The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) condemns the ANC and others who made an unwarranted attack on Chief Justice Moegeng Moegeng for expressing his biblical connection to Israel. The Chief Justice’s heartfelt sentiment exposed the boundaries of the ANC’s support for the constitutional right of freedom of religion, thought and opinion. This assault is not simply on the Chief Justice but on the rights of the many millions of South Africans, Christian or not, who believe in Israel and her right to exist peacefully alongside the Palestinians. 

The ANC pays lip-service to the notion of a negotiated and peaceful resolution to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. Not surprising then, that it discards the key message of the Chief Justice, who said that South Africans “are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation” and that South Africa’s goodwill “is an asset we must use around the world to bring peace when there is no peace and to mediate effectively based on rich experience.”

The Chief Justice, alongside millions of South Africans, is a committed Christian and enjoys an inalienable right of religious belief and freedom to speak it. Even office bearers like himself have the right to express themselves freely and to be treated equally. The bullying response of the ruling party is a device employed by the antisemitic BDS movement when any public figure expresses support and understanding of Israel. The Chief Justice of South Africa, most of all, must never be silenced by these intimidatory exploits. 

The ANC must distance themselves from this conduct and give meaning to promoting peace rather than hatred in the Middle East and South Africa.

Rowan Polovin
National Chairman
South African Zionist Federation