasingly clear to us that we have to address you, particularly since you claim to be Christian. Silence on our part might be construed by you and others as acceptance of your views, which we increasingly do not share.

1. You claim the title “Christian” in the name of your political party in the same way that the previous regime claimed the word “God” in a Constitution that was clearly ungodly. As we addressed the previous regime, we now also address you and ask that you consider carefully how you use the word “Christian” and how you are being misused by others because of the title that you claim. Lobby groups for the state of Israel are increasingly on the lookout for people, particularly Christians, who are willing to do their work for them.

2. Over the last few months we have seen how you, Rev Meshoe, have given your uncritical support to this apartheid state of Israel and how you bluntly ignore facts and figures on human rights abuses given by international organisations. As South Africans, we understand this completely. Bantustan leaders and some Church leaders in apartheid South Africa were blindfolded and corrupted by the previous regime in much the same way and you are unfortunately falling into this same trap, and we regard it as our duty to warn you against this.

3. Do you know, Rev Meshoe, that this state of Israel that you support so uncritically was the last to support the apartheid state of South Africa (even with nuclear technology), even when the USA had already begun to implement sanctions against apartheid?

Do you know, Rev Meshoe, that Jerusalem Christians are being displaced, that their homes are being taken over by settlers and that many Jerusalem Christians and other Jerusalemites have had their citizenship taken away from them through a mere administrative act?

Do you know the pain of families whose land is confiscated for the illegal wall or an Israeli-only road?

Have you looked into the eyes of a scared child who is held captive or searched by soldiers?

Have you seen the faces of farmers whose water wells or cisterns were destroyed by bulldozers, or a woman who wanted to save her furniture before her house was levelled to the ground?

Do you know what the weariness of workmen who queue up from 2:00 at a check point to get to work on time look like? Have you seen fields of Palestinian olive trees destroyed at the hands of Israeli settlers?

Do you know the fear of rural people who were held at gunpoint and instructed to flee from their village? Do you know that whole Palestinian towns are threatened with demolition and how your words of support for the present state of Israel provide oxygen to the fire of violence?

Do you not know, Rev Meshoe, how hope is being sucked from young Palestinian Christians by the illegal Occupation and how they rather choose to emigrate with their young families than live in Palestine, thereby robbing Palestine of one of its most important natural resources?

Why do you not support the right to own property, the right to equality, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to freedom of movement, to self-determination and the right to live free of harassment and violence for all in Israel and Palestine? Are you not aware of these illegalities and many other inhuman abuses by the state of Israel? If you are genuinely not aware of the things we write in this letter, we are more than willing to supply you and your party with all these facts.

4. Also, do you not know, Rev Meshoe, that this place we generally call the “Holy Land” and the “Holy City” (because it is of special significance to Christians, Jews and Muslims) is being claimed exclusively for the Jewish state of Israel and that it gives Christians only limited access to the holy sites? If you do not know this, it is important that we tell you about this so that you know what it is that you are supporting. You belong to a group who believes in evangelism and the freedom to share the gospel with those who do not believe in Jesus, but do you know that this is illegal in Israel? We find it strange that you can support such a State?

5. If you say to us, Rev Meshoe, that you are supporting Israel “because the Bible says so”, we will remind you how (a) the Bible was used to justify apartheid in South Africa as well and (b) that justice is Biblical because God is a God of justice, peace and love. Rev Meshoe, why do you not distinguish between the modern state of Israel and the Israel of the Bible? Do you realise that your viewpoint is in stark contrast with Christians throughout the world who have been actively monitoring the situation in the occupied territories of Palestine for at least ten years? Do you understand how much it hurts your fellow Christians and South Africans, those who witness how Israel infringes upon the Palestinian peoples’ most basic human rights, to read your views in the media? We urge you to reconsider your theological interpretation in light of Christ’s message to the world.

6. The only Israel that can be supported is a just Israel, one who cares for all its citizens including Arab Christians and Muslims, the stranger, the widow and the orphan. The only Israel we will support is the Israel who adheres to international law such as the Geneva Convention and applicable rulings by the Hague Convention, UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice, one who lifts the yoke of the Occupation and its multiple systemic illegal practices off the neck of our Palestinian sisters and brothers. Rev Meshoe, we urge you to familiarise yourself with the applicable international law.

