The chief justice in South Africa is having to defend himself for making comments straight from the Bible that “were pro-Israel” and lamenting his country’s lamented “lopsided” attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mogoeng Mogoeng said that he is being targeted by Africa4Palestine, a human rights organization previously known as BDS South Africa, for remarks he made during a Jerusalem Post webinar last month where he expressed his “biblical obligation” to pray for and support Israel.
The pro-Palestinian organization filed an official complaint against the justice.
Mogoeng said he was a Christian who believed in the Bible “in its totality” and “embracing, professing and ordering one’s affairs in line with the holy Bible is a fundamental human right entrenched in the supreme law of the republic, the Constitution.”
“Judges ought to be free to share reflections on human rights, constitutionalism, policies or any other subject of public interest,” he said.
He accused Africa4Palestine of trying to gag him “because I quoted parts of the Bible they don’t like, to express love for both Israel and Palestine and my scriptural obligation to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
“Somehow, Africa4Palestine has found a way to build a case by taking these remarks completely out of their obvious context to achieve its goal of making an example of me to any who would ever dare to knowingly or unknowingly differ with them,” he said in an affidavit in response to the complaint.
“My Biblical obligation to pray (ask God) for the peace of Jerusalem or not to hate or curse Israel cannot constitute a preference of Israel over Palestine,” he maintained.
Mogoeng never commented on “Zionism,” but he quotes verses from both the Old and the New Testament regarding praying for the peace and well-being of Israel including Exodus 17:15 and Hebrews 12:14.
He noted that he also loves Palestinians and that, as a judge, he is bound to uphold South African policy. Mogoeng said he was merely expressing his beliefs as a Christian and citizen.
“I cannot, as a Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel, because I know, hatred for Israel by me and for my nation can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation,” he said.