Shalom Life | March 11, 2015

BDS Supporters In South Africa Make Death Threats To Jews At Israeli Expo

Carrying Palestinian flags and shouting threats, BDS supporters protested outside the SA Zionist Federation on Sunday

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 10th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Protestors rally against Israel in Perth


Europe and U.S. university campuses aren’t the only locales seeing a wave of anti-Semitism in the wake of the rising BDS movement against Israel. Recently South Africa has been making headlines for their pro-Palestine, anti-Israel, protests.

Supporters of the BDS movement protested outside the Zionist Federation South Africa - Israel Expo in Sandton on Sunday. The expo, which features an array of products made in Israel, was marked by picketers threatening the exhibitors and guests.

According to the Daily Jewish Forward, protesters began yelling, “you think this is Israel, we are going to kill you,” outside the expo hall. They also shouted, “You Jews do not belong in South Africa,” and “no Zionist conference held on our soil.”

Government Deputy Minister Obed Bapela, who heads the African National Congress’ International Relations, was amongst the group of protesters. Bapela has previously accused Israel of oppressing Palestine, and has made his anti-Zionist views clears since being in office.

“How can Israel say they are not aggressors, when they are building homes and annexing Palestinian lands,” he said at the rally, according to the report. “The apartheid wall should go down.”

He also wanted to make it clear that while he’s against the state of Israel, he has nothing against the Jewish peoples. “We don’t hate Jews,” he explained, “but the ideology of Zionism. The ANC [African National Congress] remains steadfast in supporting the Palestinian cause. Our relations with Palestine did not start today. If we abandon the Palestinian cause, Mandela will be upset with us.”

However this protest, as well as others, has been cause for concern in South Africa. Recently at the University of Johannesburg, Palestinian rights activist Bassem Eid was forced to end his address early due to BDS protesters. The event had been organized by the South African Union of Jewish Students.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies is concerned for the well being of Jewish South Africans and sent out a reminder to the public that it is, “every South African citizen’s constitutional right to attend events of our choosing without fear and intimidation.”

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