“Eye for an eye” threat to SA Jews on Gaza

  • Ehrenreich Tony
A threat of physical violence – an “eye for an eye” - against Jewish South Africans for being “Zionist supporters” made by the Western Cape secretary of the largest trade union federation Cosatu, has prompted SA Jewish leaders to lay criminal and civil charges against him for hate speech and incitement to violence. Charges of incitement against Tony Ehrenreich are being lodged with the police and a formal complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission will be instituted.
by GEOFF SIFRIN | Aug 14, 2014
Ehrenreich stated on his Facebook page yesterday that, “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish Board of Deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye. The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war killing machine of Israel.”

In a message to the community the SAJBD assured SA Jews that it would not stand idly by while such threats are made. An in a media statement, SAJBD Chairman Mary Kluk said that the post was a flagrant violation of South African law prohibiting hate speech and incitement to cause harm. 

“Ehrenreich’s inflammatory post incites violence and hatred against the representative body for South African Jewry. What makes it even worse is the fact that he holds a leadership position within COSATU, South Africa’s largest trade union organisation. It also comes at a time of heightened tension over the Israel-Gaza conflict, thereby enflaming an already volatile situation” she said.

“The latest post by Mr Ehrenreich comes in the wake of a recent statement issued by him in which the SAJBD was warned to cease its ‘Zionist propaganda’ in Cape Town by 7 August or face a COSATU-led campaign of strikes and boycotts against its members, supporting companies and organisations.

Kluk observed that this too posed an overt challenge to South Africa’s democratic culture.
 “It is unprecedented in a democracy for a political lobby to threaten violent reprisals against the SAJBD, or against any individual or group for that matter”.


The incident comes in a context of repeated protests against Israel in South African cities organized by BDS and including Palestinian solidarity groups, South African trade unions, and others. This week the Students Representative Council at the University of Cape Town formally adopted BDS as part of its policy framework. Last Saturday a protest against Israel in Cape Town drew over 50 000 people.

In response, the SA Zionist federation has organized solidarity rallies in support of Israel. A rally two weeks ago drew some 10 000 people, reputedly the largest pro-Israel rally ever held in Africa.

The rallies were also the subject of Ehrenreich's focus. He said:  "We have seen in our own country that the Jewish Board of Deputies have arranged gatherings to pledge their allegiance to the killing of Palestinians."

The public rhetoric in South Africa has become increasingly vitriolic against Israel as Operation Protective Edge has dragged on. The threat to violence in Ehrenreich’s comments, however, are now seen as having crossed the line into “hate speech” which is strictly prohibited in South Africa.


  1. 8 Choni 14 Aug
    Whatever the outcome of this development, it is getting more and more difficult to be "Proudly Jewish South African". As a matter of fact it is another strong signal that the worldwide anti-Israel/anti-Semetic  sentiment is becoming more entrenched in South Africa.
    No legislation against hate speech or any other kind of law is going to stop this rising tide.
    Bottom Line; Get our young people out of this exilic cemetery.
  2. 7 Gary Selikow 14 Aug
    I am no longer in any way proud of being South African
    It is an accident of birth
  3. 6 Mervyn Basserabie 15 Aug
    Ehrenreich is an idiot.... the last part of his surname is apt!
    Doesn't he know that Hamas is a terrorist organisation who's  charter calls for the destruction of Israel?

    There is no more moral defence force in the world than the IDF......Which other army sends SMS, makes calls , drops warnings before attacking?

    His moral outrage at the plight of Gazen citizens should be directed at its cause, and that is Hamas.

    By the way ,where is his outrage at the SYRIAN Government who has slaughtered over 160,000 of its own citizens?

    He is a liar, and an anti-Semite.

  4. 5 faris 16 Aug
    Why Gary, is being Jewish not also being and accident of birth. That would not make you less proud to be a Jew, would it?
  5. 4 Anton kramer 18 Aug
    Ok then, what about every time a Muslim kills a Christen in Iraq, we apply the same rule....
    G-d forbid to sink to this level.
  6. 3 Beinash Spaack 20 Aug
    I Fully support BDS.
     Starnge!! Well Look  at it this way: Walk throught he Norwood Mall for example, pass all the Muslim owned shops, and when you think of entering PAUSE!! Take BDS in your hands and say "NO" damn you NO!!
    There are may such examples.
  7. 2 Alan 21 Aug
    To all the Jewish friends still living in South Africa. The writing is on the wall. It cannot and will not improve as the impoverished idiots and bigots continue to blame the Jewish nation for their shortcomings.
    I implore you to seriously consider your options, if not for yourself, then for your children... Get out of there before it is too late to do so. Your high walls and net wealth in South Africa is NOT an excuse to not migrate to counties where you would be welcomed.
  8. 1 Choni 21 Aug
    Alan, You are right, but at the end of the day only Israel will welcome a Jew.


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