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SAFI Declaration

After meeting with leaders of various communities, the delegations agreed upon the following statement:

  • We affirm that the modern restoration of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland reflects the image spoken of in prophetic passages such as Ezekiel 36, Jeremiah 16 and others.
  • We embrace the responsibility spoken of in Scripture, to pray and to practically support this process of restoration.
  • We reject all efforts to remove or reduce the historic and spiritual connection of Judaism and Christianity to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. Specifically, we reject various UNESCO resolutions and UN Security Council resolution 2334 which erase the Jewish/Christian significance of the Holy Land in favour of later Palestinian and Islamic claims. This calls into question the integrity of the Holy Scriptures.
  • We report that no evidence exists to support the accusation that Israel is an Apartheid state and that this concept was rejected repeatedly by Israeli Arabs. On the contrary, indication of integration is blatantly evident in the Holy Land with no prejudice against any religion, culture, race or ethnicity.
  • Palestinian cities such as Rawabi and Ramallah portrayed elements of affluence and sophistication that is inconsistent with the general perception of conditions in the West Bank.
  • We recognise that the inflexible Palestinian demands for a full return to ’67 borders and the integration of potentially 5 million Palestinian refugees into Israel cannot be agreed to by Israel as it jeopardises Israel’s demographic and physical survival. This inhibits progress towards a settlement.
  • There is significant humanitarian and developmental initiatives by Israel, unreported by South African media, which assist other countries and individuals in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.
  • We express concern that the Palestinian education system, through questioning Jewish historical connections to the land and by presenting negative stereotypes of Jewish people, promotes violence and frustrates the potential for peace.
  • We perceive that Israel offers many useful strategies and products which address challenges facing Southern African countries.
  • We acknowledge that the Church, without compromising the integrity of Scripture, needs to be an expression of love and compassion to both Jewish people and Arab Palestinian people.
  • We understand our responsibility to be a proactive catalyst to extend understanding of the significance of Israel’s prophetic restoration to those within our immediate sphere of influence and beyond.
  • We challenge all Christian leaders to review their theological position on Israel to provide sound Biblical leadership in positioning their congregations and denominations concerning Israel.
  • We strongly disagree with any decision to downgrade the South African Embassies presence in Israel or any decision to break off trade ties with the Holy Land. We believe that strengthened trade ties with Israel is a Biblical requirement in terms of Genesis 12 Verse 3 – “I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you”.

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