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Politician’s Zionist conspiracies – ‘antisemitic and sad’



An obscure South African politician, who has become known for his homophobia, recently added classic antisemitism to his repertoire with tweets that could easily fit into the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Mehmet Vefa Dag is originally from Turkey and now lives in Cape Town. On Twitter, he has a background image of a South African flag, and says he’s “president of Truth and Solidarity Movement Party and a 2024 general election South African presidential candidate”. On 12 June, he tweeted that “100 000 Jews control the entire SA economy. 100 000 people can’t control the wealth of 60 000 000 South Africans. The system needs to be changed. Enough is enough.”

He also wrote, “Zionist Jews are using their banks, corporations, media, and politicians to divide and conquer and destabilise the world and inculcate hatred towards heterosexual white men. It appears something like this happened about 80 years ago.”

On 10 June, he tweeted that both Donald Trump and Joe Biden were “controlled by Jewish supremacy”, accompanied by a graphic saying “every single aspect of the Biden administration is Jewish”. On the same day, he tweeted, “Our war is not with gays or lesbians, our war is against the new world order, against Rockefeller, Rothschilds, Soros, their puppet party DA [the Democratic Alliance].” He also calls the DA “the Devil Alliance”.

In many tweets, he has referred to “Zionist systems” and conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel. Though he has only 879 followers on Twitter and 679 followers on Instagram, his Truth and Solidarity Movement Facebook group has 3 500 members, while 5 000 people follow his personal Facebook page. His LinkedIn profile says he will “make South Africa great again”, echoing the slogan of the extreme right in the United States.

Sometime between 12 and 13 June, Twitter suspended Dag’s Twitter account because it “violate[s] the Twitter rules”. On Facebook, many people said they had reported him to Twitter. However, his profile and pages remain on other social media platforms, and the damage might already be done. Milton Shain, the author of the recently published Fascists, Fabricators and Fantasists: Antisemitism in South Africa from 1948 to the Present considers Dag’s remarks “unabashedly antisemitic”.

“This is classic antisemitism: fabrications and conspiracies tied into a neat bundle that betrays a worldview built upon fantasy,” says Shain, an antisemitism expert and the emeritus professor of history at the University of Cape Town. “Such nonsense ought to have no resonance in our country. Sadly, however, we might increasingly experience this sort of discourse – often dressed up in simple anti-Zionism – as we move towards the 2024 election. Mehmet Vefa Dag seems to be first out of the blocks. No attempt on his part to hide simple Jew-hatred.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “The myth of excessive Jewish power relies on historical claims of Jews controlling global affairs. Jews are cast as manipulative and conniving schemers who work in the shadows to advance an evil agenda. Antisemites often position themselves as truth-tellers, whose mission it is to unmask a supposed insidious Jewish plot to take over the world. Antisemites blame social ills on baseless notions about Jewish power.

“Antisemites frequently suspect Jews of holding allegiance only to fellow Jews and to a uniquely Jewish agenda,” the ADL says. “Jews are accordingly seen as untrustworthy neighbours and citizens, as if they are inherently disloyal or have inherently dual loyalties.”

When the SA Jewish Report asked Dag why he dislikes Jews, he responded nonsensically, “I love Orthodox Jews very much, my problem is, I’m against the Zionist system, which tries to ban Christianity and Islam, and which gets in the blood of hundreds of people around the world.

“I’m against the system that killed hundreds of children Palestinian Muslims and Christians. I’m against the system that hates even a Christian or a Muslim worshipping, even beating them and brutally killing them. I’m against the system that plays with people’s DNA, I’m against the ideology that forbids G-d and imposes irreligion on the system.”

If he became president, he says, he would allow Jews to live freely in South Africa. “I will protect them with my whole heart,” he says. “I have been doing business with Jews for the past 22 years.”

Previously, Dag’s organisation was called the African Democratic Movement Party South Africa, which he started in 2016. He started his Truth and Solidarity Movement in July 2022. However, the party doesn’t appear to be registered. This month, he has been in the news for demanding that a rainbow-coloured crosswalk – symbolising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex+ (LGBTQI+) pride – be removed from a street in Cape Town. He called on people to paint over the rainbow colours with black paint. He addressed his demands directly to Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Hill-Lewis responded to the tweet, saying, “Genuinely saddened that this hate message gets such traction. A pedestrian crossing isn’t forcing you to do anything, Mehmet. You’re welcome to protest peacefully, but not to spread hate and not to damage public infrastructure.”

Dag is also pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian. Amongst many pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian posts, he shared a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to visit South Africa and saying that his Truth and Solidarity Movement Party would go to great lengths – even sacrificing their lives – to protect him.

He’s also pro-Palestinian, and has called on people to attend anti-Israel protests and boycott Israeli products. He supports corporal punishment at school and the death penalty.

Dag’s homophobic and pro-Russian stands were reported by several South African media outlets, but none touched on his antisemitism.

South African Jewish Board of Deputies National Chairperson Professor Karen Milner says, “We’re seeing a definite trend whereby public figures feel less and less compunction about making openly antisemitic public statements, often in contexts where Jews and even Israel don’t feature at all.

“Generally, these represent only radical fringe elements, but even so, it’s quite concerning to note both the openness with which they now peddle their anti-Jewish hate and the overall failure of mainstream society to call it out and denounce it. While the targets may be different – sometimes the LGBTQI+ community, sometimes Jews, sometimes foreigners – the intent is the same, to foster ill-will and create division. While he’s trying to manufacture outrage and sow seeds of hate in South Africa, we know that such messages never resonate with South Africans.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. yitzchak

    June 16, 2023 at 9:31 am

    Steenhuizen of the DA …the Devil.s Alliance. LOL
    Yes Steenhuizen converted to Judaism and instantly grew diabolical horns.
    Rockefellers were also circumcised did you know ?

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