Kairos to SA Government: Cut diplomatic and trade ties with Israel

The role of the South African government is unique in the world, given our country’s history of apartheid. Yet it lags behind in its solidarity with the Palestinians. Kairos Southern Africa asks for urgent, decisive action – not statements – in a formal request to the government of the Republic of South Africa:

KSA

18 July 2014

To: The Honourable Minister of International Relations Ms Maite E Nkoana-Mashabane
CC: The Honourable Mr. H.T Magama, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of International Relations and Cooperation, and the Deputy Director-General for DIRCO c/o Mr Clayson Monyela

Kairos Southern Africa believes that all lives have the same value, and that all violence is destructive. The current and ongoing situation between Israel and Palestine poses a critical test for the international community’s commitment to international law and human dignity.

Any attempt to remain neutral in this kind of conflict is both futile and immoral. Neutrality enables the status quo of oppression to continue. It is a way of giving tacit support to the oppressor. We are not taking sides against the Israeli people, but we unequivocally reject the Israeli regime’s treatment of Palestinians.

The role of the South African government is unique in the world, given our country’s history of apartheid and the ways in which we overcame the institutionalised injustices of this system. Yet to date the South African government has failed to take tangible action in the form of support of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, because of pressure applied by the South African Zionist lobby, which insists on our government’s neutrality when it comes to Israel. As a result, South Africa now lags behind other countries in its solidarity with the oppressed in Palestine.

We see this inactivity as a source of national shame. We of all nations must actively help others who are systemically oppressed. By not responding when we know about the injustices and human rights violations suffered by the Palestinian people, we will be allowing and enabling an act of omission. By responding insufficiently, we will prolong the suffering and the damage.

In line with this endeavour, we ask you to:

  1. Sever all diplomatic and trade ties with the State of Israel.
  2. Implement boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
  3. Implement all the actions called for in the Cape Town Declaration of 6 February 2014.

We recognise the occupation of Palestine by Israel as the primary violent act. Israel uses negotiations and violence to prolong the pain, to intensify the occupation and to confiscate more resources. We condemn it absolutely. Israel’s widespread, ongoing, collective attack on the Palestinian people is a form of institutionalised, systemic violence practised in multiple ways on the besieged Gaza strip and occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank.

The violent resistance by Hamas is understandable, but we do not support it. We do not believe that this violence represents the will of the majority of Palestinians, who ask for active non-violent resistance in the form of boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

We call on you, our government, to do what is honest and just, so that we can be honourable international citizens.

We do not ask you to issue more statements, but to:

  1. Sever all diplomatic and trade ties with the State of Israel and with Israeli institutions and business.
  2. Implement boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
  3. Implement all the actions called for in the Cape Town Declaration of 6 February 2014.

God bless.

 Edwin Arrison (Rev.)
General-secretary

mandela

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8 thoughts on “Kairos to SA Government: Cut diplomatic and trade ties with Israel

  1. undulem1975 says:

    Thank you for this clear message . But my views are to continue to push for a lasting solution to Israel and Palestine conflict .. They have to learn to live together … They have to co exist no matter what . War will never benefit any body but just bring miseries to vulnerable groups such as women .children and the elderly . Second those arming Hamas must stop immediately … Those influencing Israel to bomb innocent civilians must stop also now . Hamas can not win neither Israel too …the best is to talk issues out . Hamas and Israel must know that whether they like it or not they will live side by side until Jesus Christ comes back. I pray for this conflict …

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  2. undulem1975 says:

    Thank u MM ..I understand you know most of us were taught to communicate in English and kill our mother tongues …. What a world …?

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  3. When is anyone going to stand up and agree with what the Bible says about this? Don’t you realise that this has been coming for 2000 years? Do you REALLY think your little plans will STOP God? I’d far rather be WITH Him than AGAINST Him, that’s for sure. Go to your Bible, pray, learn to know Who God IS – ask Him to open your eyes, and THEN look around you. You’ll be stunned at what He will allow you to see.

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    • MM says:

      If I would read the Bible in a literal way as you suggest, I would have to believe that the earth is the centre of the universe and that our planet stands on four pillars. The Bible is not a scientific handbook.to me the core message of the Bible is one of love and dignity for ALL. Goodness – in your understanding god would like to wipe out the descendents of the first Christians? Your logic does not make sense.

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      • undulem1975 says:

        I see this as a spiritual war at the same time physical. God will protect any race if they believe in his son Jesus Christ that is including Palestines. Jews never believed in the Messiah .. Some have believed now years after they crucified him .. But still others are waiting for thier messiah. The bottom of the matter here for me to exist side by side in peace . I will pray to my GOD for divine speed for this peace . My soul spins to see those innocent women .children, the elderly from both Jews and Palestine being killed and wounded . I surely know this is not Gods wish to allow such killings … This is a demonic war started by demonic spirits …. We need prayers for PEACE ,,,

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