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December 18, 2012 11:56 am

South African Christian and Jewish Leaders Urge Government to Treat Israel Fairly

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South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein. Photo: nelsonmandela.org.

A group of South African Christian leaders joined the country’s chief rabbi, Dr. Warren Goldstein, to urge the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party to treat Israel fairly, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The religious leaders wrote an open letter than appeared on the front page of South Africa’s Sunday Times to coincide with the beginning the ANC’s 53rd National Conference.

“South Africa has no just cause for choosing sides,” the letter read. “We should support both sides in their struggle for a peaceful solution.”

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“When South Africa’s ruling party chooses sides in this bitter conflict, our country loses the credibility to be a voice for peace between the parties, and only the agenda of conflict is served. Such actions impede a peaceful solution that would enable Jews to live in their ancient Biblical land in peace side by side with their Muslim neighbors.”

Last spring, South Africa’s trade and industry minister began encouraging South African traders to label products from Israel as originating from “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

In August, South Africa’s deputy foreign minister called on citizens to avoid visiting Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians.

Finally, in October, South African delegates at the International Solidarity Conference, hosted by the South African government, endorsed the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement.

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