South African archbishop and prominent anti-Israel campaigner Desmond Tutu has joined politicians in Belgium in nominating imprisoned Palestinian arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tutu tabled the nomination in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Monday in which he hailed the convicted murderer a symbol of the “struggle for freedom, [which] constitutes a clear signal of support for the realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including to self-determination.”
Tutu is a longtime anti-Israel activist, and is a member of the “International High Level Committee of the Campaign for the freedom of Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners.”
Barghouti is the former leader of the Tanzim armed wing of Fatah and was convicted in Israel of being the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, another Fatah terror group.
He was convicted in 2004 on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in and held responsible for four other terror attacks.
In his letter, Tutu characterized Barghouti’s actions as fighting “for freedom and peace,” and – even more ironically – hailed the mass-murderer as “an active advocate and defender of democracy and human rights, include women’s rights, and of pluralism, both religious and political, in a region and a world that desperately needs such advocates.”
Barghouti received his support in Belgium from both the Senate and House of Representatives who penned a letter to the Nobel nominating committee praising him as a peace activist and key to future talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
While Tutu and others attempt to manipulate and distort the true character of Barghouti, the victims and countless grieving relatives of his attacks are the only ones with the legitimacy to be heard.
As the systematically anti-Semitic BDS movement and its acolytes, like Israeli Apartheid Week, try to continue their weary journey, even Christian groups in South Africa have started to rail against them.
The Defend Embrace Invest (In) and Support Israel (DEISI) group‚ supported by other groups, has announced a, “Countrywide protest against the BDS (Boycott‚ Divestment‚ and Sanctions against Israel) movement”.
“We condemn such actions by the BDS movement as being unconstitutional‚ opposed to freedom of association and a threat to the employment and stability of the ordinary South Africans employed by those companies‚” DEISI said.
“This is an unacceptable practice of racism and anti-Semitism by the BDS movement and must be called out for its bigotry.
“We believe it is our responsibility to defend the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders in their homeland.”
The DEISI statement described itself as “a national group of Christians who have a love for Israel”.
“Only peace and love should be spread from South Africa to The Holy Land of Israel‚” it declared.
The protest action comes as anti-Israel activists hold Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa. They are planning protests in major cities including Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Aubrey Matshiqi, a political analyst writing in The Rand Daily Mail, uses the historical repression and hatred of Jews as a metaphor to examine the risks inherent as South Africa’s economic and social crisis deepens. The question considered by AntiSemitismWatch is whether this apparently clever literary analogy belies a disturbing truth the South African Jewish community faces as a consequence of the systemically anti-Semitic BDS movement?
“Some elements within the political class will look for “Jews” to blame as they try to gain advantage over their political opponents. The “Jews”, if this happens, will be forced to wear yellow stars of race, class, nationality, tribe and place of origin, by which they will be identified as enemies of the revolution, the people and the national interest.
This hidden hand sees the Fees Must Fall phenomenon as an opportunity for regime change. Given the fact that many parts of the world are in crisis precisely because of the hidden hands of some permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the allegation may not be completely far-fetched. However, it is not uninteresting that the allegation coincides with our national sense of crisis and a governing party that is under siege.
Furthermore, the allegation is not inconsistent with an allegation that some in the tripartite alliance have been making since the time of the Marikana massacre. They argue that there is a multiheaded serpent that is slithering its way across our political landscape with destruction on all of its minds. Each head represents a “Jew” to blame for our woes — opposition parties, civil society formations, the media, and powerful countries, such as the US.
The point I am making is that when countries, organisations and institutions are under siege and seem to have no solutions for their problems, finding “Jews” to blame becomes a strategic option. This, however, is too easy and convenient an option. We must look for the real reasons why we are in crisis.”
While the point is perhaps well made that elements of South African society may be vulnerable to the political consequences of the crisis the unfortunate reality is that, driven by the BDS movement, plain, old-fashioned anti-Semitism is thriving.
AntiSemitismWatch has reported extensively on the effects of this. Mirroring the experience on campuses across the UK and the US, South African university students have disproportionately bore the brunt.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has regularly spoken out on the impact of BDS and its acolytes, like Israeli Apartheid Week, through which anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are perpetuated.
