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SA ministers slam Israel




Manamela – who is also on the ANC National Executive Committee –  spoke at a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions BDS South Africa-Israel Apartheid Week event earlier in the month. “The supporters of Israeli apartheid are not only in Israel, but they are also here,” in South Africa. He went on to accuse supporters of Israel in South Africa of “also propagating the ideals” of apartheid Israel and of “ensuring that apartheid is meted out to the people of Palestine.”

He went further in accusing South African supporters of Israel of “sponsoring the apartheid regime in Israel” and accused locals who were pro-Israel of “ensuring that the killing of innocent Palestinians on a daily basis goes on”.

Manamela accused Israel of being “the most barbaric perpetrators of apartheid since apartheid South Africa”. And he had harsh words for Israel’s supporters in this country: “We are not only sending a message to the Israeli regime, but we are also sending a message to their local supporters.”

But the harshest rhetoric came from post-reshuffle Minister of Sports and Recreation Thulas Nxesi (who is also a member of the SACP Central Committee), who spoke in Johannesburg on April 10 at a welcoming ceremony for Palestinian marathon runners who took part in the Two Oceans in Cape Town.

Wearing a Palestinian scarf and speaking on a platform covered with BDS-SA branding, Nxesi went on an anti-Israel hate fest, accusing Israel of being the Palestinians’ “jailers”.

Nxesi insisted Palestinians had had their “land taken by force, (were) subjected to military occupation, colonised and living under discriminatory laws, herded into bantustans, imprisoned behind high walls, (and have) their freedom of movement severely restricted”.

He went on to accuse Israel of “bombing stadiums in the Gaza Strip in 2006 and again in the murderous bombing campaign of 2014 – when the stadium which had been rebuilt with the help of Fifa, was again damaged, together with 31 other sports facilities.”

He added: “We recognise the conflict for what it is, rooted in the national oppression of all Palestinians.”

And as sports minister, he added that it appeared the “Israeli government has long declared war on Palestinian sport” and that solidarity with Palestinians was not enough and that there was need for something more concrete to be done. “To this end I will be consulting with the BDS and the Palestinian Embassy.”

Every person has a right to participate in sports and recreation. This fundamental right is embodied in a number of UN instruments, emphasised the minister.

He insisted that his comments were not “anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic”, but rather legitimate criticism of the Israeli Government for its “oppressive actions against the Palestinian people. Such criticism springs from the same humanitarian spirit that equally condemns persecution of Jews or any other racial or religious group,” he claimed.

Debunking the two ministers’ comments, SA Zionist Federation National Chairman Ben Swartz told Jewish Report that the ministers were speaking from “a position of ignorance”. Their views represented “radical hatred” he added and were indicative of the “absolute desperation we are seeing from the ANC”.

He wanted to know who could take the ANC seriously. “Just like anything with ANC politics today, they are totally out of touch with reality and their ignorance of the facts is increasingly making their views irrelevant in the global arena.”



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  1. montlasky

    Apr 29, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    ‘Another guy who thinks that Israelis and Jews are something to eat.Clueless as usual!’

  2. Ella Brown

    Apr 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

    ‘I agree that it is based on total ignorance, but never-the-less it is very, very scary for the Jews of South Africa! People didn’t take Hitler seriously either, at the beginning!’

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