Qaanitah Hunter - Cii News (June 21, 2012)
The president of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Reverend
Kenneth Meshoe, has challenged the legitimacy of facts labeling Israel as an
apartheid state. In a robust debate on Cii, Meshoe said there is no written
document in place stating that Israel is similar to the South Africa
apartheid regime.”There is nothing in place in Israel where blacks and
whites can not sit on the same bench. I want it in black and white,” Meshoe
said. He evaded questions posed by Cii presenter Azhar Vadi regarding whether he supports Israel. “The ACDP supports the right of all to exist,” he replied.
This comes as the ACDP in collaboration with other Christian Zionist
parties called for a march challenging Trade and Industry Minister
(Dti), Rob Davies, decision to re-label goods as “Made in Occupied
Palestine” in place of the current “Made in Israel” label. The protest march
will be from the Union Buildings to the offices of the Department of Trade
and Industry in Pretoria on Thursday, June 28.
The Reverend exclaimed that the entire notice to re-label products is flawed
and cited three reasons. “1) it is based on an allegation there is a
sentence that says that the Open Shuhada has alleged. The government must
base their actions on facts and not on allegations. 2) I am disputing the
burden of truth. I am saying that should be on the one that is making the
allegation. 3) For South African traders to re-label products as made in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories- the law doesn’t say that.”
Meshoe claimed that there is no such state as the ‘Occupied Palestinian
Territories” and therefore holds no ground within the law. “Section 24 of
the consumer protection act says the importer of any goods must disclose the country of origin. I am disputing that the Palestinian territories are not
legally and officially recognized in the world,” he said.
Meshoe nit picked on the technicality that the notice (by the Dti) mentioned
“made in Occupied Palestinian Territories” and later implied his acceptance
if the labels were simply ‘made in Palestine’. “If the country is
recognizable then I will agree,” he said. He fell short of openly saying he
will support ‘a made in Palestine’ label if it is in fact proven.
The reverend accused the South African government of being misleading and
unfair towards Israel. “How can they say the burden of truth must be on the
traders when the burden of truth must be on those who make the allegations,”
Meshoe claimed. He reiterated his view that Israel ‘should be treated
fairly’ and be treated ‘like any other country’.
Ironically, the Reverend concluded by suggesting that he was opposed to all foreign occupations. “By principle the Israel settlements are illegal and
should not be in existence. Even the invading of lands in South Africa, I
have never supported them. You can never invade somebody else’s land.”