The SAJBD’s Wendy Kahn said in a statement reported yesterday said: “We are witnessing mounting instances of anti-Israel rhetoric crossing over into overt anti-semitism‚ particularly on the university campuses. Last week‚ attempts were made to disrupt a religious learning session for Wits Jewish students‚ with the speaker being rudely interrupted and participants subjected to offensive verbal abuse (such as that “Jewish money” controls the university).”
The pig head placed in a supermarket’s kosher counter (it turned out to be the Halaal counter) marked another anti-Semitic low by BDS activists.
Similarly, the novelist Steve Apfel writing in today’s Israel National News says, “The Jew among nations is a proven device for diverting anger or catching votes and Israel is the new catchall. Zuma’s [Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa] counting and reading may be at the level of junior school, but he keeps a finger on the angry pulse of society. The millennial Jewish problem remains a handy antidote for the ills that the ruling party has created.”
The political and social crisis in South Africa, fanned by endemic corruption at the highest levels of government, and growing economic inequality have led to a crisis of leadership for the ruling African National Congress party and the country. It is against such a backdrop that, desperate to reclaim a libertarian post-aparthied reputation, the promotion of conspiracy theories can be perpetuated. BDS movement ideology has conveniently helped to provide a ‘legitimate’ framework within which to do that.
Our opening statement: The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) is so tainted and endemic with Anti-Semitism that it is time for all governments and their departments and agencies to take formal action.
We would never deny that it is absolutely possible to criticize or challenge the government and policies of Israel without straying into Anti-Semitic territory. Indeed, people have the rights and freedom to criticize any nation state. The simple problem is that there is overwhelming evidence that the BDS movement does not tread that path. It, instead, is full of vile Anti-Semitic rhetoric, debate and policy.
AntiSemitismWatch.com, uniquely, sets out the case against BDS and its associated manifestations referencing a global picture:
Two of the most frequent insults thrown at Israel by those involved in the BDS movement is a comparator with apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. Yet in South Africa itself there has been recent evidence of of how BDS and Anti-Semitism are inextricably linked.
In March last year, AntiSemitismWatch.com reported how BDS campaigners outside the South African Zionist Federation conference were caught yelling, “You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you.” Then, when their attempts to shut the conference failed sentiments such as: “You Jews do not belong in South Africa” were shouted from their ranks.
Tony Ehrenreich, regional secretary of the Western Cape region of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), declared in 2014 that “if the Jewish Board of Deputies wants to advance a Zionist agenda, they should leave South Africa and go advance their agenda elsewhere.”
On his personal Facebook account, Ehrenreich went from condoning exile, itself a step beyond apartheid, to condoning murder: “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”
There is even some recognition, according to a press release in January 2015, from within its own ranks in South Africa that within the BDS movement, “Holocaust denial and even anti-Semitism, rarely but occasionally does emerge within Palestine solidarity circles.”
This admission is an important one because it helps point to the real Anti-Semitic consequences of BDS, most widely and commonly experienced by Jewish students on college and university campuses across the world. The abhorrent comparison of democratic Israel to apartheid South Africa, while not all necessarily advocated by those motivated by Anti-Semitism, creates a climate within which Anti-Semitism is made more palatable.
In effect, the attacks on Israel on campus release inhibitions against expressions of anti-Jewish prejudice and have the consequence of legitimizing attacks on Jews on campus.
In January this year activists disrupted an event organised by the King’s College London Israel Society and London School of Economics Israel Society, in which politician Ami Ayalon, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, appeared. The disruption was in no way peaceful and ended with students reporting windows being smashed, chairs thrown and one woman claimed she was assaulted as the building was evacuated by police.
Indeed, Sir Eric Pickles, the Conservative former communities secretary referred to those behind the “disgraceful” attack on the Jewish students as “neo-fascists”. He also suggested the scenes which disrupted the meeting shared similarities with 1938’s Kristallnacht, also known as Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis attacked Jewish people and their property.
Jewish students at the University of California (UC) have similarly experienced an escalation of hateful anti-Semitic acts. This past fall, swastikas and “F— Jews” were carved into multiple cars, and a female Jewish student was followed and harassed by a male member of the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine.
Last year, swastikas were spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity, and “grout out the Jews” defaced the Hillel House at UC Davis; “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was scrawled at UC Berkeley; flyers blaming Jews for 9/11 were posted at UC Santa Barbara, and a candidate for the UCLA student judicial board almost lost a seat over concerns among fellow students that she was perhaps too “active in the Jewish community” to “maintain an unbiased view.”
