Anglican Church of Southern Africa votes to support Israeli boycotts

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has welcomed a decision by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) to support a boycott of Israel.

In a statement released on Sunday, the BDS said more than 4.5 million southern African provincial synods from the ACSA took the decision, representing Anglican communities in countries that include South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola.

“In a motion, now a binding resolution titled ‘Time to act: Solidarity with Palestine’, the church specifically calls for support of the ‘well-directed Boycott, Divestment and Sanction [BDS] actions against the Israeli state until they end their occupation of Palestine’,” BDS spokesperson Tisetso Magama said.

ACSA’s Bishop Luke Pato of Namibia proposed the resolution that was adopted last Thursday.

The synod resolved to condemn “all forms of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”, described the situation in Israel and Palestine as “in some respects worse than apartheid” and urged its church members who travel on pilgrimages to Israel to include Palestinian Christians in their itineraries.

The church said Palestinians and Israelis deserved to live in peace and harmony as this would contribute to peace not only in that region, but globally.

Magama said the resolution by the ACSA dispelled the confusion between the modern apartheid state of Israel with the biblical land of Israel.

“BDS South Africa thanks the southern African synod of the Anglican Church for including BDS SA board member Dudu Masango-Mahlangu in their recent meeting. Masango-Mahlangu has consistently been working with churches in southern Africa on the issue of Palestine/Israel.

“We also thank the congregants and leadership of the historic Regina Mundi Church in Soweto for hosting our director, Muhammed Desai, at last week Sunday’s service,” Magama said.