Introducing new TEASA staff member, Ncamisile Pamela Ngubane. She leads the TEASA media and communications unit. For sixteen months, she worked for the Christian Zionist organisation South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), a subsidiary of the South African Zionist Federation. In April 2023, after realising that Christian Zionism undermines the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Messiah, she resigned from her position as General Manager of SAFI. She shares her testimony with us.
In the year 2019, I was born again as a disciple of Jesus Christ the Messiah, on my birthday, 29 December. Soon after, I began watching Christian television programs, to get to know better Jesus, whose teachings had brought me out of a really dark period of my life, marked by deep feelings of betrayal, regret and hopelessness.
Within this rebirth as a Christian, was the development of a deep interest in eschatology, and the New Jerusalem spoken of in the Book of Revelation, piqued my interest in the Jerusalem in the land of Israel-Palestine. Of note was a television show entitled Jerusalem Dateline, and as a History teacher by training, I was mesmerised by how the host knitted together the Biblical prophecies concerning the Holy Land and the present day’s current affairs. Thus, my descent into the deception of Christian Zionism began.
I soon found myself an avid supporter of the “Jewish State” and decided, in late 2020, to begin writing a research proposal to study towards a Masters of Art in History, wherein I would examine the historical factors that had caused the African National Congress (ANC) to pass its 2017 resolution to downgrade the South African embassy in Tel Aviv to a liaison office. This led me to secure an interview with the leaders of the Gauteng branch of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD).
Walking into the Board’s office building in Johannesburg, I was greeted by the “Star of David”; a large painting of Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism; and a bust of David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the state of Israel; and other luminaries of the Zionist universe. I was awestruck to be meeting some of the leaders of the South African community of what I had come to understand to be the most despised and beleaguered people on Earth, the Jews. One thing led to another, and soon I was recognised by them to be a friend of Israel and the Jews, who wasn’t afraid to speak out in defence of Israel.
In May 2021, I was invited to attend the South African Zionist Federation’s (SAZF) rally in support of Israel’s Guardian of the Walls campaign against the people of Gaza. Some of the Zionist leaders spoke at the event, and when the microphone was offered to those in attendance to say some words of support for Israel, I enthusiastically rose to the occasion. My conviction to the cause of Christian Zionism was so evident, that a few months later, I was invited to become a paid staff member of the SAZF, as General Manager of its subsidiary organisation South African Friends of Israel (SAFI).
I felt blessed and favoured by God, and would often exalt to my colleagues of what a privilege it was to not only be able to talk about God every day as a part of my job, but to also be in service to His chosen people.
Months passed, and slowly the noble veneer of Zionism, both Jewish and Christian, began to show cracks, with my illusions finally being shattered by the swearing-in in December 2021 of the most right-wing, anti-Christian and anti-Palestinian government in Israel’s history.
Off the bat, I knew that this government could not be supported with the blind devotion that SAFI was committed to. I became convinced that the only feasible approach would be for SAFI to dedicate itself to the promotion of dialogues between ourselves, and other Israel supporters, with the supporters of Palestine and the Palestinians. My view was that by promoting peace in Israel-Palestine, we could remain true to our organisational mandate, and more importantly true to the teachings of our Master, who declared “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Of course, to have a real dialogue with Palestian rights advocates, I had to find out what they had been saying over the years. Little did I know that by pursuing this course, which was not supported by my seniors at the SAZF and at the SAJBD, I would come to understand the ugly truth about Zionism. This led me to resign my job at SAFI in April this year. I wrote about this in an article, which you can reference at the Pan-Afrikanist publication here.
In that article, I concluded that more than anyone involved in this conflict, the Christians were the most in dereliction of their duties to truth and justice. Indeed, Christianity had failed me from the very start. Why, when I was being fed a steady diet of Christian Zionism through the television screen, was there no counter voice that was as well researched and well produced to set the record on Israel-Palestine straight? Why were there no Pastors telling us that Jesus would never support what Israel was doing to the Palestinian people? Why, when the evidence was there for any objective observer to see, was no Christian preacher telling me that Zionism is an atheistic ideology that uses Jews and Judaism as a smokescreen for blatant and cruel colonisation of the Holy Land?
Why was Christian Zionism being allowed to fly under the Christian radar? Why was it not being examined as an anathema akin to the twisting of the teachings of the Bible to justify slavery, colonisation, the Holocaust and Apartheid? At the very least, the Body of Christ should have been at the forefront of those supporting and echoing the calls of our Christian sisters and brothers in Palestine for justice, equality and freedom from the oppression of Zionism.
As my emotions began to settle, experience and further research showed me that this is not the case. For instance, after reaching out to the South African Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Coalition’s (SABDSC) convener Roshan Dadoo and SABDSC member Professor Salim Vally for help in processing the devastating truth I had learned about Israel, which was daily being confirmed to my now unbiased eyes as an apartheid state, I met with Reverend Frank Chikane and Reverend Moss Ntlha, at Roshan’s suggestion. The Reverends, like many committed Christians have been speaking out against the racism and cruelty of Zionism against the Palestinians. Internationally and in South Africa, many churches are turning away from their adherence to Christian Zionism, and joining the growing chorus of voices denouncing the supplanting of the Gospel of Christ by the doctrine of Christian Zionism, which idolises Israel and Zionist Jews.
During this transformation, I asked The Almighty God why He had allowed me to participate in this heresy, and I believe that He answered me by saying “so you could see for yourself.” Since I was a child, He has given me a love for knowledge and the truth. He also knows that I’m not afraid to speak out against injustice and falsehood. It is my firm belief that through this experience, He has given me the opportunity to stand on the side of justice. As Nelson Mandela said, “We know all too well that our freedom is not complete, without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
As things stand however, the Palestinians are betrayed and hopeless, adrift in a world that speaks of justice, equality and every human being’s inalienable right to freedom, but has no will to stand against the systematic dehumanisation of the Palestinian people.
My experience has showed me that the friends of Palestine are often made invisible by the bright and garish Zionist propaganda machine, and so it behoves us to grow our numbers – church by church, media platform by media platform, and by the method of a thousand cuts, expose Zionism, both Christian and Jewish, for the Godless and dehumanising ideology that it is.