Just last week on AntiSemitismWatch.com, Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) resigned from office after the OULC decided to endorse Israel Apartheid Week.
In his resignation statement he highlighted his concerns, alleging there were growing anti-Semitic tendencies within the OULC. Chalmers said, “The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting (sic.) and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”
During his two terms as co-chair of the club he alleged he witnessed a range of declarations regarding Zionism and the Hamas including “members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon” and “senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians.”
Even supporters of the BDS movement and its affiliates recognise the anti-Semitic overtures of those that speak and act in its name.
Naomi Foyle, writing for MEMO Middle East Monitor agrees that, “As a member of the PSC [Palestine Solidarity Campaign] myself, I know that the organisation can unfortunately attract anti-Semites, racists who believe mistakenly that they will find a home in its branches for their noxious views.”
Indeed, anyone who actually takes time to examine the core principles and history of the BDS movement cannot help but reach the conclusion that it is systemically anti-Semitic. It, ironically, emerged at the 2001 United Nations-sponsored World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance—held in Durban, South Africa. Dubbed by former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Irwin Cotler as “the tipping point for the coalescence of a new, virulent, globalizing anti-Jewishness,” the Durban conference and its concomitant NGO Forum featured posters displaying Nazi icons, anti-Jewish cartoons, hecklers chanting “Jew, Jew, Jew,” and wide distribution of the virulently anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” forgery.
Tom Lantos, the late member of the U.S. Congress and Holocaust survivor, was part of the American delegation to the Durban conference and said the following: “For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period.”
This is reflected in the words of some of the BDS groups most prominent leaders and supporters:
Omar Bargouti, founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said, “Going back to the two-state solution, besides having passed its expiry date, it was never a moral solution to start with. We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.“ He has also said the one state solution means, “A unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”
Ahmed Moor, a pro-BDS writer said, “Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself … BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state.” In a similar vein As’ad AbuKhalil, professor at California State University, suggested, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”
As part of his recent book ‘The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel’, Cary Nelson in his essay, “The Problem with Judith Butler” (who is among the BDS movement’s most prominent proponents in American academe), argued that any solution that involves dissolving the Jewish state is “anti-Semitic in effect” and fueled, “at least obliquely,” by an anti-Semitic legacy that views Jews as “secondary or expendable.”
“Criticism that pressures Israel to improve its laws and practices, that helps Israel see its way toward a negotiated solution, that would lead to withdrawal from the West Bank — while reaffirming Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within secure borders — is not anti-Semitic,” Nelson writes. “Claims that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, that it was an illegitimate colonialist enterprise from the outset, are indeed anti-Semitic in effect.”
The recent announcement of the British government to prevent local authorities participating in boycotts against Israel, is a policy reflective not only of the government’s concerns about undermining British foreign policy, but also of a growing realisation regarding the connection between BDS and antisemitism in the UK.
AntiSemitismWatch says that this is the only response available to national governments and international agencies and organisations in light of the overwhelming evidence of how systemically anti-Semitic the BDS movement is.
Let us know your thoughts through our comments section or email us direct on Secretary@antisemitismwatch.com
Followers of ASW.com may recall our recent coverage of the student government president at Wits (Witwatersrand) University, South Africa who publicly praised Hitler. In the latest twist he has been removed from office, but over a separate matter, according to university’s vice chancellor.
Mcebo Dlamini, who made further headlines over the weekend after a graphic appeared on his Facebook page comparing the Israeli government to the Nazi regime, was ousted Monday from his post with the Students’ Representative Council at Wits.
“In every white person there is an element of Hitler,” he had written.
The university’s vice chancellor and principal, Adam Habib, explained in an email to students that Dlamini was removed following an allegation he had assaulted a senior staff member, as well as being involved in verbal altercations. The misconduct allegations against him were found proven by a disciplinary panel in February and cited as the cause for his removal.
Habib did condemn the comments, saying they were “deeply offensive,” “racist to the extreme” and as having “violated the fundamental values of Wits.”
Dlamini said Habib removed him from office because he had given in to pressure from “Zionists,” South Africa’s Eyewitness News reported. He also claimed that rich donors had influenced Habib.
The student leader had earlier told the Wits newspaper Vuvuzela, “What I love about Hitler is his charisma and his capabilities to organize people. We need more leaders of such caliber.”
