Anglican church in Southern Africa backs anti-Israel boycotts


The Anglican Church in Southern Africa (ACSA) has decided to support a boycott against Israel, according to a statement released on Sunday by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The South African arm of the international movement, which promotes economic pressure on Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, welcomed the decision. ACSA represents Anglican Christian communities in southern African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola.

BDS referred to ACSA's resolution "Time to act: Solidarity with Palestine", in which the church called for joining the action.

The resolution, proposed by Bishop Luke Pato of Namibia and adopted on Thursday, states that there are similarities between apartheid in South Africa and the Israeli-Palestinian situation, which in some respects could be described "as worse than apartheid".

Israel is in the midst of a campaign against BDS, which has had little economic impact but gained a number of largely symbolic wins, including pressuring well-known musicians to cancel concerts in Israel.

In August, Israel's decision to deny entry to two U.S. Democratic lawmakers sparked a backlash against the country, with many criticising the move as undemocratic. The lawmakers, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, have voiced support for BDS.

According to BDS, American and South African Christian leaders, representing churches with over 50 million members, issued a joint statement in March urging for the option of "economic pressure" against Israel as a non-violent measure to hold it accountable for its violations of international law.    (dpa)

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