This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
By Laurence Seeff
Part 1 provided the recent historic and political background of growing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments in South Africa
South Africa’s Jewish population of about 70,000 are now becoming aware of blatant Anti-Semitism after having mostly been unaffected by Anti-Semitism. Verbal and media attacks on Jews and Israel increase proportionately when temperatures in the Middle East rise, especially between Israel and her enemies.
During the last two years: “Shoot the Jew” was sung at an Israeli concert; two student representative councils at prominent universities adopted resolutions to boycott Israeli academic institutions; a pig’s head was placed in a supermarket boycotted by BDS for stocking foodstuffs from Israel; a draconian resolution against Israel was brought before parliament (without success); and the ruling ANC party issued a number of inherently Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel official statements.
“Israel Apartheid Week” is also an annual event taking place on campuses throughout South Africa in which Jewish students are often intimidated and harassed.
During Operation “Protective Edge”, about 150,000 people marched in Cape Town in protest against Israel. 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 has little political will to combat global terrorism and thus radical terrorist elements see South Africa as an attractive location from which to operate. There have been reports of Al-Qaeda elements operating from within South Africa using false South African passports, safe houses and conducting financial transactions. Coupled with illegal immigration from countries where radical Islamist organizations are already operating, South Africa will have to make a concerted effort to prevent the country from becoming a center for terror.