Subscribe to our Newsletter

click to dowload our latest edition



‘We came as Christians, left as witnesses’



My interest in the Israeli-Palestinian-Gaza matter intensified after the South African government reported the state of Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Unbeknown to many, the South African government’s stance on Israel isn’t widely supported by the majority of its citizens, and its perspective doesn’t reflect the view of those on the ground.

A recent survey commissioned by the Women’s Action Campaign SA shows that 79% of South Africans believe that Hamas is a terrorist group that must be reported for war crimes. It boggles the mind, therefore, how Israel can be reported for defending and protecting her citizens post 7 October 2023, while Hamas isn’t taken to task for its attack on Israel.

As a lawyer and legal scholar, I was concerned that the decision of the ICJ could have negative implications for nations around the world. As an international organisation, the ICJ should never set a precedent that will disempower nations from defending themselves from terrorist attacks, ultimately supporting terrorism.

The ICJ has a duty to align with all international laws and policies that support anti-terrorism, which is something I asserted publicly in a YouTube video before the hearing at The Hague.

On Wednesday, 21 March, I was fortunate to be part of a 14-member South African Christian delegation that flew to Israel on a peace mission with prominent and influential political and religious leaders, which was organised by DiploAct, a non-government organisation dedicated to combatting antisemitism, and SAFI (the South African Friends of Israel).

Proponents of the pro-Palestine Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and Hamas have been vocal about painting Israel as an apartheid state. The root of apartheid is discrimination and racism. It was interesting, therefore, for our group to make several pertinent observations during our visit.

After spending time with the speaker of the Knesset, Amir Ohana, we made the eye-opening discovery that the Knesset has Arab and Palestinian members. A question that ran through my mind was, “How could a nation that was described as being an apartheid state so freely accommodate individuals of a different faith, origin, and belief in its parliament?”

I also wondered how many Arab nations could boast about having Jewish members within their parliamentary structures and systems.

We were also privileged to visit the Save a Child’s Heart organisation, an Israeli-based international non-profit organisation with the mission of improving the quality of paediatric cardiac care. The centre helps children from all over the world who suffer from congenital heart defects, and trains doctors from various nations to help deal with such cases.

It was again interesting to find that the centre has a policy of non-discrimination, treating children from all nations with congenital heart defects, including Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims. Again, I asked myself the question, “How could a nation which is allegedly an apartheid state be treating children of all ethnicities and nationalities, including Palestinian children?”

We drove to the border of Gaza, and visited the Nova festival site where the 7 October massacre by Hamas took place. Hundreds of cars were set on fire. Occupants who tried to flee the scene were burnt alive in their cars. Ambulance staff who tried to help were also blocked and killed in violation of international war regulations. In southern Israel, babies were beheaded by Hamas terrorists. The scenes were too traumatic to describe, and the delegation was moved to tears.

We also visited the Nir Oz kibbutz to hear first-hand testimony from survivors. The delegation was shown around by Rita, who owes her life to the fact that she was away from the kibbutz at the time of the attack. The delegation witnessed the desolation of the attack site, with bullet riddled homes. Many of the homes were burnt down, and some of their occupants taken hostage.

We also visited Hostages Square, which is in a public plaza located in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The delegation heard first-hand testimony of individuals whose relatives were killed in horrific ways, kidnapped, and raped. Campaigns are being held at the square to urge the international community to call for the release of the hostages.

South Africa would do better to spend the hundreds of millions of rands squandered on the ICJ case on resolving serious local issues such as loadshedding and poverty-related problems, rather than continue with this farce.

As a group, we agreed with the popular saying that, “We didn’t go as tourists, but as pilgrims. We went as Christians, but left as witnesses,” and will continue to be witnesses in this regard.

Truth must be told. Hamas is a terrorist organisation that uses its own citizens, including women and children, as human shields. It continuously disregards international policies and rules of war. Any support for Hamas makes the supporter complicit in terrorism.

Israel has the know-how and experience to defeat Hamas, and must be given the opportunity to do so. The world must gather to guard against the “demonisation, delegitimisation, and double standards” that are being brought against Israel.

Am Yisrael Chai!

  • Pearl Kupe is an attorney, and one of the leaders of the South African Christian Leaders Forum.

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment


    Apr 7, 2024 at 7:22 am

    Don’t get me wrong , Hamas is evil , not much better than isis , and needs to be eliminated , but read some of the articles by the jewish former editor of the rand daily mail,Alistair Sparks . On a superficialevel , no apartheid, but go to the west bank if you want to see the pass laws and similarities to the south africsn native land act of 1910 , or the mixed marriages act , detention without trisl and msny more..You asked what muslim country would have Jewish mps ? Iran , Tunisia and Bahrein is the awnser at the moment . The former ambassador to the United States from Bahrein is Jewish and a women. and the Muslim king celebrates Hanneka with the tiny Jewish community . Remember it was only Muslim Albanisn embassy in Berlin that gave entry permits to jews in second world War,throughout the war, unlike Christian USA and UK, and was the only European country to have an increased Jewish population at the end of war , the only pne to refuse to mske a list of sll jewish residents when occupied , isrsel has made them a most fsvoured nstion becsuse of this.. It’s not all Muslim are bad and all Christians and jews are good , every society has good and bad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *