Last Friday, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) led a delegation to Parliament, comprising mainly South African Jewish stakeholders to address the International Relations Portfolio Committee, at the invitation of its Chairperson The Honourable Masango.
The delegation challenged and refuted assertions that had been presented to the committee in previous weeks by certain anti–Israel lobby groups. SAJBD National President, Mary Kluk, raised concerns that anti-Israel sentiment in the country frequently degenerates into hatred of South African Jews, citing several examples of anti-Israel campaigns that resulted in blatant antisemitism. “Fostering hatred and division amongst fellow South Africans is harmful to our society and does nothing whatsoever to bring an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement closer” she said.
The SAJBD said that the punitive actions that had been presented previously by anti-Israel lobby groups to this committee would serve only to further drive a wedge between the two parties. It would also undermine the good work currently being undertaken by our government through DIRCO and the President’s Envoys to the region.
The SAJBD commended the South African government’s steadfast support for a two state solution and reiterated the unique role that the country can play in facilitating a resolution to this complex conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This was reiterated by the Honourable Chairperson and members of the committee. The delegation also commended the SA government’s endeavours to encourage dialogue between the Palestinians and Israelis with the aim of reaching a negotiated two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.
The SAJBD delegation included President Mary Kluk and Parliamentary Liaison Chaya Singer together with SA Zionist Federation Cape Chairman Rowan Polovin, SA Israel Forum Chairman Benji Shulman and SA Friends of Israel Director Jamie Mighty, all of whom made presentations talking directly to issues that had previously been made in the committee.