Bullying by BDS against Jewish community
In a flagrant disregard of the Constitutionally-protected right of all South Africans to freedom of belief, opinion and association, the BDS movement SA continues to threaten and disrupt the efforts of those who disagree with its radical anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda.
The bullying intimidation and shameless trampling of fundamental democratic values by BDS was shown throughout its attempted boycott campaign against Woolworths, where employees and patrons were harassed and threatened and which eventually led to a court order against the movement. It was on display once more at the University of Johannesburg this week, when BDS thugs disrupted an address by Palestinian human rights activist Bassim Eid and forced the organisers, the SA Union of Jewish Students, to bring the event to a premature close.
Now, the BDS movement is leveling threats against today's SA Zionist Federation SA - Israel Expo in Sandton, which caters for all friends of Israel. In this regard, the Young Communist League of SA tweeted, "As long as Israel practices apartheid [sic] against Palestinians @YCLSA will make this the 1st & last such Israeli trade expo on our soil!" This statement goes beyond expressing the intention to peacefully protest. Rather, it constitutes a thinly veiled threat to compel South Africans to acquiesce in the BDS's boycott campaign, regardless of whether they wish to or not.
Section 15 of the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution states, "Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion." Section 18 states "Everyone has the right to freedom of association."
It is these fundamental democratic rights that are now continually under assault by BDS. The time has come for all South Africans to say, "Enough is enough".
For a link to our video on standing up against bullying and protecting our constitution please see:
Statement issued by Benji Shulman and Charisse Zeifert, SAJBD, March 8 2015
Antisemitism on display at BDS rally
Protestors outside a SA Zionist Federation conference in Sandton today, yelled: "You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you". From the outset, it was clear that the aim of the demonstration, in the protestors own words, was to "shut down Sandton" and ensure "no Zionist conference be held on our soil". When their attempts at doing so, failed, it became apparent that the rally was nothing more than a front to stoke up Jew-hatred in South Africa.
Sentiments such as: "You Jews do not belong in South Africa" were shouted from the ranks. As worrying as these displays of anti-Semitism are, equally worrying, is that a Deputy Minister, Obed Bapela chose to attack the SAJBD, specifically calling out the name of our National Director, Wendy Kahn. One would expect a more measured and dignified tone from a government official. It is unbecoming of a Deputy Minister.
Furthermore, Deputy Minister Bapela made a libellous allegation and accused a Jewish marshal of assaulting a protester. A look at the video footage shows that this allegation is unfounded and malicious. It is apparent in the video footage that the protester in fact raised her hand to the marshal, who asked her to remove her hand from his person.
This tactic is a clear modus operandi of the BDS movement that they use whenever they are unsuccessful in disrupting local Jewish functions. They manufacture incidents which have repeatedly found to have no substance.
The SAJBD once again reiterates that it is every South African citizen's constitutional right to attend events of our choosing without fear of intimidation. Despite Oped Bapela's statement, we however will continue engaging government on Israel and local SA issues, as before.
The SAJBD is currently compiling a video of anti-Semitic utterances during the protest, which we will distribute in due course.
Statement issued by Mary Kluk and Zev Krengel, SAJBD, March 8 2015
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