7. We now understand that you and others will be marching against the labelling of products from the Occupied Palestinian territories? By marching against such a measure, do you not understand that you are marching against the right of ALL consumers in South Africa to know where the products on our shelves come from? Do you realise that you will be marching AGAINST Articles 46 and 55 of the Hague Convention? As a political party, you should surely understand the implications of such a step? Otherwise how seriously should we take you as a political party?

8. One of the big ironies is that you are marching in South Africa in support of the state Israel at about the same time that Israelis are engaged in what seems to be state-sanctioned xenophobic actions against fellow Africans, followed by the deportation of hundreds of Africans from the State of Israel.

9. One of the arguments that we often hear is that “we are singling out Israel”. This is said more out of ignorance on the part of those who say it and as a way to divert our attention. Many of us are involved in several other international and African struggles and at another time we can let you know about our work and efforts in other places. Israel unfortunately singles itself out, with the support of the USA, as the state that wilfully ignores international law and whose acolytes organise across borders, including in our own country. We often find it ironic that they fight for a state but refuse to actually go and live there. We also notice that many of the worst racists in South Africa have now converted to Judaism and have gone to illegally settle in the West Bank. They must understand that those of us who fought against apartheid will also fight against apartheid wherever it rears its head, whether in Israel or anywhere else.

10. We wish to make it clear that this is not a mere disagreement or a difference of opinion. This goes much deeper than that. This is about whether we are following the teachings of Jesus the Christ, whom we meet in the Bible and whom you publicly claim to follow in matters of public policy. By using the name “Christian” in your name, you must accept that you will be called to different and higher standards, much higher than mere political or Constitutional standards. You will be judged according to the standards of the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ.

Our view that the present State of Israel is a racist, apartheid State is in the best traditions of both Judaism and the Christian prophetic tradition and we support and work with all Jews and others who support a non-violent, just peace in Israel and Palestine.

We therefore call on you to re-think your uncritical and unbiblical support for the State of Israel and to support the correct labelling of products so that it truly reflects its origin, for the sake of the rights of all consumers in South Africa. Please do not allow your party and your faith to be misused by those who have supported and continue to support an Apartheid state.

We would like to stress that we can supply you with facts and figures on the human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Palestine. If you choose to do your own research, you can simply visit websites such as:

The website of the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel: www.eappi.org

The website of the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories of Palestine: www.ochaopt.org

Please open yourself up to the plight of all people.

Edwin Arrison (Rev)

General-secretary

On behalf of the Kairos SA leadership: Rev Moss Ntlha, Ms. Marthie Momberg, Ms. Dudu Masango, Rev Dix Sibeko and Dr Stiaan van der Merwe.

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MICHAEL on June 25, 2012 at 10:28 am

    YOUR ORGANISATION IS A WASTE OF TIME RUN BY A BUNCH OF MONKEYS.
    IN AN APARTHEID STATE GET LOST GO RAPE YOUNG BOYS THATS WHAT YOU DO BEST FILTHY CHRISTIANS.
    REMEMBER THE JEWS ARE THE CHOSEN PEOPLE.
    GO TO SAUDIA ARABIA ASK THEM TO TEAR DOWN THERE WALL WITH YEMEN GOTO NORTHERN IRELAND TO LONDONDERY BREAK THE WALL DOWN THERE BREAKTHE WALL BETWEEN AMERICA AND MEXICO MUST I CONTINUE…..GO OPEN AN OFFICE IN THE ARAB COUNTRIES YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK

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    • Michael. You are clearly a very sick person but the reason why I have allowed this comment to be published is to make people aware of the kind of things we have to deal with. We do not approve of any injustice anywhere….

