Cape Town, Johannesburg protest for Israel

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Two well-attended pro-Israel demonstrations took place last Friday in solidarity with Israel and Jewish students. The Cape Town rally at Parliament (including this lad on his dad’s back) drew over 100, while a further 150-odd attended in Johannesburg where supporters marched on the Gauteng Provincial Legislature where they handed over a petition. Pic: MARC BERMAN
by ANT KATZ | Mar 16, 2016

Two well-attended pro-Israel marches took place last week Friday in solidarity with Israel and Jewish students. The Cape Town march on Parliament had over 100 in attendance, while a further 150-odd attended the Johannesburg march on the Gauteng Provincial Legislature where they handed over a petition.

The marches were in support of the culmination of the SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS)’ week-long and well-fought annual campus tussle which pits Jewish students and their Israel Awareness Week against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Israel) group BDS, who hold their Israel Apartheid Week on university campuses.

Protest March WitsWhile the students were holding their final events on the various campuses, the Cape Council of the SA Zionist Federation put together a solidarity march on Parliament while Defend Embrace Invest in and Support Israel (DEISI) International and others delivered a petition to the Gauteng Legislature in downtown Johannesburg.

RIGHT: The Johannesburg march on the Gauteng Legislature to deliver a petition in support of Israel was organised by DEISI International  - Pic: ILAN OSSENDRYVER


Israel Apartheid Week “was once again a dismal failure for BDS and the Palestinian Solidarity Front” on the UCT campus,” the Cape Fed’s Julie Berman told Jewish Report. “Christian Zionists together with members of the Cape Town Jewish community took a stand against anti-Semitism and racism.” She said that some 120 people gathered outside Parliament to show their support.

Dancing in the street and holding both South African and Israeli handheld flags, large Israeli flags and posters condemning racism and anti-Semitism, “the supporters showed passers-by that Israel indeed is a force to be reckoned with and has great support behind her”, said Berman.

Protest March CT

The Cape Town demonstration outside Parliament was organised by the Zionist Federation, Cape Council Pic: MARC BERMAN

Olga Meshoe, CEO of DEISI International, led the Gauteng march. “I would like to say ‘Toda Rabah’ to all those who joined us,” she told Jewish Report. She thanked Joe Mpisi, Member of Parliament, and chairman of the Education Portfolio Committee “who accepted our Shalom Declaration on behalf of the Speaker of the Legislature”.

“DEISI believes that the gathering of blacks and whites, Jews and Christians, South Africans, Israelis and Americans in a public display of their solidarity with the State of Israel and her people sent a clear message to BDS,” she said, congratulating SAUJS and groups like DEISI who had supported them in their campus victories last week.

The anti-Israel lobbyists and their partners should be aware, said Meshoe, that South Africans “will not accept the false labelling of Israel as an apartheid state or the one-sided negative commentary about Israel.

“DEISI wishes to see true peace in the Middle East,” she said, “and desires a meaningful relationship between South Africa and Israel for the betterment of South African lives.”

We say: “No more racism and no more anti-Semitism,” said DEISI vice chairman Mark Hyman.

1 Comment

  1. 1 mordechai 18 Mar
    good on the Jewish communities protesting support for Israel. However for the life of me I don't understand how at a pro Israel rally Jewish attendees carry and wave the South African flag. The South African flag represents a country that is an enemy of Israel and would support the removal of the Jewish State of Israel, and replace it with a Palestinian state


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