South African Member of Parliament Kenneth Meshoe spoke out against the claim by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement activists that Israel is an “apartheid state.”
“There are many Christians that support Israel, but they don’t come out…Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid,” Meshoe, who is the president of the African Christian Democratic Party, told Israel’s Channel 10. He added that those who support Israel in South Africa frequently encounter “intimidation.”
The view that Israel is an apartheid state, he said, “is an empty political statement that does not hold truth. You see people of different colors, backgrounds, and religions [coexist in the country].”
“The BDS movement is a real pain…to us in South Africa who love the truth. [The] BDS movement is not a democratic movement; they are a movement of intimidation, a movement that performs hatred. People who don’t believe in hatred should not allow the BDS movement to stop them from doing the right thing,” added Meshoe, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Meshoe made the comments in the context of discussing the recent controversy involving the Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, who was banned from a music festival in Spain due to BDS pressure and his refusal to accede to the festival’s demand that he publicly endorse a Palestinian state, but was later reinvited and performed.