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SACC and Africa4Palestine two sides of the same coin

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On the face of it, the South African Council of Churches (SACC’s) sharing a billboard with Africa4Palestine at a cost that probably runs into six digits may seem like a coming together of two quite different entities, but is this really the case?
by Chris Eden, national director Bridges for Peace South Africa | Nov 05, 2020

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) South Africa, rebranded Africa4Palestine after its disenfranchisement by the international BDS movement, is better described as anti-Israel rather than as pro-Palestinian. Omar Barghouti, the founder of the BDS movement has repeatedly asserted that the two-state option is dead and, in the future, there will be two Palestinian states, both with Palestinian majorities, existing side-by-side. This aligns with Barghouti and his movement’s denial of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land, and the deeper-seated view espoused by Hamas and Iran that Israel cannot exist in any form.

Although Bishop Mpumlwana declares of the SACC that “we don’t do doctrine, we do social justice”, the SACC has endorsed activities that suggest that it is, indeed, seeking to promote a particular doctrine concerning Israel. The adoption of the Kairos Palestine “Moment of Truth” document, and participation in various conferences and webinars involving theologians from the Bethlehem Bible College suggests that the SACC has aligned itself with the view that the modern return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel isn’t the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. This doctrine, known as “replacement theology”, emerged in early Church history often with disastrous consequences for Jews.

The SACC “annexation” statement released on 25 June 2020 includes the following quote: “The [annexation] plan transforms the Holy Land into a Zionist fairyland for the enjoyment of extreme evangelicals and Jews, while the local Christian population remains subjugated under Israel’s coercion.”

If Israel appears to the outsider as a fairyland, this didn’t come about through the waving of a magical wand. Israel was built because Jewish people, with encouragement from some Christians, took the Bible at face value and through visionary leadership, innovation, hard work, and sacrifice transformed Israel into the country that it is today.

If believing the Bible is labelled “extreme”, then many Christians, including Arab Christian, would plead guilty. This, however, doesn’t equate to hostility towards the indigenous Palestinian Christians and in many instances, the entities providing assistance in Israel are also supporting Palestinian Christians.


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