‘BDS bullying knows no limits’ says SAJBD
Anti-Israeli groups in SA are petitioning government to replace their ambassador to Israel – and all due to what would seem to be the most spurious of reasons. All the while, the Board’s Wendy Kahn, pictured, has been bashing the ambassador-bashers.
To see the video of the event and read the initial story, CLICK HERE.
Statement issued by SA Jewish Board of Deputies:
It was with a sense of déjà vu that the SAJBD witnessed South African Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, being shouted down and abused when trying to speak at a press conference held to welcome home anti-Israel activist Leanne Naidoo. For years, it has been apparent that those bent on demonising Israel at every opportunity cannot bear it when others presume to present a different narrative.
The Jewish community has become accustomed to BDS and its supporters attempting to disrupt Jewish communal functions and intimidate those participating in them. However, it is not just those who celebrate Israel’s existence that they are intent on silencing, but anyone who publicly supports a negotiated two-state to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The latest evidence of this bullying and intolerance was the disgraceful manner in which Ambassador Ngombane was prevented from presenting his views on the current situation in the Middle East at a press conference held on Friday.
Once it became clear that what he wished to say deviated from the standard BDS narrative (but not from the official South African government position), those present shouted insults and broke into loud chanting, making it impossible for him to be heard.
The BDS movement routinely claims to speak on behalf of human rights and democracy. It would appear, though, that the only democratic rights they are really concerned about are their own. Freedom for others, be it to express their opinions on the Middle East, to deciding where and what products they would like to buy, to attending Jewish-hosted functions, are clearly fair game when it comes to resorting to the kind of disruptive and bullying tactics for which it is now notorious.
The SAJBD is deeply concerned about the conflict among Israelis and Palestinians, and acknowledge the suffering of both sides. We are committed to seeing a viable, negotiated peace agreement being sought, and believe that South Africa has a strong role to play in this. By constantly shutting down free and open discussion on the situation, BDS is deliberately sabotaging this possibility.