The Jewish Report Editorial

A flag by any other name…

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As BDS (the Boycott Divestment, Sanctions movement) was preparing for its protest outside the Johannesburg City Council last Friday to demand that Sandton Drive be renamed Leila Khaled Drive, we wondered if this was just another protest. We have seen many of them, and often these protests are simply drawing attention to the anti-Israel organisation. Frequently we choose not to give them fuel.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Jun 06, 2019

While this particular protest appeared fairly usual, it was not. There was a truly sinister element.

This was the proliferation of Hezbollah flags, both in paper form and actual material, as well as in the rhetoric of the day.

This was new to South African BDS protests.

There is often the odd Hezbollah flag brought to BDS protests, but never more than one or two. This time, everywhere you looked, there were yellow and green flags.

Perhaps someone mass produced them, and handed them out to all who arrived to protest, as you would Israeli flags at a Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. Perhaps those who waved them did so because they thought it was a good look to have, and a trendy idea. Or perhaps there is truly something much more threatening afoot.

On Thursday this week, the German parliament was scheduled to debate completely outlawing Hezbollah – the Lebanese terror organisation – in its country.

“Hezbollah’s goal is the destruction of Israel and the Jews, and we should not be offering a safe haven for them to hide in Germany, and finance their armed struggle in Lebanon against Israel from our territory,” Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party MP Beatrix von Storch said in a statement on Tuesday.

The AfD is a far-right-wing party, the third largest political grouping in Germany. It brought the proposal to the German parliament.

The parliamentary debate follows a new German intelligence report that asserts that support for Hezbollah is on the rise, with more than 1 000 members in the republic.

Already, Hezbollah has been outlawed as a terror organisation in the Netherlands, the United States, and United Kingdom.

According to Hezbollah, G-d cursed all Jews as blasphemers damned for all time throughout history. A fundamental goal of the organisation is the total elimination of Israel and every Jewish civilian who lives there. Hezbollah vows not to recognise any treaty, ceasefire, and peace agreement with Israel. All of this information and much more on Hezbollah, its doctrine, goals, and attitude towards us, is easily accessible online. It’s not rocket science.

For an organisation like BDS – which one would imagine keeps up to date on Middle East politics – to align itself with such an organisation makes a clear statement.

However, BDS consistently purports to call for peace in the Middle East, and claims that it isn’t anti-Semitic. If that’s the case, then how can it allow Hezbollah flags all over its protests?

I certainly didn’t see BDS leader Muhammed Desai upset at their presence. He seemed totally at ease with them. Surely, he realised that the incorporation of Hezbollah paraphernalia is tantamount to BDS aligning itself with this terror organisation.

Hezbollah is a danger to Jews everywhere. Now, let me be clear, I am not saying that there are Hezbollah members in South Africa. I have no such information at hand.

I cannot say that those people carrying the flags at the protest even align themselves with Hezbollah’s beliefs. For all I know, most of them could have been bussed into the protest and given flags to fly.

However, there were people stomping on Israeli and American flags and they called “Death to Israel!”, “Death to the US!”, “Death to Zionists!” It actually wasn’t a militant, nor threatening looking crowd. It was the flags and what they mean that concerned me the most.

With this understanding, you can see why it sent chills down my spine seeing all those people happily waving Hezbollah flags in front of the Johannesburg City Council.

It’s time for Hezbollah to be outlawed in South Africa as well – or at least there should be discussion about it. It should never be acceptable for the flag of this terror organisation, representing the destruction of Israel and the Jews, to be waved around in public places.


With Shavuot this weekend, we look forward to Torah learning and discussion, eating delicious milchik foods, and children bringing bikkurim (first fruits) to shul.

In this edition of the SA Jewish Report, there are some phenomenal stories written by great minds in South Africa and overseas that will give you food for thought over this festival.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach


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