Press Statement: SA Jewry Slams Anti-Israel Stance

by The SAJBD on 14 August 2012

in Press Releases

The South African Jewish community deplores Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim’s statement that he is discouraging South Africans from visiting Israel. Such a stance is grossly discriminatory, counter-productive and wholly inconsistent with how South Africa normally conducts its international relations and contradicts its official policy of having full diplomatic ties with Israel.

The result of such a policy is that South Africa, instead of lending its weight to international efforts to bring about a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, will be seen to be supporting those who wish to promote a complete boycott of Israel and to that end seek to shut down any initiatives aimed at meaningful dialogue. Effectively, honest debate is being shut down, the Israeli viewpoint censored and people denied the opportunity of making their own informed decision through actions amounting to controlling access to information on the part of a government department.

Whereas in other areas of conflict around the world, South Africa consistently emphasises the need for constant dialogue and engagement between all the parties concerned, when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian question, its current policy would seem to be to prevent the Israeli case from even being heard. Only through visiting Israel and engaging at first hand with the various role-players and issues on the ground can people gain a better understanding of the situation there, yet it is precisely such visits that Deputy Minister Ebrahim is seeking to prevent.

Mr Ebrahim’s statements are indicative of a highly discriminatory and disproportionate obsession with the Jewish State. In further polarising rather than bringing together the various parties, it undermines the government’s oft-stated policy of supporting a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, it harms South Africa’s standing as a credible player in resolving international disputes.

One-sided boycotts only play into the hands of those who oppose a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. It is not in South Africa’s interests, both domestically and internationally, to support such extremists.

For more information please contact Avrom Krengel on 082 600 6465, Mary Kluk on 083 7758618 or Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein at

Issued by the South African Zionist Federation, South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the Office of the Chief Rabbi.



The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) is the central representative institution of the South African Jewish community.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne Brodie August 14, 2012 at 20:33

Mr Ebrahim’s statement is an absolute disgrace – but I guess not a huge surprise! This government is quite biased and decidedly anti-Israel.


colleen riehl August 15, 2012 at 08:32

Ebrahim Ebrahim should know that Christian South Africans will not be dictated to and misled. We are supporters of Israel as instructed to us by our God.


Frank Gainsford August 15, 2012 at 09:45

This statement by the SAJBD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies) needs to be examined and interpreted for what it is, a statement about the polarization of the issue by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim.

Why is the department of International relations and co-operations not looking for a political solution?

Is the South African government preparing to sell arms to the Palestinian people?


monde zondani August 15, 2012 at 14:30

I am still waiting for an formal apology from SA Jewish community for profiting, financing the apartheid regime and the state of Israel the only country ignoring international sanctions not to do business with apartheid state. the board should bow down its head in shame for accusing the gentleman of being racist.I know their game, i was once stationed somewhere in Israel via NATO, the saddest part about my stay there was to see the “The Berlin WALL”, the endless check point and the deliberate land grabbing of the Palestinian land.
the Minister was dead right in checking the labeling of goods made in Palestinian land.
we should re-examine our relation with the state of Israel. We owe it to both Jewish and
palestinian kids to do the thing.



Leonid Goldberg August 15, 2012 at 21:44

We would like to hear the statement from the SA government: does Mr Ebrahim express his position as a muslim or as minister of the government? If he claims that SA government does not consider isolation of Israel than it appears that he has spoken in a private capacity and not as a minister. In such case he should resign.


Leonid Goldberg August 16, 2012 at 20:42

The statement of Monde Zondani blaming Jewish community as a whole for supporting apartheid regime is as nonsensical and racist as to blame all african people for the extreme level of crime in SA.


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