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Kneeling down leaves uproar in its wake

“Regardless of the pros and cons of the specific situation, Herzlia has to be commended for creating an environment where kids feel empowered enough to voice their concerns in public,” tweeted Piet Viljoen this week, one of the lone voices that did not pick a side in the “taking the knee” incident at Herzlia Middle School.

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TALI FEINBERG

His comment came after two Grade 9 pupils at Herzlia Middle School were disciplined for kneeling down in protest during the singing of Hatikvah at their prize-giving, leading to an international media storm.

In a voice note made public, one of the boys said they decided to protest because, “we don’t support currently what Israel is doing… It’s like in America, when you have NFL players who take a knee during the anthem, they support what the anthem stands for, but they don’t believe the country is fulfilling those ideas, so they can’t stand for it.”

He also said he hoped their actions would bring people more towards the centre of politics, and create greater willingness to talk about Israel’s challenges instead of it being a taboo topic.

But, in many ways, the incident has deepened the fissures in a Cape Town Jewish community that is hurt, angry, and on the defensive.

Said Professor Adam Mendelsohn, Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town: “The episode has exposed existing fault lines, confirming that this is a community that no longer has a consensus view about Israel. But in doing so, it has furthered divisions. We are living in an age of polarisation, social media, and protest by gesture or spectacle. The first and last of these are not new, but all have combined in ways that are distinct to the present moment.”

This means that views are being expressed on social media instead of in safe spaces for debate. “Social media is rarely a place for nuanced discussion, persuasion, and listening. It is good at confirming views and cementing positions. Yes, some good may come of it all, but it will take lots of work from here on out to produce those positives,” he said.

Indeed, social media erupted in response to the pupils’ gesture and the school’s actions. On the one extreme, community member David Hersch said on Facebook, “Expel them and let the shame follow them for the rest of their lives. Their fellow pupils should be encouraged to shun them and their parents as well.”

On the other extreme, many expressed support. Former Herzlia Head Boy Daniel Mackintosh tweeted that he “beamed with pride to read about the #HerzliaTwo, who demonstrated a key Jewish value – having an ‘argument for the sake of heaven’ – for truth. Their bravery is an example to us all on our collective obligation to oppose the #Occupation – well done!”

A hundred Herzlia alumni who opposed the punishment of the pupils signed a letter, saying, “The school’s action betrays the best values of the Jewish tradition, and is a flagrant violation of the students’ constitutional rights to freedom of expression and opinion.” They asked, “Would the line be crossed if the learners had knelt during Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica to protest against state capture?”

Herzlia alumnus Adrienne Jacobson wrote a letter in response, saying, “As a proud Herzlia alumnus, I would like to put my name together with my fellow Herzlia alumni family to a different letter. One that speaks of support, unity, and love for our school which has faced an unprecedented, gruelling challenge this past week. We salute you, Geoff Cohen, the trustees, and the board of governors for your fair leadership and consideration of all factors during this tough time, and for your modelling of our Herzlia values. You have acted with integrity in accordance with the ethos of the school and its values, and we stand together with you.”

In a statement, United Herzlia Schools (UHS) emphasised that it stood for free speech. “UHS emphasises respect and dignity for all… UHS is an academic institution that strives to develop critical thinking as part of its educational offering. We are fortunate to live in a country with a progressive Constitution that allows for people to express their diverse opinions. This should always be conducted with respect for the dignity of others, including those who wish to participate in the school’s traditions and heritage.”

University of Cape Town’s Professor Deborah Posel echoed the need for raising children to be critical thinkers. Regarding the two boys, she said, “They’re opening up important questions about Jewish schools, and are doing so well-informed, from the inside. There are, no doubt, other pupils who would disagree, but that in itself is an opportunity to open things up. Let’s hear these articulate young people. They have important things to say. We may agree or disagree, but they merit the respect given to thoughtful interlocutors in controversial and contentious discussions.”

While the debate rages, school life is carrying on as normal and it appears the actions that these two pupils took are actually insignificant in the bigger picture of school life.

According to South African Zionist Federation Chairman Rowan Polovin, “There is absolutely nothing heroic, noble, or smart about a Jew who kneels in protest whilst Hatikvah is sung. It simply means that they are Jews with trembling knees, afraid of standing up for their own people,” he wrote in a blog post that has since gone viral.

