At the Durban University of Technology, a resolution passed by the student council stated “that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister.” The administration promptly rejected the resolution, but the episode is symptomatic of the extent to which South Africans who hate Israel admit that they hate Jews in general. More troubling still, the country’s ruling party has proved willing to condone or even support such behavior. Yair Rosenberg writes:
[T]o anyone who has followed [South Africa’s] Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, the [resolution] should come as no surprise. In fact, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the illiberal and frequently anti-Semitic actions of the anti-Israel activist community in South Africa.
Conflating all Jews with Israel and its policies—and attacking them for it—is textbook anti-Semitism. It is also increasingly common in South Africa. This past September, a senior official from the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party pulled out of a conference celebrating the Jewish role in the fight against apartheid that had been organized by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. The move was praised by the ANC Youth League, which had organized a pro-Palestinian protest against the event. These actions came just after the ANC and several other organizations released a statement declaring, “We are now heightening our campaign aimed at boycotting and isolating Israel as a state founded on the basis of apartheid, which according to international law and several UN conventions is a crime against humanity.”
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