Decision to recall ambassador ‘outrageous’, say SA’s Jewish organisations
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) are furious about the government’s decision to pull its ambassador out of Israel.
The withdrawal was in response to the Israeli army’s killing of 59 Palestinians protesting the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
SAJBD and SAZF issued a strongly worded media release on Tuesday morning.
"The South African government’s decision to withdraw the South African ambassador from Israel is outrageous and displays gross double-standards against the Jewish state.
"While we‚ the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation‚ regret the loss of life of civilians‚ we recognise that Israel as a sovereign state has the right to defend its own border and its own citizens.
Israel was facing real danger "with the incitement by Hamas of its own population to storm the security fence and attack Israeli civilians".
"By withdrawing its ambassador‚ SA is essentially walking away from playing any meaningful role in finding a sorely needed resolution to the conflict.
The SAJBD and SAZF said that the rhetoric used by the government had spilt into anti-Semitic comments on various social media platforms and "the biggest losers are the South African Jewish community‚ and other peace-loving South Africans".
"This is a victory only for extremism in the Middle East. We call on the South African government to reconsider its decision immediately," the statement said.