“If they have legitimate criticism of Israel, they ought to stand up and voice it in the appropriate places. Do not falsely claim that there is no space to do so when there are multiple spaces created specifically for discussion and debate. Treat those with whom you disagree respectfully, and they will listen to you respectfully,” he added.

Writing from Israel, Herzlia alumnus Mia Levitt Frank, asked, “Does singing the anthem mean one identifies with a government? I hope not. As an Israeli, I sing Hatikvah with pride, and I hope for a different government. I wish for a society more liberal, more respectful of others, more pluralistic.”

As a psychotherapist, she goes on to explain that the term “identified patient” used in family therapy refers to one family member unconsciously selected to represent a problem in the family system. In organisations, the term is used where an individual or group signifies a problem or complex issue in the system. A courageous family or organisation will conduct deep reflection, and raise questions about their own responsibility.

“Following this idea, the recent incident invites questions to be raised by the leadership of the school. What does it mean to be a Jewish school in the diaspora? Who and what does the school represent? What does it mean to support Israel? How are all streams of Judaism represented in curriculum and activities? How is the concept and complexity of a ‘Jewish democratic state’ addressed? In what way are differences of opinions and dialogue practically encouraged and celebrated in the school? Where and how does social equality play a role in the organisational culture of the school? What are teachers committed to?

She concludes, “I sincerely hope the school as an organisation will grab this opportunity to conduct a deep and open inquiry around the values, norms, and ideologies practiced on a daily basis.”

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Devora

    Nov 22, 2018 at 11:39 am

    ‘I honestly feel that these two boys should seek education elsewhere. They have total disregard for the Jewish anthem, ethos of the Jewish school. There are other private schools that they should go to. Their insult to the Jewish anthem has nothing to do with politics. This Jewish anthem has been a backbone of the Jewish identity since before the Jewish state.

    They need to be removed from the school.

    They need to know there is always consequences to actions in life.

    TOO MANY PEOPLE FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS’

  2. Rodney Mazinter

    Nov 22, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    ‘Should a lie be treated as free speech?

    My question is meant to be a challenge to all media personnel, and the young men at Herzlia High School who unwittingly allow lies to be spread and cause continuous harm. It has been proven on numerous occasions that Israel is surrounded by hate filled enemies that have no other agenda but the delegitimisation and eventual destruction of the Jewish State; that there is a propaganda and indoctrination strategy that invents stories about Israel that are not true. To offer this as a matter for debate cheapens the truth; by debating it, it  must descend to the level of the original lie.

    The received wisdom is that it is wrong to deny someone who has opinions different to one’s own not to give them an opportunity to test them by debate in the court of public opinion. And that it is wrong to ban even a proven fraud. A lie, they tell me, should be confronted in the marketplace of ideas; that verifiable facts should prove the liar wrong.

    The problem for me is that a deliberate lie is not an idea. It may easily become a dangerous weapon. 20th Century history has shown that those who exploit it don’t belong in a genuine “marketplace of ideas.”

    Unlike some weapons, a lie such as the propaganda being spread about Israel is never used in self-defence, so there is no reason for allowing it. It should be banned, as are other weapons that possess the potential of causing mass murder and destruction.

    I belong to those who believe that lies and libels that set up a group of people as scapegoats, hate targets, potential victims of murder and for extermination, should not be protected as free speech.’

  3. Selwyn Levin

    Nov 22, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    ‘To have an attitude is one thing. To have an opinion is another. And then there is a lttle something called respect.To express an opinon can take many methods, some are easy and verbal other need planning methodology and carefull scripting. Either way there is problably a 100% chance of success of succesful expression,even if it is not the ‘popular’ thought . Then we have attitude. This is easy. If your attitude is respectfull you will achive so much more than being rude or aggresive. The worst part of aggressive behaviour is ambush behaviour. Firstly it the way a coward would think he has the high ground. It may even have a perceived moment of glory. But in the end the fallout does not have the desired effect . in fact ,it highlights the character of the perpitrator.

