Jews should leave South Africa and move to Israel before there is a pogrom,
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman said
Sunday, after South African International Relations Minister Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane announced a moratorium on government visits to
“The South African government is creating an anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic atmosphere, and a pogrom against Jews is only a matter of time,”
Liberman wrote on Facebook. “I call on all Jews who still live there to move to
Israel immediately and without delay, before it’s too late.”
Nkoana-Mashabane told South Africa’s The Times
that Pretoria’s ministers “do not
visit Israel currently,” adding that “the struggle of the people of Palestine is
our struggle,” and comparing Palestinian towns to Bantustans, territory set
aside for blacks in apartheid South Africa.
She also commended Iran’s
“respect” for human rights.
According to Liberman, the South African
minister’s remarks are “a mixture of hypocrisy and classic
“A government that, just one year ago, shot 34 miners
without distinction just because they ‘dared’ go on strike, and then after that
wanted to put the miners that were left alive on trial using a law from the
apartheid era – [that] same government doesn’t deal with or care about what’s
happening in its neighboring countries, like the murder of journalists in Mali
or terror attacks in Kenya. Instead, that government is mostly concerned with
what is happening to the Palestinians thousands of kilometers away,” Liberman
Zionist Federation of South Africa chairman Avrom Krengel took
issue with Liberman’s statement in an interview with TLV1 Radio’s Amir Mizroch
on Sunday afternoon.
According to Krengel, there is little connection
between “the government’s anti-Israel stance and the lives South African Jews
He added that Nkoana-Mashabane’s remarks “don’t reflect the
situation on the ground,” where “there’s one of the lowest levels of
anti-Semitism in the world.”
“We are a very vibrant community with deep
roots in the country; we’re very well established,” he stated.
Krengel added: “As a community, we are outraged at this travel ban. It is a
double standard and hypocrisy. South Africa does not conduct its relations in
this manner with any other country.
The government never even condemned
[Syrian President Bashar] Assad, who killed 100,000 of his own people.”