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  2. Posted by Palesa on June 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Dear Rev Arrison

    Rev Meshoe and the ACDP have a democratic right to support, and Israel has a right to exist as a state and to protect her citizens from military attack. Please consider the possibility that you and the Kairos leadership are being used by the Palestinians. I would like to point out some facts that were overlooked in your open letter:

    1. In the Bible of the Christians and the Jews, God gave Israel the Promised Land. (The Bible is the Holy and inerrant Word of God, regardless of its abuse by apartheid leaders and others. As we all know, Satan mis-quoted Scripture to Jesus during His 40 days in the wilderness).
    2. Apartheid was evil, unGodly and unBiblical; but the Holocaust, during which 6 million Jews were rounded up and exterminated only about 70 years ago was far worse.
    3. Whipping up anti-Israel sentiment by labelling West Bank products “Made in Palestine” could start a second Holocaust.
    4. The Kairos leadership should address the atrocities of the Struggle. Who can forget the horror of necklacing, the death of Stompie and the way in which those who did not support consumer boycotts were forced to swallow bottles of cooking oil? I will never forget seeing on television in the 1980s how a mob stood around a Duduza woman (who had been labelled a “sellout” by the community) and watched mercilessly as she writhed in agony while the fire from the petrol-soaked tyre around her neck devoured her body.
    5. It is the Palestinian methods of terror that dictate the terms of Israel’s struggle to protect her people. This last Sunday was the fifth day in a row that rockets from the Gaza Strip continued to target residential areas in Israel.

    Reverend Arrison, I would like to ask you and the Kairos leadership the following questions:
    Do you know what it is like for Israeli children to have their schools shut for days because of rocket attacks?
    Do you know what the faces of Israeli children watching missile battles in the sky and listening to rockets explode look like?
    Do you know what kind of fear Israeli mothers experience every day just sending their children to school?
    Do you know what it is like for invalids on chronic medication who cannot visit pharmacies because they are under constant attack?
    Do you know how Israeli businesspeople run their shops and offices while under constant bombardment?
    Do you know how Israeli workers travel to work with rockets flying about?
    Do you know what it is like having to stay within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter?
    Do you know what the stress of living in a war-zone year after year does to one’s body and mind?

    Please consider the plight of Israel – Jesus was born there!

    Yours in Christ
    Palesa

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    • Hi Palesa. Thanks for your comment. At another time I will respond in more detail. For the moment let me just say that of course it is their democratic right to support whomever and whatever they want. Unfortunately you overreach yourself: there is no way that another Holocaust will be caused by South Africa insisting on correct labelling. We support and will support any people against whom injustice is being meted out to – in this case it happens to be the Palestinian people….

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      • Posted by Mxolisi Sonti on July 2, 2012 at 7:56 am

        Hi Palesa. Indeed Jesus was born in the Holy Land not for only Israel people but also people like you and me. In my experience in Palestine / Israel; I differ from your point of view. And as South African we need to support marginalised people like Palestinians. no matter what! ACDP is confussing people and as Christians we must be always in the side on people that are inneed for than looking favours

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      • Posted by Palesa on July 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

        Hi All
        Hitler did not just say one day, “Let’s round up and kill 6 million Jews. It was a process that started with the boycotting of Jewish businesses. In the same way, re-labelling products made in Judea and Samaria could ultimately lead to more persecution for the Jewish people. Israel has a right to a homeland and defending Palestine is not about compassion for a poor and marginalized people – it is about destroying Israel!
        P.S. There are Jews in Africa as well – many in Ethiopia and also among the Lemba people of Venda.
        Palesa

        Liked by 1 person

    • Palesa – A wonderful Jewish woman from Sderot and other Israelis did tell me and my EAPPI colleagues how difficult it is when those close to Gaza are bombed. But all of these people CHOOSE to still abide by international law, and they all regard the occupation of Palestine as illegal. Israel may not, because some choose to violate laws, oppress and “punish” an entire population of innocent civilians as they do in both Gaza and in the West Bank.

      We co-operate with Jews, Christians, Muslims and anyone else who stand for non-violent means to end the occupation.

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      • The relabeling is not about destroying Israel, it is simply asking Israel to adhere to international law. Please do not compare our intentions and our efforts with Hitler. Hitler was an oppressor. We are not. We do not want to destroy any group – that is precisely the point – we want human rights for ALL and we object to a country (Israel) that oppresses another people (the Palestinians).

