South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. (South African Judiciary) (South African Judiciary)
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

“I’m under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel, to pray for [the] peace of Jerusalem, which actually means the peace of Israel,” said South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the Bible obligates him to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and rejected claims by an anti-Israel group accusing him of bias.

“I’m under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel, to pray for [the] peace of Jerusalem, which actually means the peace of Israel, and I cannot, as I Christian, do anything other than love and pray for Israel, because I know, hatred for Israel by me and for my nation, can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation,” the judge said during a recent webinar discussion with South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, hosted by The Jerusalem Post.

The anti-Israel group Africa4Palestine, the South African branch of the BDS movement, filed a complaint with South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission over the chief justice’s comments, accusing him of breaching the judicial code of conduct.

Mogoeng slammed the criticism of his call to pray, saying South Africa’s judges should not be “censored, gagged or muzzled.”

Mogoeng said Africa4Palestine took his remarks out of context to make an example out of anyone who differs with it, the South African news website News24 reported.

“Somehow, Africa4Palestine has, in my view, found a way to build a case by taking these remarks completely out of their obvious context to achieve its goal of making an example of me to any who would ever dare to knowingly or unknowingly differ with them,” Mogoeng wrote in a 19-page affidavit to the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) in response to the complaint.

The BDS movement calls for countries and organizations to boycott Israel and Israelis, divest their investments in Israeli companies and put sanctions of the Jewish state. Aside from its anti-Israel messages, the group does not call for peace with Israel. BDS has been branded by countries like Canada and Germany as an anti-Semitic organization.

Mogoeng said that his Bible-based prayers for peace in Jerusalem and his refusal to hate or curse were now being made out to look like a preference of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In sum, these are all being weaponized against me, and made to look like conduct so unbecoming of a judge as to justify the imposition of some form of punishment on me. And all this, in the name of human rights,” Mogoeng said.

Mogoeng wrote that judges should not be needlessly “censored, gagged or muzzled” and should “be free to continue to write articles or books, deliver public lectures or participate in radio or television programs to share reflections on human rights, constitutionalism, policies or any other subject of public interest.”

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