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By Laurence Seeff
During a pro-Israel rally in Johannesburg, a man protesting with the Anti-Israel crowd was apprehended for carrying a rifle, handguns and other weapons.
During the last Jewish High Holidays, Jewish neighborhoods and areas around synagogues were cordoned off. Due to an intelligence tip-off, heavy police and private security personnel manned positions in and around synagogues throughout the High Holidays.
South Africa is often overlooked as one of the sources of growing anti-Israel sentiments and Anti-Semitism but plays a leading role in determining some of the current narratives against Israel.
The word “Apartheid”, from South Africa’s dark history, has been attached to Israel as a label to form the common phrase “Apartheid Israel”. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) also draws parallels between the global embargo on Apartheid South Africa and their goals to boycott, divest and sanction Israel.
The infamous United Nations conference against racism and xenophobia took place in Durban in 2001 and marked a turning point in the relations between South Africa’s Jews and Muslims. The notorious Russell Tribunal hate-fest has also taken place twice in South Africa.
South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, has traditionally favored relationships with the PLO and Arab states since the days of comrade solidarity between Yasser Arafat and the iconic Nelson Mandela. Coupled with rampant governmental corruption, a relatively large percentage of underprivileged and uneducated population and a small but growing influential Muslim population of about 2.7% (1,600,000), South Africa should be considered as a country with strong potential to foster radical Islamic elements.
Part 2, same time tomorrow, will focus on more recent events in South Africa and the country’s outlook vis-à-vis global terrorism.