South African party rapped for Israel support, lack of criticism


CAPE TOWN, South Africa (JTA) — A South African political party and its leader have come under fire for their support of Israel.

The Southern African Kairos Ministry said the attitude of the African Christian Democratic Party and the Rev. Kenneth Meshoe conflicts with Christianity.

The ministry’s criticism comes in the wake of a proposal by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to re-label goods from the West Bank as having been produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories rather than Israel. In response to the proposal, the African Christian Democratic Party, or ACDP, and other Christian organizations have planned a protest march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday, as well as a demonstration at Parliament in Cape Town on Friday.

In a Cape Times report, the ACDP said it had been critical of human rights violations in Israel.

Kairos general secretary Edmund Arrison said the ministry viewed Israel as a racist, apartheid state and called on Meshoe to rethink his "uncritical and unbiblical" support for the Jewish state. Arrison added that Meshoe and the ACDP were disregarding the rights of families who had their land confiscated to build an "illegal" wall, referring to Israel’s security fence, and the plight of farmers whose water wells were bulldozed.

ACDP national chairwoman Jo Ann Downs said the party had taken a stance on the Africans who were being deported from Israel, saying they should be treated as human beings. 

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