In trying to defend his Facebook remarks, Dlamini said he was looking at “Hitler’s good side. Hitler managed to uplift the spirit of the German people.”
The university said Dlamini had caused more damage to its reputation than anyone else in the past 20 years.
Natan Pollack, the national chairman of the South African Union of Jewish Students, called Dlamini’s comments “absolute anti-Semitism and racism,” according to a report in the Cape Times.
A university source said that Dlamini was still under investigation for his “I love Adolf Hitler” Facebook posts.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies who have been at the forefront of campaigning on this issue said to ASW.con that they welcome, “the announcement by Wits Vice Chancellor Adam Habib that Mcebo Dlamini is required to stand down as SRC President and member of SRC.”
AntiSemitismWatch.com is growing increasingly concerned at the level of Antisemitism in South Africa, a topic it has previously covered. Much of this activity is tied to xenophobic violence and the insistence of some in the country to attempt to equate the Israeli-Palestinian issue with apartheid South Africa.
In a shocking latest and perverse twist the President of the Student Union of Wits University, Johannesburg, Mcebo Dlamini, has defended his admiration of Adolf Hitler.
Dlamini said, “I’m deciding to look at the good Hitler stood for. He rebuilt the country, the economy, the infrastructure, he uplifted the spirit of Germany.”
Unsurprisingly, such views generated an outcry from the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) who are calling for him to be removed as SRC president.
In response, Dlamini claimed,”I am puzzled and shocked by the response from the white community… If indeed the Israelites hate Hitler so much… why are they emulating Hitler in that they are subjecting the Palestinian children to discrimination, segregation and human indignity?
“The same thing Hitler was doing to the Jews, they are doing to the Palestinians,” he told News24 on Tuesday.
In what ASW.com considers a relatively weak response, Dlamini’s own Vice-Chancellor, Adam Habib, said, “I’ve come out fairly strongly against it. I think it’s an outrageous statement. I think it’s unacceptable that the SRC president would make a statement like this.”
In a more eloquent response a South African Jewish student has penned an open letter. In it the unnamed student suggests to Dlamini, “I know you were not born to “Love Adolf Hitler”. Adolf Hitler hated many people including the Jewish people simply because “of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion”. By loving Adolf Hitler you align yourself with his value of hatred for another simply because of his religion.
All I ask is for you to love us – as Jews – for being South Africans and the many commonalities we share, rather than hating us for the few differences we possess.”
AntiSemitismWatch.com believes this latest troubling news requires the leaders and politicians of South Africans to strongly condemn Dlamini and to use this incident as a trigger to begin address the xenophobia and associated violence that the country is suffering from.
AntiSemitismWatch.com has previously strongly criticised community leaders for weakness in their responses to incidents of Antisemitism. In particular, where they have suggested that any part of the solution is the ‘hiding’ of the Jewish identity.
In a move highly commended by ASW.com, the South African Board of Deputies have provided clear and decisive leadership that others around the world should take heed of and could usefully follow:
Last weekend in a South African nightclub called The Zone in Johannesburg’s Rosebank neighborhood, three Jewish teenagers wearing kippot were physically assaulted and verbally abused by three thugs. While one of the students was being hit, another assailant cursed at him, saying among other things, “Your [expletive] people are killing our innocent children.”
In response the South African Jewish Board of Deputies called on all South Africans, Jewish or not, to attend a film-screening at a cinema of their choice this Saturday night, March 28, wearing a kippa or hat. The campaign is being dubbed #KippasAgainstHate.
“In this way we will demonstrate our commitment to fight against any form of prejudice and intimidation,” the statement concluded. “As proud South African citizens, our freedom of movement, religion, and association are guaranteed by our Constitution.”
AntiSemitismWatch.com, concerned by what it has been picking up through its perhaps unique global coverage, has conducted a major investigation into the level of Antisemitism being faced by Jewish students on University and College campuses. As ASW has always made clear, we firmly believe that only by understanding the global context of Antisemitism, not merely focusing on our own ‘back yard’, can this evil be understood, faced up to and defeated.
