17 August 2022

We, members of the South African Jewish community, welcome the downgrade of the South African Embassy in Israel to a liaison office.

We, together with our progressive Jewish Israeli allies, have been consistent in supporting the call for South African adoption of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign regarding Israel. The downgrade is therefore a welcome first step in this regard and increases pressure on Zionist Israel to abandon apartheid and move towards a secular and democratic Palestine/Israel that respects the rights of all its peoples.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) tries to suggest that it represents ALL Jews in our country. However, this is not true. The SAJBD is a political lobby for the Zionist cause. It is not a structure that represents the democratic and social justice values and interests of Jewish people as citizens of South Africa and of the world.  Its primary focus is the advancement of an expansionist Israel and its rhetoric defending the racist brutality of Israeli Jewish settlers and army snipers is contrary to all ethical teachings – whether in Judaism, all other religions and in natural law.   

As such, we commend Minister Sisulu for standing her ground and condemn the attacks on her. Our government is implementing a resolution of the governing party that is supported by a wide range of South Africans who wish to see justice. We can only hope that this first tangible expression of our collective rejection of Israeli apartheid signals a revived South African policy of solidarity with oppressed and dispossessed people all over the world. 

South African Jews for Free Palestine

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