JOINT PRESS STATEMENT: NC4P & BDS South Africa welcome SA Jewish Board of Deputies new position on ANC and Palestine-Israel, if properly reported
The National Coalition 4 Palestine (NC4P) and BDS South Africa welcomes the SA Jewish Board of Deputies updated position of now wanting to support the ANC in its policies on Palestine-Israel (which are to boycott Israel). President of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Zev Krengel when questioned by the ENCA TV Channel about the SA Jewish Board of Deputies stance on the conflict in the Middle East said: "Our views are in line with those of the ANC”. (Click here for ENCA article
If what was reported by the ENCA is correct, then this is a change in the SA Jewish Board of Deputies position on the ANC and on Palestine. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies was a long time supporter of the South African Apartheid regime, while on the other hand, the ANC and other organizations fought against the Apartheid regime. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies has previously been opposed to boycotts against Israel while the ANC is a well known supporter of the increasing boycott of Israel and the labeling of Israel as an Apartheid State. A statement released by the highest decision making body of South Africa's ruling ANC two weeks ago made clear the position of the ANC which is to support "the call for a cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC, the Alliance, Members of Cabinet, Members of Parliament and Government Officials.” The ANC has also called for “companies that do business in the Israeli occupied [Palestinian] territories, such as Capegate, G4S Security and Caterpillar to not be allowed to business with [the South African] state.” These boycott measures against Israel it is hoped will end Israel's violation of international law and create the necessary conditions for a just peace to be negotiated. Click here for ANC NEC position on Palestine and boycott of Israel.
During the recent national elections the SA Jewish Board of Deputies actively discouraged the Jewish community to vote for the ANC and instead encouraged the Jewish community to vote for the fundamentalist ACDP party (see here
). Last month on the 23rd of September, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies in a strongly worded statement labeled the ANC’s call for a boycott against Israel “disappointing”. Therefore, if what was reported by the ENCA is correct, then today's endorsement and support for the ANC’s position on Palestine (which is to support the boycott against Israel) by the President of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies is welcomed. BDS South Africa has written to the SA Jewish Board of Deputies requesting a meeting on a way forward to advance the BDS campaign. We hope that this will now mean a break from the SA Jewish Board of Deputies ugly history of collaboration with Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel.
The SA Jewish Board of Deputies had previously rejected boycotts against Apartheid South Africa as a means to bring about negotiations. We are glad that the SA Jewish Board of Deputies has now realized that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel is a non-violent form of pressure to bring about negotiations for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
BDS South Africa notes the recent reports that the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and its security partner, the Jewish CSO, claim of increased anti-Semitism. As the NC4P and BDS South Africa we condemn all forms of racism including Zionism and anti-Semitism. We urge that any incidents of Zionism or anti-Semitism be immediately reported to the local authorities and to provide concrete evidence rather than speculation. We also urge the SA Jewish Board of Deputies to refrain from relying on the discredited vigilante group, the Jewish CSO (click here for more information on the Jewish CSO and its illegal activities
We wish the Jewish community and our Jewish comrades a meaningful fast this Yom Kippur. We also wish the Muslim community and our Muslim comrades a meaningful Eid-al-Adha.
JOINTLY ISSUED BY REVERAND EDWIN ARRISON AND MUHAMMED DESAI ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COALITION 4 PALESTINE AND BDS SOUTH AFRICA
Reverend Edwin Arrison (National Coalition 4 Palestine): 0725121847
Muhammed Desai (BDS South Africa): 0842119988
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