Shashi Naidoo & BDS

Unfortunately, she has chosen to do so through the BDS organisation. The BDS is based on the premise that Israel should be boycotted until it ceases to exist as a Jewish state. Many of the campaigns the organisation initiates in South Africa have resulted in blatant antisemitic incidents (including the singing of “Shoot the Jew”, Nazi salutes, the placing of a pigs-head in the kosher section of Woolworths). 

It was clear from the press conference Shashi Naidoo held with BDS on 20 June 2018, that the aim of the trip was less about Shashi learning about Palestine and more about “re-educating” her into holding the same beliefs as BDS; principally that Israel should not exist, and that anyone associated with Israel, including Jews here in South Africa, should be targeted in the BDS’ campaign of hate.

This BDS campaign of hate has led to many countries around the world, including Israel, Germany, Canada, France and the US actively legislating against BDS activity, effectively recognising and rejecting the inherent racism and antisemitsm of this organisation.

Accordingly, the SAJBD, as the voice of South African Jewry, recognises that Israel has a right, as does any other sovereign state, to deny entry to those calling for its destruction.

We hope that Ms Naidoo will renounce BDS, and soon return to Israel and Palestine through the proper channels, in order to learn more about the complexities of that conflict, and the real suffering experienced by both Israelis and Palestinians due to the lack of a viable peace process. 

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The SAJBD was heartened by an email we received from Mr Solly Hattia, a member of the Muslim community.

“My experiences living amongst a Jewish community.  My first engagement with Jewish people began when the company I worked for merged with a Jewish family-owned-business and to whom I was then to report to as my new CEO.  My first encounter with my new Boss, Ronnie Norwitz, was on a Friday when he came down to my office at around 12 looked at his watch and said “Solly aren't you going to be late for your Friday prayer?”  Never before in all my years of working, had I ever had this courtesy from a boss!  His other interesting comment on my return from the Mosque was all ways, "Friday's are good days ".  Ronnie would always say this with the gesture of a clenched fist swinging his arm through the air as if he was going to hit someone.  He always greeted me with a smile and a kind word.  Braai days at work you would find him at my fire naturally. 

THE REAL PROBLEM WITH IQBAL JASSAT’S LATEST SCREED

At the biennial conference of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Gauteng Council next week, Gauteng Jewry will have the first opportunity of engaging directly with President Ramaphosa since his assumption of the presidency earlier this year. Rather than delivering the traditional keynote address, Mr Ramaphosa will be exchanging views with eminent business leader Stephen Koseff on challenges currently facing South Africa, what the Jewish community is (or could be) doing to help address them and how each sees the future of the country and its people. In other words, it is not about what this country should be doing to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian, or any other foreign policy issue, but is framed as being a South African conversation between fellow South Africans on South African issues.