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Pro-Israel petition not a hoax

  • IsraelFlag
A petition calling on the South African government not to sever ties with Israel is gaining momentum fast - despite the anti-Israel lobby calling it a hoax.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jun 07, 2018

The South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) launched an online petition addressed to the South African government on Wednesday, calling for “support for continued relations between Israel and South Africa”.

The petition urges “all South Africans to demand that the South African government cease its efforts to sever ties with the State of Israel, and to reinstate the South African Ambassador to Israel”.

It goes on to assert that the severing of ties will “violate South Africans’ Constitutional rights with regards to freedom of movement, free choice, and matters of faith”. The petition says cutting ties would have an impact on “jobs, travel and tourism, and trade and investment, all of which will have a direct effect on South Africa and its people”.

By 22:00 on Wednesday, 11 312 people had signed the petition. Ben Swartz, the creator of the petition and co-Chairperson of SAFI, feels positive about the reception it has received so far, and believes it will attract further support.

“It is a known fact that supporters of Israel from across the spectrum exist in South Africa. This petition gives them the chance to express their disapproval and stand with Israel,” says Swartz.

“SAFI launched this petition based on demands received from constituents across the country. They are calling for the government to reconsider its decisions, and to change the way it has addressed diplomatic ties with Israel. The petition is the response of the people.”

Although the petition is still in its infancy, Swartz believes that it will gain traction in days to come. “So far, I’ve had only positive feedback from the public about the petition. I admit that I am often nervous about petitions, simply because you never know how well they will be received by the public, and if they will get the circulation you want. Fortunately, the response has been very strong so far.”

Swartz said the online submissions were not the only ones that would be passed on to government. “Not all of our constituents are online,” he says. “I know that tens of thousands of written submissions will be submitted in the days to come. These will be attended to, and the voices of those who wrote them will be treated seriously. We’ve had many constituents approach us to ask to submit written submissions. We welcome all submissions, and will make sure that the government receives every single one.”

By Wednesday afternoon, messages that the petition was fake had spread across social media platforms. Swartz dismissed these messages, believed to be disseminated by the anti-Israel lobby, saying that they were not worth attention. “How is it possible for a petition to be a hoax?” he asked. “These messages are absolute drivel. The petition is legitimate, and has the support of thousands of people.

“We believe our friends and supporters are active, and [are] ensuring that the government knows exactly how they feel. The petition affords people the chance to make their voices heard, and to contribute in a constructive way.”

1 Comment

  1. 1 JACKIE 12 Jun
    SUPPORT FOR CONTINUED RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND SOUTH AFRICA

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