    Weak, unable to articulate or debate and of course not even understand the full meaning of their insulting behavior. To insult fellow Jews, your school, your faith, and Hatikvah is nothing short of an abombanation. Sorry, you did nor create debate or bring us closer or any of that rubbish. All you did was play into the hand of the enemies, plural! Start with the antisemites, BDS, and a raft of othe anti Jewish trash out there.

    Well said Mr Polovin!!!!. And to paraphrase . Most Jews stand up, proudly, others collapse on trembling knees, because at the end of the day they are cowards.

    Sadly from my experience I can also add that most pupils who go to Jewish shools and live in Jewish environments actually do not know or understand antisemitism!! Why ??? because they have never tasted it. But that is another story for another day.

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‘Wake up!’ say doctors, as third wave ramps up

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Communal experts this week issued a stern warning to “catch a wake up” as the community has been hard hit by death, severe illness, and an unprecedented number of infections which continue to rise daily during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is extremely severe,” warned Dr Richard Friedland, the chief executive of Netcare Group. “In Gauteng, we are in the eye of the storm, with things set to get a lot worse than they are.

“We should all be doing what we can to prevent a single death, to prevent people from having to be admitted to hospital,” he said.

The death rate has risen at hospitals, and hospital stays are about 20% longer, exacerbating the shortage of beds, especially in Gauteng, which is leading the uptick in infections.

“As I walk through our COVID-19 units, I see people struggling to breathe, fighting to survive this shocking pandemic. Every day, we are reminded of the pain, the suffering, and the enormous loss that it brings,” Friedland said.

Issuing a plea to the community to be hyper vigilant, he said, “I want to be abundantly clear that there can be no place for a lackadaisical approach.”

Several doctors this week told the SA Jewish Report that the situation was dire, with one doctor describing it as a “battlefield”.

“Patients, some quite young with no comorbidities, are really sick, with the vast majority on one form of ventilation or another,” said Dr Carron Zinman of Netcare Linksfield Hospital.

“Some severely ill patients are being temporarily managed in casualty because there are simply no intensive-care beds available at other hospitals,” she said.

“We are seeing a fairly young cohort, some with no underlying conditions, who are becoming seriously ill. The variants are more virulent and transmissible. We have had quite a lot of patients who have had COVID-19 before or who have received the vaccine, and got it.”

“We treat more aggressively, but there’s still no magic drug. We’re doing everything we can to turn the inflammatory response around. It takes some longer than others,” she said.

“Sadly, some people over 60 believe that once they have had the virus or the vaccine, they are safe. They aren’t. A lot of families including couples and their children are being infected,” she said.

At the time of going to print, Hatzolah had 501 active patients with 64 patients requiring oxygen at home. At least 11.7% of the active cases include children and young adults under the age of 20.

“There are a higher number of younger people including children than in the previous waves,” said Dr Anton Meyberg of Netcare Linksfield Hospital.

Sadly, the majority of patients are still the elderly over 60, but doctors have noticed a rise in the number of patients between the ages of 40 to 60, many requiring hospital admission.

There appears to be a disproportionately higher number of cases within the community, with doctors putting this down to complacency and carelessness about observing protocols.

“There is more testing, but people aren’t following the rules,” said Meyberg, “People who have been vaccinated are becoming lax, and there is a large asymptomatic spread of the virus.”

The country technically entered its third wave on Thursday, 10 June. According to the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, a new wave starts when the seven-day moving average of new infections surpasses 30% of the previous wave.

More than 70% of the new cases are now in Gauteng and the Western Cape, where there is evidence of a resurgence after a period of recovery, and there are daily increases in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

According to experts, the next two weeks will be particularly severe in Gauteng as the numbers steadily increase. Cape Town is a few weeks behind, they say.

Private-sector hospital admissions have increased four-fold since April. More than 500 patients are being admitted a day in the private sector in Gauteng, which is putting enormous strain on emergency departments fighting to open as many beds as possible to make space.

According to Hatzolah Chairperson Lance Abramson, there were 263 active cases at the peak of the first wave, 333 cases at the peak of the second wave, and now there are more than 500 active cases “with no peak in sight yet”.

“There are a staggering number of active cases in the Johannesburg Jewish community,” he said.

