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Christians in South Africa stand with Israel despite nation's genocide lawsuit at ICJ

SA government's lawsuit against Israel at World Court aims to stop Israel’s war against Hamas

Stand for Israel prayer rally in Johannesburg, Nov. 19, 2023 (Photo: Gateway News)

Despite the South African government’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against what it claims to be Israel’s “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, a group of Christian organizations and churches in South Africa have made a clear stand with Israel.

In a document titled, “Statement by concerned Christians in response to the case launched by South Africa against Israel in the ICJ,” numerous Christian leaders laid out the reasons for their opposition to their government’s lawsuit.

South Africa’s charge against Israel, leveled at the end of December, could lead to the censure of Israel and an interim order by the World Court to immediately halt its military operations to eliminate the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip. The war against Hamas began on Oct. 7, when the terror group's operatives launched a surprise attack and horrific massacre in Israel's southern border communities near Gaza.

The South African church leaders “strongly oppose the decision… to launch the case against Israel,” they wrote, calling the lawsuit “without merit and detrimental to SA’s national interests,” and demanding its immediate revocation.

They provided several reasons for their position, including a clear bias in the conflict instead of being a peacemaker, blaming the victim (Israel) for defending itself, and the negative economic consequences for the country, as its trading partners would see the African nation as endorsing Hamas atrocities.

The Christian leaders also noted their disgust that the government took the side of a radical Muslim terror group and thus “prejudiced the interests of its own people to achieve the political and religious objectives of others.”

If Hamas reaches its goal of Israel’s destruction, the document notes, aside from a second Holocaust, Christian places of worship would also be destroyed.

“We reiterate our prayer for peace and deeply regret our government’s Decision to take sides and to do the bidding of those who have sinister and ulterior political and religious objectives and who have no genuine interest in the rule of law,” the statement concluded.

Despite the South African government’s anti-Israeli stance during the current war, and the fact that many of the country’s official churches support this position, there are still many churches holding a biblically-based position of love and friendship with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

This was also emphasized by an event last December, where over 500 people took part in a “SA Stands With Israel” prayer rally at the AGS Church in Goodwood Cape Town, as the South African website Gateway News reported.

“We had to do this [reconvene the prayer event] to say that in Cape Town there are many, many Christians that stand with Israel,” Vivienne Myburgh, national director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) South Africa, said at the event.

The rally was organized after an earlier Cape Town prayer event for Israel on Nov. 12 had to be canceled after militant Palestinian supporters invaded the venue.

A similar prayer event titled “Stand With Israel” was convened in Johannesburg a short time before, underlining that many South Africans continue to support Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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