EFF to march against the Balfour Declaration
Mgcini Tshwaku, an EFF Member of the Gauteng Legislature, posted on Facebook about the planned march.
At 16:00 on October 21, Tshwaku posted a video of dancing EFF members and photographs of a planning session with the words: “Prep meeting for the March to the Israel Embassy, 2 November 2017 Ground attack, let’s go!” In another post about their preparatory meeting, Tshwaku specified that they were marching “in solidarity with the Palestinian people”.
His original post was then shared by the Boycott Divest Sanctions movement (BDS) on its Facebook page.
Despite numerous attempts – phone calls, e-mails WhatsApp messages and SMSes – by the SA Jewish Report to speak to or get comment from the EFF about the march, these were ignored or referred on to someone else who did not respond.. The only response received was from Tshwaku, who confirmed the march, the time and where it was to start, without saying why it was taking place.
The date of the march coincides with the hundred-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2.
The 1917 Balfour Declaration was a 67-word public statement issued by the British government during the First World War, announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. This paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.
Leading up to the centenary, there has been worldwide pressure by anti-Israel lobbyists to get the British government to retract the Balfour Declaration.
Protests are expected to take place across Britain next month as British Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrate the centenary together.
May said this week that her country would celebrate “with pride” its role in the creation of the State of Israel and the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which pledged London’s support for a Jewish homeland.
Her comments came in response to Palestinian demands for a retraction and just one week before Netanyahu is due in London.
Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has declined an invitation to a centenary gala dinner.
National Director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Wendy Kahn said: “We live in a democratic country where the right to protest is protected by our Constitution. As always, we believe that dialogue would be a more constructive approach in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – one that is actually intended towards encouraging both Israel and Palestine to negotiate and talk peace.”
Rabbi Ramon Widmonte of The Academy of Jewish Thought and Learning which is running a course on the Balfour Declaration, said yesterday: “It is important for people to know that the very same international legal process of which the Balfour Declaration was a part, also created the Arab states, such as (trans)Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and what has become Saudi Arabia.
“They were all created by the international legal process after World War 1. Anyone who criticises Israel’s legitimacy should have a hard look at the legitimacy of the other states in the region.”
The Academy of Jewish Thought and Learning, is hosting a breakfast celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on Friday, November 3. For details e-mail email@example.com