Statement by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP participates in peace mission to Israel

Mar 27, 2024

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) was extended an invitation by the South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) to participate in a peace mission to Israel. Whilst the ACDP is saddened by the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives, the horrendous attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023, accompanied by unspeakable acts of violence, rape, and murder, as well as the taking of hostages (including the elderly, women, and children) has been largely forgotten by the world. The aim will be to engage with Jewish communities to see the impact of the present Israel-Gaza war and the rise of anti-Semitism globally.

The ACDP notes the United Nations Security Council’s adoption of a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and the Hamas terror group, as well as for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. Resolution 2728, which is understood to be non-binding, is not expected to have an immediate impact on the ongoing fighting in Gaza, as has been the case with previous Security Council resolutions that have been adopted in other conflicts that were subsequently ignored.

We will not tolerate silence in the face of blatant propaganda that distorts historical facts to suit a false narrative and political goals. Who our friends are defines us; it is a basic principle we teach our children. Hamas is not the Palestinian people as much as the ANC is not representative of all of South Africa. Our government has become compromised in its approach and sadly supports those who perpetrate evil acts in the name of freedom. There can be no greater distortion and proof of the massive propaganda war against Israel than the lies about basic historical facts supported by geographical evidence. The stones of Jerusalem tell the story – the story of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

The current Pro-Palestine lobby with its hostile anti-Israel narrative is fuelling anti-Semitism globally. It found a convenient ally in our ANC-led government which has adopted a one-sided approach to the present Israel-Gaza conflict. This has included criticising Israel, downgrading its embassy, supporting Hamas, and bringing various charges at the International Court of Justice. This, whilst it has been silent when the same court issued far more stringent orders against Russia in the Russia/Ukraine war, as well as in other areas of deadly conflict where many thousands of people have been killed (including Yemen, Syria, Sudan). The ANC is clearly using this crisis for short-term political gain – especially in the Western Cape. The abuse of a tragedy for electoral gain is abhorrent. The Government’s theatrical actions have not changed the reality on the ground at all. At the same time, it remains committed to policies that all people of faith find abhorrent. Its close ties to Hamas undermine what little global credibility it had retained from the Mandela years and means that it cannot play the role of a credible mediator in this conflict.

This attitude also threatens South Africa’s relations with Western trade partners and places the extension of the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in jeopardy. Already, the US-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act which seeks to re-examine the U.S. relationship with South Africa in view of recent developments passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee (36-13) last Thursday with bipartisan support. This should be deeply concerning to all South Africans, given the high levels of unemployment and poverty, which would be exacerbated should the US and other Western Countries reduce trade ties with us.

We must advocate for peace with truth and demand accountability from those who use violence as a tool. As Christians we must contend for the principles of our faith and stand for our beliefs. Politically we must champion the principles that will end conflict by positive engagement with all communities and by active listening.

The ACDP is very aware of the important role it plays for our constituents who see Israel as part of their Judeo-Christian heritage. We are unapologetic about our Christian identity but are also aware that there are many Muslims who abhor the actions of Hamas. To that end we have been asked by Christian networks to reach out to Palestinians and we will make every effort to do so. It is time for men and women of integrity, and morality, to take a stand for peace. Justice is an important part of the peace and healing process. Therefore, leaders should not distort facts and promote propaganda; we must deal with truth however uncomfortable or painful it may be.

The ACDP is currently engaging in Israel as we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the knowledge that He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. We also wish our Christian supporters a very blessed Easter and our Jewish supporters a happy Passover next month – Chag Pesach Sameach!

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