“Ambulances are transporting multiple COVID-19-positive patients to hospitals daily, where it is sometimes difficult to find a hospital bed. Patients are sometimes having to wait in ambulances in the parking lots of hospitals. This is very challenging for teams on the ground,” he said.

The organisation is also looking after 64 patients on home oxygen where they are closely monitored, Abramson said.

The organisation’s nurses are seeing between 80 to 100 patients a day.

Interestingly, Hatzolah has had 238 patients on the programme who have had a vaccine. Of those, 171 had received the first Pfizer vaccine, and 83 had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two the AstraZeneca, and one Moderna. Thirty eight patients have been fully vaccinated and of those, only one required hospitalisation and has since recovered, he said.

According to Dr Ryan Noach, the chief executive of Discovery Health, globally, vaccinations have materially slowed the progression of new cases and deaths. There are early signs of reduced COVID-19 infection rates among the vaccinated pollution in South Africa post 15 days after vaccination.

“There are signs that the first dose is working, with early data showing that there are less admissions post vaccination and fewer deaths,” he said.

Worryingly, he said, “The data points to the potential for a very severe third wave, and we’re seeing the beginning of it only now.”

He said more than 50% of adults 70 years and older require admission to hospital.

“Hospital admissions in wave three have reached the level of admissions at the peak in wave one. There are currently 2 012 Discovery members admitted to hospital, of which 526 are in intensive-care, and 275 require ventilation.

“A large number of people are showing evidence of reinfections. Discovery members who contracted COVID-19 in the first wave have again contracted COVID-19 in the second wave. Three members have now tested positive three times,” Noach said.

On 13 June, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that two million Johnson & Johnson (J&J) doses would have to be destroyed because the United States regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, found that the main ingredient with which they were made wasn’t safe for consumption.

As a result, South Africa has no J&J doses to administer at present, setting the country back in its vaccine roll-out in the midst of a third wave. The good news is that, according to the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, J&J will replace all the doses within the next two weeks, with 300 000 due to land within a few days and another million to be released by Aspen’s Eastern Cape plant next week.

In the meantime, doctors have appealed to people to be hyper vigilant and maintain all non-pharmaceutical measures.

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BDS boycott ‘creating divisions among ordinary South Africans’

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“I felt targeted because I’m Jewish. It’s antisemitic,” said a businessman affected by an alleged boycott of companies purported to support Israel.

A group of 300 South African hardware stores supposedly cancelled contracts with “SA-based suppliers and companies that have relations with or who have shown support for Israel”. The executive director of Africa4Palestine (formerly Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) South Africa), Muhammed Desai, last week described the boycott as “heartwarming”.

“Many people have been pressured by their community to be part of a boycott and cause harm,” said this businessman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This affects ordinary South Africans because it destroys long-term business relationships.”

Although there has been an impact on his company, it seems not many businesses have felt the impact of the boycott. Other suppliers listed by Desai told the SA Jewish Report that no contracts had been cancelled. “None of our relationships or sales into any of the hardware stores in South Africa have been compromised,” said one supplier, who asked not to be named.

“I can state categorically that this has had no impact on our business,” said another supplier who wanted to remain anonymous. “Our order book is full.”

“As the ‘rainbow nation’, this is just aggressively encouraging divisions that were never there before,” said the first businessman. “People are making business decisions based on religion rather than good business principles. These enforced divisions are what worry me more than anything. What happened to the South Africa that we know? This radical stance is completely nonsensical,” he said.

Desai went on to declare, “Today, standing with Israel, having ties with Israel, or serving in the Israeli military have all, correctly, become similar to, in the past, having stood with apartheid South Africa or with Nazi Germany. To stand with Israel today is now synonymous with saying, ‘I stand with Germany’ during the Holocaust or declaring, ‘I stand with South Africa’ during apartheid.”

He said Africa4Palestine welcomed “this ethical position as a morally sound example to other stores in South Africa and the African continent to emulate so that we can truly create apartheid-Israeli-free zones. Your efforts have served as another great blow to those who believe they can support the Israeli regime on the one hand, and take money and profits from principled and moral South African people.”

