The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) notes the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African government’s statements regarding Israel as she defended herself and her people against extremism, terror, and violence over the past week.

The ACDP’s position regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine has always been to support the negotiation for a peaceful settlement and to find lasting peace. We have, however, consistently opposed one-sided and inflammatory statements, such as the recent utterances made by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, that show absolutely no attempt to wholly understand the concerns, fears, and aspirations of the State of Israel in this complex issue.

While the Minister and her spokesperson places the challenges facing the Palestinian people, the challenges the Israeli people are facing are invariably dismissed by them. Israel faces serious security threats from enemies who do not merely seek its withdrawal from the West Bank, but its eradication as a sovereign state. The ACDP believes that it is extremely important to advocate for fair and meaningful peace processes which are inclusive rather than exclusive.

Israel has a clear obligation to protect its citizens. Further to this, as a recognised sovereign state, Israel also has the right to live within safe and secure borders, with the right to self-defense like all other sovereign states worldwide.

It is rather unfortunate and reprehensible that the ANC and the South African government choose to take sides in the Middle East conflict whilst conveniently ignoring the opportunity to play a crucial role in mediating and facilitating a process for peace in the region.

The ACDP wishes to advise the ANC and the South African government to focus their attention and efforts on reducing the high levels of crime and violence, particularly against women and children, that continues to wreak havoc in our nation.

The ACDP’s prayers are with all those living in areas affected by the destabilising conflict in the midst of the middle east, and we are hopeful that a peaceful settlement can be found to bring lasting peace and an end to the violence and terror.

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