Jewish and Christian South African leaders. (South African Friends of Israel) (South African Friends of Israel)
Jewish and Christian South African leaders

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Jews and Christians attended pro-Israel events throughout South Africa focused on strengthening the local pro-Israel community and countering BDS.

By: JNS and United with Israel Staff

More than 1,500 Jews and Christians attended four pro-Israel events throughout South Africa focused on strengthening the local pro-Israel community and countering the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and Israel delegitimization.

The initiative, sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy and Maccabi World Union in conjunction with the Zionist Federation of South Africa, took place June 3-10 in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

Panels and discussion emphasized working together with the local Christian leadership in raising support for Israel. At the same time, the Jewish community also provided talks and discussions on strengthening its activities and providing them with effective tools to deal with Israel delegitimization and boycotts.

The events in South Africa come amid increasing pressure from pro-Palestinian organizations pushing the BDS movement in the country as well as from the ruling African National Congress Party (ANC), which has long been hostile to Israel, repeatedly called for boycotts of Israel and accused it of apartheid, and even fostered ties with the Hamas terror group.

In May, South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel in the wake of the deaths of Palestinian protestors along the Israeli-Gaza border. Last December, senior Hamas figures attended the ANC’s national conference.

South Africa is so anti-Israel it has even chosen to suffer drought rather than use Israeli water technology.

“The reality in South Africa is deeply disturbing, given the increasing prominence of the BDS movement within the country and the solidarity shown by the ANC towards terrorist organizations,” said Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan. “I decided to focus my ministry’s efforts on activities in South Africa in order to strengthen the local pro-Israel community and their fight against BDS and terrorism.”