If the language of boycotting Jewish businesses and creating “Israeli-free zones” sounds familiar, that’s because it is. South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) National Director Wendy Kahn said, “In his congratulatory letter to the boycotters, Desai compares Israel to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The irony of his use of Holocaust terminology is also not lost on us Jews. Nazi Germany also came to our minds when we read this letter. We remember that the Holocaust began with the boycotting of Jewish businesses.

“We aren’t fooled by his couching of words or references to those who ‘have relations with or who have shown support for Israel’ and those ‘standing with Israel, having ties with Israel’. What he actually means is Jews. According to the University of Cape Town’s Kaplan Centre study in 2019, 90% of South African Jews support Israel, so invariably, what Desai is calling for is the boycott of Jewish businesses.

“The delight that he takes in potentially destroying these Jewish businesses is gut-wrenching, not least because of the fragile and precarious economic climate in South Africa. Will Desai and the BDS organisations rejoice in the jobs lost by these businesses?

“His so-called victory of boycotts of Jewish business won’t have an impact on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. All these threats achieve is attempted intimidation of local South African Jews who hold an opinion different to BDS. The South African Jewish community won’t be intimidated. It’s effect will be only to harm South African businesses trying desperately to survive and retain jobs,” Kahn said.

“Our Constitution states that everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, and opinion. There’s no rider that excludes Jews and people who have a connection to Israel. Nor does it call for the destruction of livelihoods of people for daring to believe differently.”

Desai issued a statement saying that the accusation of antisemitism was “a deliberate misrepresentation”, but then reiterated that “we welcome South Africans shunning, boycotting, and ending relations with suppliers and companies that are trading with, have links to, or are supportive of Israel”.

In response to the SAJBD’s statement on the matter, published on Facebook, Africa4Palestine’s Bram Hanekom wrote, “The 300 hardware stores can buy the things they need from other South African owned and ethical businesses.”

Benji Shulman, the director of public diplomacy at the South African Zionist Federation, noted that “the boycott of Jewish businesses has a long history in the BDS movement going back more than a decade, with Jewish businesses or those with Jewish management frequently targeted. What’s more, commercial boycotts against Israel have been a complete failure internationally. Since the boycott movement started, trade between Israel and South Africa has actually increased on average.

“BDS has many other failed boycott attempts,” he said. “One that comes to mind is the failed Woolworths ‘tomato’ boycott, which also produced zero results, other than a pig’s head placed in the kosher section of a supermarket. BDS may be trying to intimidate smaller Jewish businesses, but as yet, it hasn’t shown any signs that it has the capability of undertaking a full-fledged boycott campaign.”

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SAZF takes on Judge Desai for his conduct

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The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) has predictably come in for some heavy criticism by the anti-Israel lobby for lodging a complaint against retired Judge Siraj Desai with the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC).

Last week, the SAZF lodged a complaint with the JCC against the judge, who recently took up the position of the Legal Services Ombudsman.

The SAZF said Desai’s actions and conduct over many years was plainly in breach of the code of judicial conduct and “entirely unbecoming of a judicial officer”.

This was a bombshell complaint against Desai, who is a well-known social activist and respected jurist described by many as the “people’s judge”.

The detailed complaint against him spans many years from 2009 till the present, highlighting Desai’s actions and conduct connecting him to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and the pro-Palestinian movement.

The SAZF said that Desai’s alleged misconduct included his involvement in political controversy, misusing the prestige of his judicial office to advance his personal political interests, failing to recuse himself in a case in which he was obviously conflicted, and involving himself in activities that used the position of his judicial office to promote a partisan political cause.

Desai, who served the legal profession for 43 years, retired as a Western Cape High Court judge last year, and almost immediately accepted the ombud position having been appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The objective of the ombud is to advance and safeguard the integrity of the legal profession in South Africa But more importantly, it’s to ensure fair, efficient, and effective investigation of complaints of alleged misconduct by legal practitioners.

Former Judge Rex van Schalkwyk of the Rule of Law Project told the SA Jewish Report, “This isn’t about whether one is pro-Israel or pro-Palestine. Did Judge Desai conform with the ethics that constrain him as a judge? Having looked at the complaint, there is at least a case that needs to be answered. Judge Desai must give an explanation about his conduct. It’s legitimate for this issue to have been brought to the professional body of the JSC [Judicial Service Commission] and to be dealt with specifically in accordance with the principle of law not in accordance with the political issues which will cloud the complaint.”