ASW does not hide away from telling the truth. Recent campus Antisemitism has not only been of the overt kind (best described as linked to ethnic hatred). It has also been generated directly in some instances by the anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
On 1st March 2015, ASW posted about a Jewish student, Rachel Beyda, being quizzed by members of UCLA’s (University of California, Los Angeles) student government about whether her Jewish identity presented a ‘conflict of interest’ in her application to join. They questioned her ability to make unbiased decisions on cases in which the Jewish community had a vested interest while being active in Jewish organisations on campus.
The debate, captured on video, roiled the campus and sparked a national discussion about discrimination against Jews.
Meanwhile, just a few days ago members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee in the US became the latest target of campus Antisemitism after discovering swastika’s spray-painted in the elevator of their fraternity house. Another swastika was painted on a basement door.
Similarly, in New York City last week, John Jay College of Criminal Justice was the scene of swastikas and Antisemitic slurs, accompanied by racist and homophobic graffiti.
Perhaps not surprising then the findings from the National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students, issued by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. The survey indicated more than half – 54 percent – of 1,157 college students surveyed at 55 U.S. campuses had either experienced or witnessed Antisemitic incidents.
In the UK both the University of Westminster and the University of Kent initially invited and then swiftly banned the extremist Islamic preacher Haitham al-Haddad from speaking on campus. Al-Haddad has been accused of promoting Antisemitic views such as Jews being, “the descendants of apes and pigs.”
Interestingly, however, the bans only occurred after it emerged Mohammad Emwazi, or “Jihadi John”, was radicalised at the Westminster university.
In January this year The Independent described how an openly racist neo-Nazi group – National Action – was seeking to recruit on UK university campuses. While in the same month swastikas were daubed on walls of the University of Birmingham.
Yet it is perhaps through links with the BDS movement that some of the most vehement Antisemitism has been witnessed. A link so often dismissed its supporters.
On the 15th February 2015, ASW posted that the Students Representative Council (SRC) and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) at Durban University of Technology in South Africa had stirred outrage after they had demanded that Jewish students, especially those who “do not support the Palestinian struggle,” leave the school.
On 24th February 2015, ASW further posted about a list of the top ten most Antisemitic US campuses produced by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think-tank based in California.
The think-tank report described how Jewish students at the University of California at Davis awoke earlier this year to swastikas spray-painted on their fraternity house. This event occurred less than 48 hours after the school student government passed an anti-Israel resolution to boycott targeted companies who do business with the Jewish state.
In Brussels earlier this month, Jewish students at the Brussels Free University were targeted by anti-Israel activists from the BDS who shouted Antisemitic slogans. As the Jewish students were observing the set up of a symbolic so-called ‘’Wall of Occupation’’ in the middle of the campus, the BDS students started shouting “Zionists, fascists, you’re terrorists” at them.
In 2011, a pro-Palestinian campaigner was convicted of a racially motivated attack on a St Andrews student after he put his hands down his trousers before wiping them on an Israeli flag hanging in his room.
Anti-Israel incidents at Scottish universities have previously contributed to Jewish students quitting their courses in despair. Attacks were said to have created a “toxic atmosphere” in which Jewish students no longer felt comfortable. Among those who felt the need to leave was a former Edinburgh Jewish Society chair who dropped out of his course to study abroad.
Just a little under two weeks ago a Sydney University academic, Jake Lynch, was reportedly faced with an investigation over an incident born out of his support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. A fracas had broken out when students stormed a public meeting on campus and disrupted an address by former British army colonel Richard Kemp. Mr Kemp wrote to the vice-chancellor claiming that he observed Professor Lynch, “waving money in the face of a Jewish student, a clearly aggressive and insulting act that seemed to invoke the stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew’,” Mr Kemp wrote.
ASW comment: The links between the BDS movement and Antisemitism is a reality that cannot be ignored. Too often Jewish community institutions have shied away from speaking on this issue. To do so only emboldens those that seek to use BDS for such purposes and prevents Jewish students from being adequately supported in confronting the consequences of it.
ASW also believes that armed with this evidence it is incumbent on the University authorities to take intrusive action to prevent all forms of Antisemitism including that disguised under the BDS banner.
AntiSemitismWatch.com urges all British Jewish student groups to undertake and circulate its current survey into Antisemitism in the UK.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies represents South Africa’s Jewish community. In that capacity, Jonathan Marks in Commentary Magazine writes, it has been at the forefront of resistance to the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that is popular in that country. For doing that work, the board has been targeted, not by lone anti-Semitic lunatics but by major South African organizations.
