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Unrepresentative Motion on Israel

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MRN Press Release: The Media Review Network notes that an advert “Choosing Peace – an open letter from religious leaders” has appeared in some SA media calling on the ANC not to support a motion on Israel at its Mangaung conference.

We believe that the appeal by a handful of Christian leaders and the Chief Rabbi is firstly, not fully representative of South Africa’s full spectrum of religious leaders and therefore misleading.

Secondly, we believe that the motivation contained in the appeal intended to influence the ANC’s decision is entirely faulty and off the mark.

While values of peace and its pursuit is extremely commendable, it is erroneous to argue as the advert does, that by endorsing a resolution supporting sanctions against a country such as Israel, well known for its human rights violations, the ANC is denouncing “peace” and advocating “extremist violence”.

It is equally unfair to equate the proposed resolution as “a divisive motion of conflict”.

Such misleading sentiments couched in flowery language espousing “peace” are clearly intended to intimidate ANC delegates at Mangaung whom we hope will display in overwhelming numbers their abhorrence for illegal occupation, settlements and violence practised by Israel.

Broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions must be instituted against the apartheid regime until it ends violence against Palestinians, abides to International Law and respects human rights.

The motion is in line with policy agreed upon at congresses and conferences of the ruling alliance of ANC, SACP and COSATU.

We further deplore the aspersions cast on Muslims euphemistically demonised as “forces of extremist violence” blamed for “religiously motivated violence” in African countries such as Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

By conflating their open letter by invoking complex socio-political conflicts in Africa and remaining silent on America’s military designs, the signatories of the appeal unfairly cast Israel as a victim rather than an aggressor.

We call on the Christian signatories to urgently review their stance and distance themselves from pleading for immunity for Israel.

We also call on ANC delegates at Mangaung to retain their principled positions and proceed to adopt motions that censure injustice, racism and violations of human rights by the apartheid regime of Israel.

Issued by:

Iqbal Jassat
Exec: Media Review Network