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  3. […] The open letter, issued in the name of Reverend Edwin Arrison stated, “We write to you at this moment not merely because we feel that we wish to, but because it is becoming increasingly clear to us that we have to address you, particularly since you claim to be Christian.” […]

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  4. Reply from ACDP to the Open letter From Kairos

    1) The ACDP is disappointed that Kairos chose to make a public statement without any discussion with the ACDP. Kairos may have better understood our motivation and our position, at a face to face meeting at which we could have explored each others viewpoint .

    2) The ACDP does not support the government of Israel without criticism. We recently did a media release condemning the treatment of Sudanese refugees. In the same way South Africa also has a murky record in the way that we treat illegal aliens, which we also condemn. We do not support human rights abuses or all of the policies of the Israeli government.

    3) We do support the right of Israel to exist as a nation and to defend itself. Israel has been portrayed as a “bully “ state without the other side of the story being told. Did Kairos know that since the United Nations voted to recognize Israel as a state that there has been a continuous threat of annihilation that has resulted in 3 wars in which Israel was outnumbered and outgunned? Israel was not the aggressor in any of those wars. This resulted in Israel acquiring further territory including some of the land claimed by Palestinians. We recognize that there have been atrocities committed by Israeli forces and we also recognize that there have been atrocities committed by Palestinians.

    4) To call Israel an apartheid racist state is an oversimplification of a complex issue. There are Druse Arabs who have been treated badly and expelled from Palestine and live happily and comfortably as full citizens in Israel. There are Muslim Arabs who also live as full citizens in Israel and there are Arabs in the Knesset The wall is as a result of a multitude of attacks within Israel against unarmed civilians and women and children.

    5) South Africa is in a unique position with both Jews and Muslims living peacefully together. We have been through a great deal as a nation and whilst acknowledging the deep wounds of apartheid we are successfully building a non-racial society. South Africa cannot play a role in the Middle East unless we are non-partisan. The pronouncement of the department of trade and industry on food labeling is so much more than a consumer right position. It is a deeply partisan political statement. The ACDP is of the view that the point of view of Israel is not being heard and that we need a public demonstration as meetings have had no result. We are deeply concerned at the growing hatred demonstrated in this issue. We recall the violent protests against Jews (not just Israel ) during the conference on racism. Our own Jewish citizens were at risk and had to be escorted to safety. The ACDP would like to see South Africa promoting peace.

    6) Lastly we are disappointed at your assertion that we do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. We will not dignify that assertion with a reply.

    I include various statements made on the intention to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. Arab states have used Palestine as a proxy war on Israel in many instances.

    1948: Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha exulted: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

    1954: Saudi Arabian King Saud ibn Abdul Aziz: “The Arab nations should sacrifice up to 10 million of their 50 million people, if necessary, to wipe out Israel… Israel to the Arab world is like a cancer to the human body, and the only way of remedy is to uproot it, just like a cancer.”

    1967: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel.” (May 27, 1967, nine days before the start of the Six-Day War)

    1973: Libyan President Mohammar Qadaffi: “The battle with Israel must be such that, after it, Israel will cease to exist.” (al-Usbu al-Arrabi, Beirut. Quoted by Algiers Radio, Nov. 12, 1973)

    1980: PLO representative in Saudi Arabia Rafiq Najshah: “There has been no change whatsoever in the fundamental strategy of the PLO, which is based on the total liberation of Palestine and the destruction of the occupying country…. On no accounts will the Palestinians accept part of Palestine and call it the Palestinian state, while forfeiting the remaining areas which are called the State of Israel.”

    1996: Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat: “[Our aim is] to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian one.” (In a closed meeting with Arab diplomats in Europe, quoted in the Middle East Digest, March 7, 1996)

    1996: PLO spokesperson Bassam abu-Sharif: “The struggle against the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders but relates to the mere existence of the Zionist entity.” (In an interview with the Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1996)

    2001: PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal al-Husseini: “The strategic goal is the liberation of Palestine from the Jordanian [sic] River to the Mediterranean Sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations.” (In an interview with the Egyptian paper al-Arabi, June 24, 2001)

    2003: Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the key leader of Hamas: “By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews’.” (In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera television. Reported in the Jerusalem Times, June 10, 2003)

    2007: Hamas’ statement in response to criticism by Al-Qaeda’s Ayman al- Zawahri, March 12, 2007: “We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine .

    2009: Egyptian Cleric Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub: “The Jews are the enemies of Muslims regardless of the occupation of Palestine; you must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the earth”

    The most recent threats in 2012, where Iran has stated that they intend to produce a nuclear weapon in order to destroy Israel.

    Jo-Ann Downs MPL
    National Executive Committee Chairman
    Afrcan Christian Democratic Party

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    • Dear Ms Downs

      Can you please share with us, and with the South African public, which of Israel’s policies do you not support? This may be a very constructive step.

      According to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Israel “has the right, and indeed the duty, to respond in order to protect the life of its citizens the measures taken are bound nonetheless to remain in conformity with applicable international law.” Yet the ICJ, in its 2004 advisory opinion to the UN, found that the Israeli Wall violates applicable international law. It demanded that Israel cease construction of the Wall, dismantle the sections already completed and “repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto”. However over the years Israel has extended the route of the Wall, despite the ICJ’s viewpoint. On completion the Israeli Wall will be 709 km long, more than twice the length of the Green Line. Only 15% of the Wall will be constructed on the Green Line (or in Israel) whilst 85% of the Wall will be inside the West Bank, and hence on Palestinian land.

      You say that Israel was not the aggressor, and was outgunned and outnumbered yet Israel acquired more land “claimed by Palestinians”. This argument is clearly flawed and cannot be justified. Do you know that the Palestinians currently have only 22% left of the land given to them by the UN in 1948 (hence land that is not “claimed” but belong to the Palestinians)? This is indeed due to Israel’s “acquiring of further territory” as you put it (but were they really outgunned and outnumbered?) And of this 22%, Israel occupies a further 60% in multiple illegal ways. The practices of this occupation violates several international laws.

      Do you acknowledge that the “two sides of the story” are not equal because of the systemic discrimination and the occupation?

      You ask for neutrality. Our objections are against an ideology of exclusion (Zionism). We do not stand neutral in terms of human rights abuses. We believe that South Africa, who has the recipient of international solidarity should also not stand neutral where another people are systemically oppressed in illegal ways as in the Palestinian territories which are occupied by Israel.

      You say that the ACDP is of the opinion that Israel is not heard. Is it not true that Israel receives billions of American dollars per year and is actively supported by the USA? Is it not true that Israel is a regional super power? Who is the oppressed? Whose story should be heard? How can we ignore the plight of people who are made homeless?

      The teachings of Christ that we try to follow, is an approach of inclusivity and dignity for all. We appeal to you to publicly accept this position too. We appeal to you to not mislead Christians in the name of the Bible or anything else.
      You quote several statements of violence. Violence leads to violence and does not offer us a way out. I have not seen any violence by the Palestinians in the three months that my colleagues and I monitored human rights abuses and offered protective presence to the people of the West Bank, but we logged, on a daily basis, abuses by Israel. The programme I participated in (www.eappi.org) is offered by the World Council of Churches. Do you, as a Christian party, acknowledges the WCC’s position and findings in the occupied territories of Palestine?

      I invite you and your colleagues and party members to read the stories of ordinary folk on my blog – how their water cisterns, houses, animal shelters, roads and schools are demolished. How their lives are shattered as I write here, how they want peace, how their resistance consists of planting again, building houses again, keeping on living. Please read it: (http://marthiemombergblog.wordpress.com)

      Only this week-end I participated in a prayer vigil to pray for the imminent mass demolitions in two villages in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. We prayed for both sides – the aggressor and the occupied. We ache for both as the one is marginalised in inhuman ways, and the other risk losing their humanity through their acts of violent oppression.

      We will not create a better world through threats and fear. Let us live what we believe in.

      Marthie Momberg, Kairos Southern Africa.

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  5. Posted by Gary on June 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    You are so prejudiced that you will blame the Israelis for whatever the Arabs do. Thew Arabs were attacking and killing Jews in “Palestine” i.e the Land of Israel since 1920.

    . From 1810 onwards, Jews in the Land of Israel have been murdered by Arabs. The pious Jews of Safed, who would raise no hand in their defense, were robbed and murdered and burned out again and again by Arabs – as where the Jews in Jerusalem and Tiberias. Bedouin Arabs passed through Land of Israel at will-and robbed and killed Jews for profit. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Arab feudal lords in the Land of Israel organized pogroms precisely as the Tsar had organized pogroms.

