The South African Zionist Federation complained of “intimidation” and a “violent
assault” by protesters affiliated with the Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU) against the Jewish community during its Independence Day
celebrations at Johannesburg’s Gold Reef City amusement park.
protesters “threw stink bombs into the audience, attacked and injured an elderly
woman and forced themselves onto the stage, where they attempted to attack the
performers,” the SAZF said in a statement, explaining that it views such actions
as “blatantly infringing [upon] the right of the Jewish community to celebrate
its culture and heritage.”
The SAZF addressed a formal complaint to the
police, which they say are considering “appropriate charges.”
become a typical ploy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in South
Africa to provoke ugly confrontations and then falsely claim to have been
victimized,” the organization added.
In response to the SAZF’s
complaints, COSATU’s international relations secretary Bongani Masuku told The
Jerusalem Post, “They celebrate in South Africa, but murder, occupy and
brutalize in Palestine. What justice and freedom can they talk about? “Apartheid
South Africa was never free anywhere in the world – why would apartheid Israel
expect a different treatment?” he asked, saying that there can be “no
celebration for some and genocide for others.
“Our freedom should be the
freedom of all,” he stated. “It’s indivisible and not selective. No one shall
celebrate until all can celebrate.”
The SAZF and the South African Jewish
Board of Deputies are “hypocrites,” Masuku said, adding that they cannot “cry
foul” so long as they “are behind the state that murders, occup[ies],
colonize[s] [and] practice[s] apartheid and ethnic
Furthermore, he said that South African Jews who serve in the
IDF are breaking the law by engaging in “mercenary activities.”
terrorism and occupation cannot be tolerated anywhere in the world, so why would
it be here in South Africa?” he asked.
Israel has long-denied accusations
of apartheid, stating that it ensures social freedoms and civil rights for all
of its citizens regardless of race or religion.