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In a full-page story in the Saturday Star titled “We were intimidated for going on trip to Israel” and with the strapline: “They say BDS movement tried to stop their trip”, Ilanit Chernick wrote that “Gtrips and intimidation have left 16 South African youth leaders shocked after returning from a study tour of Israel and Palestine.” See who the sixteen senior business and student leaders are, why they are and why they are so angry at BDS. Also hear Rolene on Voice of Israel and see links to all stories.
by ANT KATZ | Jul 29, 2015

The story of the 16 remains high on the list of top mainstream media news as their battle with their parent ANC-affiliated organisations and BDS-SA (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Israel) heats up with much mud-slinging on all sides.

16-klaas homeWits student and ex-SRC member Klaas Mokgomole, PICTURED RIGHT, is an ANC Youth League (ANCYL) member and one of two of the sixteen who went to Israel who had been part of the infamous Wits-11 SRC members who were disciplined for anti-Israel behaviour..

They were sanctioned by Wits University for their participation in the BDS-led hooliganism that caused a concert by Israeli-born pianist Yosi Reshef to be abandoned last year.

Today, Klaas is fast-becoming the de facto spokesman for the vociferously anti-BDS group of peace activists. They may not all have changed their views on Israel and Palestine, but all sixteen blame their ostracism on BDS and not on the ANC.

Hear Rolene on the radio: 'An epic BDS fail!'

Marks - RoRo HOMEJewish Report’s Israel correspondent, Rolene Marks PICTURED LEFT (RoRo to her friends), did a radio interview on The Josh Hasten Show on The Voice of Israel Tuesday on what she called:

“An epic BDS fail!”

“What happens when you bring 16 young leaders from SA where they have been fed a steady diet of BDS b.s?” asks Rolene. “An epic BDS fail! I was absolutely delighted to join the Voice of Israel’s Josh Hasten on air,” she said today. LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW.

Tour attendees, ANCYL member Klaas Mokgomole and now-suspended Sasco Wits branch chairman Nthabiseng Molefe, told The Star newspaper the group went in their own capacity and not under any ANC auspices.

"We wanted to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the ground for ourselves. You can't be a good leader without seeing two sides to the situation," Mokgomole said.

The sixteen had not come back pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, but pro-peace, they said. They see the occupation of Palestine as wrong, but they also see Hamas' rocket attacks on Israelis as wrong.

The sixteen youth leaders, whose names Jewish Report was the first to publish (with their permission) this week, include several who are vocal anti-Israel, from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) and the South African Student Congress (Sasco).

According to Mokgomole and Molefe, BDS made several attempts to stop the leaders from going on the trip. "They kept sending intimidating e-mails saying that disciplinary action would be taken against us if we went. They tried to make us feel guilty," Molefe told The Star.

15-bds ant toon remakeApart from the intimidation, some of the sixteen have told Jewish Report that BDS offered them R40 000 if they pulled out.

RIGHT: BDS later denied the claim and suggested it was the fault of the “Israeli lobby”.

Mokgomole insisted that there was no resolution banning South Africans from travelling to Israel or Palestine. "South Africa has strong diplomatic relations with both countries. Our government believes in a two-state solution."

He said the SAIF organised the trip to give future South African leaders a legitimate opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "We need to open dialogue, this is the only way peace can be achieved."

Related reads on Jewish Report Online

15-BDS 'toon. FULLjpgBDS CEO Mumammed Desai insists that his organisation did not offer the students R40 000 and the Sixteen claim BDS is intimidating them at every turn


  1. 7 bds works 30 Jul
    BDS SA attend Israel holiday propaganda trip feedback session 
  2. 6 nat cheiman 30 Jul
    Desai the DUNCE and LIAR.
    ONE STATE SOLUTION. Palestinians need to go back to Egypt and Syria andJordan
    Get the HELL out of GAZA and the West Bank.
    Desai and his ilk expect people to believe that the 16 made up lies.
    THE DUNCE IS A CHEAPSKATE. He should have offered each one a million to escape the truth.
  3. 5 Denis Solomons 31 Jul
    Imagine being paid R40 000 to not go on a trip !
    The mind boggles but everyone in their right mind would like to go to Israel.
    Muhammed Desai is demented .
    Long live Israel .
  4. 4 mahmood 01 Aug
    Imagine you thrown out of your present home because the zulus say they were here a few hundred years ago.How would you feel? If this is fine with you then all then I challenge all who feel that stealing land from Palestine is okay to hand back all your homes and businesses to original people of SA.The U N will provide refugee camps for you in the Karoo !
  5. 3 Gary Selikow 02 Aug
    there is no limit to the malice and hate of BDS, SAJVJP and Desai, they are vile
  6. 2 nat cheiman 03 Aug
    Mahmood, imagine the ANC ask you to go home. Where would you go?
    I would go to Israel , the land where Jews were before any others and the land promised to them by our Lord.
    Also, I have no problem with the Karoo. I will not be in a refugee camp. I will be in business because I am not a parasite.
    My advice to you is to read up on your history and not be guided by the misguided.
  7. 1 bds works 03 Aug
    PR Gone Wrong On Israeli Propaganda Trip, participant speaks out


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