The African Christian Democratic Party has urged Christians across South Africa to stand up and protest the systematic harassment of Israel by the Democratic Alliance and the ANC in the country.
The party, which is represented in parliament and several municipalities including Joburg Metro, said any assault against the Jewish state was an attack on Christianity as well.
The ACDP in Gauteng called on the churches and Christians in general to be wary of political parties that would come for their votes only to dump them later and attack their faith in the same breath. The party said religious leaders must stand up and defend Christianity against assaults by the DA and the ANC.
An irate ACDP Gauteng provincial chair, Lesiba Molokomme, lambasted both the DA and ANC for their “systematic attacks” against Israel – that the party believes were actually attacks on Christianity – and the Jewish community at large. Molokomme objected to the recent suspension of Joburg Metro MMC for health, Dr Mpho Phalatse, by mayor Herman Mashaba for her statement that the she and the Metro were “friends of Israel” .
Phalatse’s statement at last week’s Friends of Israel conference sparked widespread reaction and caused the DA to suspend her. The party further referred her matter to its judicial commission for a decision whether to discipline her.
The DA favoured the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Last year DA leader Mmusi Maimane visited the Middle East.
Molokomme said Mashaba must remember that the DA was not ruling alone in the Joburg Metro as the ACDP was also part of the ruling coalition. The party did not take to kindly to the decision of the DA decision to act against Phalatse over Israel.
“We also want to remind Mashaba that he is not leading the Metro alone, the ACDP is part of the coalition agreement. As far as we know there hasn’t been a declared position of the city about Israel. This was Mashaba’s unilateral decision because he wanted to win the ANC and the EFF into accepting his troubled budget,” Molokomme said.
“We view Mashaba’s suspension of Phalatse as the DA’s sweetheart response to Luthuli house. For him to say the Israeli issue is ‘complex’ is a weak statement as what is complex here is his party’s position on Israel given that its leader Mmusi Maimane just visited Israel. Maimane should be the one suspended,” he said.
Molokomme said the harsh anti-Israeli media statements from the ANC were clear signals of how determined South Africa is in moving towards being a secular state. “This move, including the recall of the SA Ambassador in Israel, a call to downgrade Israel, are not in line with the sentiments of the millions of Christians who form the eighty per cent of the country’s population.”
The ACDP said Dr Phalatse, just like Mashaba and everyone else, had the right to freedom of expression. Molokomme said Mashaba, the DA and the ANC may kiss over Israel but they should not dictate our Christian beliefs. “We sing about Israel and Jerusalem as our heritage. The majority cannot be silenced and the majority will vote them out of office come 2019. The ACDP calls on the DA to reinstate Phalatse with immediate effect as her suspension is baseless and cowardly.”
“Christians across all the denominations understand that their faith is non-existent without Israel. It is for this reason that no true Christian can take up arms against Israel. The ACDP also notes that in Syria, just across the border from Israel, hundreds of thousands are being massacred but SA’s ambassador hasn’t been recalled. There is no noise about Damascus. Why Israel?” Molokomme said.
“The ACDP further calls on all the churches and Christians to be alert as the same political parties who are attacking their faith today, will soon come to them asking for their votes in 2019. We encourage all the religious ministers to defend their faith. They have been used and deceived for far too long only to be dumped and harassed after the elections,” Molokomme said.
“The escalating assaults on churches by the councillors and police authorities in the province are pure indicators that this government doesn’t respect God. Christians have to stop this before this escalates to a situation where pastors are told when and what to preach,” he added.