    In 1920 Jews where massacred by Arabs in Jerusalem, in 1921 in Jaffa and in 1929 in Hebron. Thousands of Jews where murdered in 1936 to 1939 in the Nazi inspired Arab Revolt. Since 1948 Arabs have launched wars against Israel to try to drive Jews into the sea and since Arafat launched the latest war in 2000, after rejecting a peace deal, thousands of Jewish men women and children have died in Israel by bomb, bullet and knife.
    The meaning of Israel is clear. The Jew has experienced too much death, and a portion of the Jewish people decided that they would die quietly no more (especially after Hitler’s Holocaust). So it is: and no argument, no clever political talk, no logic and no parading of right and wrong can change this fact.The Jews returned to Israel because it was their ancient land.
    Jews will never again be put into a position where they can be subjected to another Holocaust (particularly in the ancient Jewish homeland).

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    • Posted by Andy Hay on July 13, 2012 at 2:31 am

      as a people who have suffered greatly throughout history it is sad now that they are so willing to put that suffering on others, yes many Israeli’s have suffered and died and each one should not have but how does that justify the killing of men women and children just because they are Palestinian and live in the West Bank or Gaza, check over the last 10 years how many Jews have died and how many of those were children and how many soldiers then check how many Palestinians were killed in the same period and again how many children and how many combatants. It is easy to throw about broad generalisations and talk about defending yourself against threats but how far is it ok to go in that defence, how many children is it ok to kill?
      Also surely the way to peace is not to create more people who have a personal reason to attack you as they have lost family members and friends, surely it is not to create an environment where you are in total charge over others so they can see no way to change things, a feeling of helpless and hopelessness. Surely you should share their hurt and pain because it has happened to you and your people and do all you can to stop this.
      Also you repeatedly talk about Israel and Jew as interchangeable, what about those citizens of Israel who aren’t Jewish? are they of equal worth, do they have the same rights or are they second class citizens or should they be got rid of?
      No one here is calling for another Holocaust. It was evil and should never happen again but similarly no other group or people should also be treated like this for no reason other than who they are. It is equally wrong and all people who have a conscience should see that is the case.

      Here all that is being talked about is putting the place of origin of products. Doing so will then allow those who support the settlements can chose to buy their products to support then while those who oppose them can chose not to. It also means those who have no problem with the existence of the state of Israel can by products from Israel while avoiding settlement goods. This could lead to more Israeli products being sold potentially.

      No one has yet replied on here as to why it is wrong to label settler goods as coming from Israeli settlements, even the long response from ACDP does not address the specific point of the letter. Does anyone actually have a valid reason as we seem just have lots of obscuration?

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  6. Posted by Jacq Krige on June 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Att: Mr Rob Davies Minister of Anc Gov

    I want to thank you most profusely for your decision to clearly label all goods made in Israel occupied territories as up until now I had no idea which ones were manufactered by Israel, but with this legislation in place I will be enabled to spend a 100x more money on Israeli goods than I have been able to do in the past with the help of your easy to identify labelling system. Thank you so much that I can now support the Israeli economy far more vigourously than I have been able to do in the past – your help is greatly appreciated. A big, big thank you.

    Jacq Krige

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  7. As a Canadian, I am grateful to the people of South Africa who have the courage to show leadership in standing in solidarity with the hurting Palestinian people. Jesus very clearly did not remain neutral in situations of injustice, but resolutely stood with those who are oppressed and hurting. Christians, as his followers, can do no less. To remain neutral in any case of injustice is to stand with the oppressor.
    Your own Bishop Desmond Tutu has described the situation in Palestine now as being worse than conditions in South Africa during your time of apartheid. We, in the rest of the world, trust you to remember those horrible days of apartheid and to use that memory constructively to ensure that the values of freedom, equality and justice live on – both in your own country and in other places of oppression , regardless of where they may be. In so doing, you honour your own history and the suffering of your own people, while serving to remind citizens of other countries of the positive possibilities that can come from a unified commitment to change.

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