Middle East Monitor.com Sun., June 28, 2020
South Africa’s Chief Justice has come under intense fire for publically expressing his love for Israel. Mogeong Mogeong (pic above)made his pro-Israel comments on an online platform hosted by the Jerusalem Post, and has come under heavy attack from numerous human rights organisations, legal officials and the governing African National Congress.
One of his former colleagues is now Professor of Law at Howard Law School in Washington DC. Prof. Ziyad Motala described Mogeong’s comments as mind-numbing, misinformed, repugnant and disgraceful.
“It is astonishing that you absolve Israel from any and all blame with respect to protecting and fortifying apartheid,” Motala said in an address to the Chief Justice. “And you give Israel a pass based on an odious reading of scripture. For the record, Israel is deeply culpable in the support and fortifying of the apartheid state and the brutalisation of the Black majority.”
Not only was it foolish and naive for Mogeong to ignore legal obligations upon him as the chief custodian of the country’s Constitution, he ought to have been aware of the overwhelming solidarity in South Africa for Palestinian human rights.
The question thus arises whether he misread the mood in the country, or whether he believed that citing Biblical references to justify his pro-Israel stance would endear him to the country’s majority Christian population.
Furthermore, did his participation in the Jerusalem Post webinar alongside South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, whose allegiance to Israel is well known, make it impossible to offend his Israeli hosts despite the legal constraints of his high office?
Christian leader Reverend Moss Ntlha called out Mogeong’s theological support for Israel as misleading and insisted that it would be remiss for the Christian community to leave his remarks uncorrected. His most scathing observation is what many Palestinian solidarity activists suspect: “
…the Chief Justice has fallen into the trap laid by Zionists for millions of unsuspecting Christian fundamentalists.” This was a reference to an oft-misquoted statement in the Bible which the Chief Justice quoted with relish in declaring his love for Israel: “Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.”