​Peaceful Jewish protesters forcibly removed from the entrance of the Sandton Convention Centre

Peaceful Jewish protesters were forcibly removed from the entrance of the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) earlier today (Friday 10 May).

The protestors were members of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) who were demonstrating against statements made by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naledi Pandor for effectively calling for violence against Jewish students on campus such as we are seeing on US campuses Pandor was the keynote speaker at the unfortunately named “global anti-Apartheid Conference on Israel.”

It was clear that the delegates attending the conference objected to the presence of Jews on the streets of Joburg, and did what they could to intimidate them. Not content with hurling abuse, showing zap signs, they came into our space and physically pulled poster’s out of one of our protestor’s hands, spat in her face, and told her to fuck off”. The police were surprisingly compliant with the aggressors and physically relocated the protestors from outside the entrance of the ICC as our protesters shouted “no space for Jew hate.”

It should be noted that the demonstration was limited to 15 people and were thus in the legal parameters for a public gathering. They were peaceful, and the messaging was solely around the threat to the safety of Jewish students on university campuses.

Our constitution states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The removal of peaceful Jewish protestors to ensure that anti-Israel conference goers are not offended is a perversion of justice and leads to further questions as to whether our government is doing the bidding of belligerent foreign powers, and South African Jews are unwelcome.

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