'[The] president of the African Christian Democratic Party, Kenneth Meshoe, summed up why his party attended the rally and what the rally stood for, saying: “We’re here as black people to dispute the lie that Israel is an apartheid state,” he said.
Meshoe condemned Hamas’s call for “annihilation,” stating that Israel had a right to exist within safe and secure borders. He also emphatically maintained that Israel had the right to defend itself and berated those who thought otherwise. “If people throw stones at your house, what will you do?” he asked. “There was more than a week of Hamas firing rockets before Israel fired back,” Meshoe said.
Furthermore, Meshoe called on the international community to instruct Hamas to stop using women and children as human shields.
These sentiments were reflected on the numerous placards held by members of the crowd. While Bishop Nkosi Phakama Shembe and other members of the Shembe church danced on stage the crowd waved posters that read: “Free Gaza from Hamas,” “Israel we stand with you” and “Israel wants peace, Hamas wants war”.
The SAZF expressed their satisfaction with the number of people who attended the rally. Vice chairperson of the organisation Ben Swartz called it an “unprecedented gathering”. “Never before in South Africa have there been so many people in solidarity with Israel,” he added.
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