Ntuthuko Nkosi, Lutheran Theological Institute Ministerial student and Ecumenical Accompanier responds to Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk and ACDP leader, Kenneth Meshoe
It is appalling and shocking to listen to people like Rev. Meshoe of ACDP in relations to Israel and Palestine conflict. The most challenging element is how he compromises the constitution in the name of being an Israeli loyalist and lobbyist.
At times, he speaks on the matter as if he is representing all Christians in South Afrca. We live in a democracy and that means we have rights to choose. But these rights have moral and ethical implications especially to the respectable position of being a Reverand.
I say this because siding with the State of Israel in this conflict brings ethical and moral questions especially when you have declared yourself as a Christian (ethical/moral person). Supporting the State of Israel is supporting the continued oppression of innocent people in their land.
I have been to Israel and Palestine, I did not only visit like he normally does but I have lived in Palestine. I am an Ecumenical Accompanier who was a volunteer in Palestine and Israel. I stayed in Jerusalem from October 2014 – January 2015, and I returned in February 2016 – May 2016 where I was stationed in Jordan Valley (Jericho). So I have lived with them, cried with them, worshiped with them as a Christian myself, I have sat with them at the mountains of Jericho and enjoy their traditional food and culture.
What I witnessed in Palestine is worse than apartheid! According to international community the State of Israel is an Occupying power over Palestine. Occupation is legal according to International law but becomes illegal when the occupying power brings their people to the land occupied.
Through living with the Palestinians in their communities in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jordan Valley and many more cities in the Westbank. I saw that the State of Israel is not just the Occupying power. But, I saw a Three headed monster state! Yes it is occupation because Palestine is ran by the Israeli Defence Forces according to the Aslo accords and classification according to Area A,B and C.
In many areas in the Westbank the IDF arrests children as young as 4years. The rights of children are harshly abused as they do home rades in early hours of the morning before they (children) go to school. They arrest and assault even young girls. There are cases in Palestine where the IDF executes Palestinias on sight without any harm. Like a pregnant woman from Qalandiya who was was going through a checkpoint with his younger brother and she was shot and killed. CNN recorded and published a video on YouTube where the IDF is captured executing a school boy walking from school.
Secondly, the State of Israel is the Apartheid state. The first time seeing a checkpoint I thought, these are iron cages used for humans (Palestinians Only). These iron cages are gates entering Jerusalem, it is only Palestinians who are expected to go through them not Jews. These gates uses racial classification because internationals are passed through humanitarian gates for easy pass through while Palestinians have to squeeze one another these “cattle shuts”. Even taking a bus from Bethlehem to Jerusalem the Palestinians have to jump off to produce their identity cards but internationals are not expected to do so.
Freedom of movement for Palestinians is as it was in South Africa during apartheid. All Palestinians are forced to carry identity cards as black people did during apartheid. On the road soldiers stops only Palestinias and asks for IDs. Even freedom of religion for Palestinians is violated as they are turned back in checkpoints to can’t either go to the Al Aqsa Mosque (Muslims) or for Christmas to go to church on Sunday.
Thirdly, colonialism makes completes my three headed monster state analogy. The rapid growth of settlements in the Occupied Territories is shocking. The state of Israel continues to eat up the land that belongs to the Palestinians as they put is new illegal settlements. In East Jerusalem there is Ma’ale Adumim, this settlement separates the East Jerusalem from Jordan Valley. This settlement is going to keep Palestinians outside Jerusalem and make it possible for Jerusalem to be Jewish only. This is a very evil thing as it pilots the Ethnical cleansing of East Jerusalem.
The growth of these illegal settlements undermines the call for a two state solution. The State of Israel undermines all International Human Rights and International Law.
In Jordan Valley villages suffer through water restrictions as Israel confiscated natural water resources to supply for settlements. A family of 12 with animal in Al Hadidiya uses 40 liters per day. Whilst a settler family up the hill uses close 400 liters per day.
The few above mentioned reasons are the reasons that questions the ethics and morals of Rev Meshoe. He uses the Bible as if there is no 3500 years of history from the promise land till today. It makes me question his theology and exegesis as a preaching CHRISTIAN. He is not talking for a majority of us Christians but he is representing Zionists ideas as he lobbies for Christian Zionism.
I push for boycotting Israeli goods and all visits to Israel. Supporting Israel as a country is spiting to our democracy and constitution. Supporting Israel is supporting the house demolitions of Palestinian homes, it is supporting of building of Illegal Settlements, it is supporting the wall that eats up archers of land, it supporting the three headed monster state Occupation-Apartheid-Colonialism.
Lutheran Theological Institute