Anti-Israel activists ‘liars’ say Fed & Board
“Not for the first time, local anti-Israel activists have been caught in a lie,” was an unusually harsh headline for a joint media release by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and the SA Zionist Federation. But the two organisations were not in a reconciliatory mood.
“Over the past week, organisations like BDS-SA and the Media Review Network and sectors of the media have been loudly proclaiming that SAPS has agreed to enforce arrest notices issued by Turkey against four Israeli military commanders should they enter South Africa,” said the joint statement. They have also claimed that they have documentary evidence that conclusively proves this, the release added.
As SAJR Online has extensively reported (see links below), the anti-Israel lobby has been claiming that they have written proof that such warrants exist. A media campaign driven by Independent News’ group foreign editor, Shannon Ebrahim, has enjoyed top-billing – and even front page coverage – in Independent Media Group dailies and their IOL.co.za website.
Ebrahim, has regularly written that Independent had had sight of the warrants. This has teed off SAPS and Hawks communication departments all week. They have accused the reporting as being “malicious gossip”, hogwash and leaving them “dumbfounded” as they have been scurrying around for documents that seem not to have existed. Shannon Ebrahim is married to the immediate past-deputy minister of DIRCO, Ibrahim Ibrahim.
Survé has launched two investigations
Dr Iqbal Survé, who heads up the Independent Media Group through his controlling Sekunjalo group , is overseas at present. “I have been contacted by various members of the Jewish community about this article,” Survé told SA Jewish Report editor Vanessa Valkin.
He had asked the group executive editor about the issue and to provide him with a full explanation, he said.
Zenariah Barends, chief of staff for Dr Survé at Independent Media Group, says Dr Survé has asked her to do a review of the coverage and to check for accuracy in the reporting and if there has been bias.
“A story has to be balanced and provide all points of view,” she told Jewish Report. “And we are reviewing our coverage for that.”
On Dr Surve’s return at the end of this month, there will be a report compiled for him with her findings.
It can now safely be concluded that the “written proof” about the arrest warrants does not exist, say the Board and Fed in their joint statement. “This became quite clear at a press conference, convened on Monday by the Media Review Network and Palestine Solidarity Alliance,” they said.
The Independent Media stories had quoted the anti-Israel lobbyists as promising that this documentation would be made public at this event, said the joint statement, “but nothing whatever was produced in the end.”
The joint statement concludes by accusing the lobby groups of making claims “that have since been shown to be outright falsehoods. SAPS have made no such undertaking. All they have done is confirm that they have received a formal request from Turkey asking that the four Israeli Defence Forces commanders (involved in the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident at the time) be arrested if they enter South Africa.
“In terms of how international police co-operation works, South Africa will in any case only enforce an arrest warrant for crimes committed outside its borders once Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organisation) issues a ‘Red Notice’ in that regard,” read the joint statement. “It is completely contrary to South African policy to undertake to enforce an arrest warrant issued by another country in the absence of such a Red Notice.
“Yet again, therefore, local anti-Israel extremists have been shown to have deliberately misrepresented the facts in order to push their obsessive agenda against the Jewish State. They have done so in this case to fool the public into thinking that South Africa endorses attempts to hijack and manipulate international law as a political weapon against the State of Israel. This shows not only a flagrant lack of integrity on their part, but a contemptuous disregard for the South African public as a whole.”
Related reads on SAJR Online:
- 17 Nov:HAWKS: IT’S ALL ‘MALICIOUS GOSSIP’
- 18 Nov:‘ARREST WARRANT’ STATEMENT PURE HOGWASH
- 20 Nov:FED’S SWARTZ BASHES INDEPENDENT NEWS
- 23 Nov: SAPS ‘DUMBFOUNDED’ OVER MAVI MARMARA LETTER
- 24 Nov: TOP JOURNOS PLAYED STICKS & STONES OVER MARMARA