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ANC’s Israel policy not only anti-Semitic, it’s in a time warp

  • 2b-Letter7
The Jewish Board of Deputies did what it was elected to do by opposing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s decision to act on the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) 54th National Conference resolution “to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African embassy in Israel”.
by Ben Levitas, Former Chair SAZF Cape Council | May 30, 2019

The board’s mandate is to guard and protect the interests of the Jewish community, and the downgrade of relations with Israel most certainly has an impact on the well-being of the community.

While the ANC feels “deep regret and disappointment” at the stance of the board, as a Jew, I feel betrayed and violated by the language used in the ANC’s statement.

The ANC says it speaks on behalf of the people of South Africa. The results of the past election clearly show it just scraped a majority, which certainly doesn’t give it the right to speak on behalf of the country, particularly on the question of Israel and Palestine. Certainly, with 80% of the population being Christian with close spiritual ties to the Holy Land, it is an arrogant claim.

The ANC makes no apology for viewing the Israel/Palestine issue through the eyes of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement that has “captured” South Africa’s foreign policy.

It refers to the “colonial occupation of Palestine”. What can this possibly mean? The statement doesn’t refer to the West Bank or Gaza, it refers to “Palestine”. In this context, “Palestine” can mean only the whole territory from the Jordan River to the sea.

South Africa is one of the few democratic states that doesn’t recognise Hamas as a terrorist organisation in spite of its anti-Semitic charter which proudly proclaims its objective not only to destroy Israel, but to kill every Jew in the process. It’s hurtful to see the ANC embracing a movement dedicated to the destruction of my people.

And what does “colonial” mean, if not the foreign invader, the Jew. Just for the record, Jews have been living in the land the Romans renamed “Palestine” continuously since the beginning of history.

Even today, the Palestinians are refusing to take part in a peace conference in Bahrain. They have torpedoed every chance of making peace because the compromise that would be required would require them to recognise Israel, and that is anathema. Instead of the ANC encouraging its allies, the Palestinians, to negotiate and compromise, it encourages them to resist the “colonists”. The ANC is frozen in a time warp of liberation struggle. 

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