The SAZF has been lambasted for the complaint, which it lodged on 10 June, by members of Africa4Palestine and the South African BDS Coalition. They have set up a Facebook page called “Hands off Judge Desai”.

The anti-Israel lobbyists described the complaint as “spurious” and “baseless”, and called it a “vengeful attack”. Africa4Palestine criticised the “questionable” timing of the complaint, saying that it was an attempt to distract from its complaint lodged against the country’s outgoing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Last Friday, 11 June, the JCC appeal panel said it was continuing its deliberations on Mogoeng Mogoeng’s appeal against a misconduct finding for his remarks about Israel brought by Africa4Palestine.

Earlier this year, the JCC found that Mogoeng had contravened the code of judicial conduct with comments made during a webinar in June last year and subsequently at a prayer meeting where he declared that he would never apologise for the views he expressed. In the webinar, hosted by the Jerusalem Post, he said he believed South Africa would do well to consider adopting a more objective stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said “hatred” of the Jewish state could “attract unprecedented curses upon our nation”.

In his March ruling, Judge Phineas Mojapelo stressed that “judges are to stay out of politics”.

The South African BDS Coalition said the SAZF’s complaint against Desai was in “retaliation for the failure to secure a seat at the Constitutional Court by Judge Unterhalter” accusing him of being an “apologist for Zionism”. Earlier this year, the SA BDS Coalition demanded that Unterhalter not be selected to the Constitutional Court for his association with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

Rolene Marks, SAZF’s legal forum spokesperson said, “At issue here, is the role that judges play in our society. The reason that there is a judicial code of conduct is that judges need to be seen not to be promoting political causes since they may have to rule on them at some stage. However, it’s clear through his comments that although Judge Desai is entitled to his views in terms of freedom of speech, he is bound by the judicial code of conduct, and his actions fall outside of that.”

According to the SAZF, last year, Desai while being interviewed on an Iranian YouTube channel, made “inappropriate comments” likening Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to President Nelson Mandela.

“To compare a world-renowned peacemaker like President Mandela to the despotic founding leader of a regime notorious for its disregard of human rights, and which is responsible for gross human rights violations, including torture and violence against thousands of people, is an insult to the people of South Africa, the Constitution, and our democratic institutions,” the statement said.

It added that Desai also made “several other shocking remarks” during the interview regarding foreign policy, including referring to the United States – an important trading and diplomatic partner of South Africa – as the “great Satan” which demonstrated that Desai had “engaged in conduct incompatible with his status as a judge of the high court.”

According to the SAZF, Desai has a long history of endorsing and promoting the anti-Israel political lobby.

In 2009, Desai was part of a South African delegation of pro-Palestinian activists that was to take part in a protest known as “the Gaza Freedom March” organised by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance. It was during this time that the Cairo Declaration was signed which was a call for a global movement for Palestinian rights and a boycott of Israel. The SAZF said Desai “lent his stature as a judge to the drafting and issuing of the declaration”.

In 2015, he gave an order in a review application brought by pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist organisations and activists against the City of Cape Town. There is allegedly no record in the judgment of him having disclosed his interest in BDS to the parties in that case, according to the complaint.

In 2018, Desai welcomed Hamas during its visit to South Africa and said, “We hope to make an intellectual contribution to the resolution of the Palestinian issue, but we take our leadership from you, you are the leadership on the ground.”

“This, despite the fact that the Hamas charter includes direct calls for violence against Jewish people and the destruction of the state of Israel. Using the prestige of the judicial office to publicly promote an extremist organisation is clearly contrary to the precepts underlying the judicial code of conduct,” said the complaint.

“Judge Desai has long conducted himself well outside the realms of the judicial code,” said the SAZF. “It’s therefore crucial for maintaining public confidence in the judiciary that manifest judicial misconduct is called to account.”

Desai told News24 through his spokesperson, Professor Usuf Chikte, that he was “unapologetic in his stance in condemnation of apartheid Israel”.

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