Last year, Tony Ehrenreich, regional secretary of the Western Cape region of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), issued a press release on behalf of his group. The release declared that “if the Jewish Board of Deputies wants to advance a Zionist agenda, they should leave South Africa and go advance their agenda elsewhere.” Referring to the Gaza offensive, the release went on, “to let these funders of a war against a defenseless people act with impunity in South Africa, is against South Africa’s commitment to the people of Palestine. The Jewish Board of Deputies must be advised in no uncertain terms that if they are not part of the solution then they are part of the problem.” On his personal Facebook account, Ehrenreich went from condoning exile to condoning murder: “The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza, then the Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”
ASW has previously posted about the student government of the Durban University of Technology suggesting that Jewish students be expelled. The Board of Deputies has drawn attention to these incidents and others, including a Johannesburg protest, in which “nonviolent” BDS supporters shouted, among other things, “You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you!” BDS South Africa denied everything, but the Board of Deputies has video that appears to back its account up.
Now the Congress of South African Students, a national organization, has gotten into the act, complaining that the Community Security Organization (CSO), a private security agency that protects synagogues, Jewish schools, and communal events in South Africa, is an “armed” and “foreign militia.” The CSO was present at the Johannesburg protest, cooperating with local police. After lodging a variety of complaints against CSO, to whose substance I cannot speak, CSAS concludes: “Truly the SA Jewish Board of Deputies is the Jewish ISIS and threatens our sovereignty through, illegal, mercenaries, militia and invasion.” And “away with racist Jewish Deputies away!”
This post is exactly why AntiSemitismWatch.com believes so strongly in the power of its global coverage. The community everywhere needs to know the sorts of challenges individual communities are facing in order to provide appropriate support because we must support each other. This cannot be beaten in isolation.
ASW brings you the very latest and most extensive Antisemitism global newsround update:
Sacramento, USA: After a few incidents of anti-Semitism in Sacramento, local leaders are taking a stand against it.
Lawmakers will join the Jewish community in a rally on the Capitol steps Monday afternoon. The rally is expected to draw a large crowd, and it’s the beginning of a conversation for stricter rules against anti-Semitism at California universities.
Barry Broad, the president of the Jewish Federation, says the community is fed up. “It’s very, very worrisome,” Broad said.
Broad is calling on the community to join him and lawmakers on the Capitol steps Monday in a rally against a rise in hate crimes and offensive speech, coinciding with a proposed new law. The bill would require all student government bodies in California to have mandatory training in discrimination and civil rights.
“I think it’s important for people to stand together to stand up against and make a very clear message about that,” said California State Senator Richard Pan.
France: Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France says the increasing anti-Israel and anti-Israel sentiments in French society have all the elements necessary to categorize them as anti-Semitism.
“In the 1970s, a new type of Jew-hatred emerged among elites,” Valls told The Wall Street Journal, “one that expressed itself primarily as hostility to Zionism and Israel. This new bigotry has all the [old] components of anti-Semitism, [including] a ‘plot’-based view of imagined Jewish conspiracies.’’
Valls said that this anti-Semitism of the elites has gradually “followed a migration, [impacting] young people in the poor neighborhoods.”
He said he fears that the anti-Semitism prevalent in today’s French society is “much deeper [than just] a couple of idiots who desecrate Jewish cemeteries.” He continued with incredulity: “In 2013 or 2014, you have people in the streets of Paris chanting ‘Death to the Jews!’ And in all the attacks in Paris or the attacks in Copenhagen, targeting the Jews is really at the heart of their motivation.”
South Africa: The on-going BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign in South Africa may be one thing but protesters outside a SA Zionist Federation conference in Sandton yelling, “You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you” is quite another.
When their attempts at failing to shut the conference failed sentiments such as: “You Jews do not belong in South Africa” were shouted from the ranks.
France: “From your holy dwelling-place, look with kindness on this our country, the French Republic. And bless the French people. Amen.”
Every Saturday in synagogues across France these words are intoned – in French or in Hebrew – as part of the Shabbat service.
The Prayer for the French Republic goes back to 1808, when the Jewish community was formally recognised by Napoleon as one of France’s three official religions.
It enshrines in holy language the special debt that French Jews have always felt to France, as the first country in Europe in which they were proclaimed full citizens.
Today that special link is once again under terrible strain, as more and more French Jews question where their future lies.