The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) on Wednesday said it “deplores the divisive” statement made by the ANC international relations subcommittee “reiterating the call for cultural boycott of Israel”.
“Imposing a boycott against Israel over and above every other country in the world is itself immoral and inconsistent with how South Africa normally conducts its foreign policy. Prejudice rather than any genuine concern for human rights is what appears to be behind this decision,” said the SAJBD.
“Why, when it comes to this particular issue, is the ANC allowing its foreign policy to be hijacked by radicals who are quite happy to compromise South Africa’s objective interests for the sake of making empty anti-Israel propaganda gestures?”
Earlier, Lindiwe Zulu the chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Committee called for a cultural boycott of Israel and added: “We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa.”
Her remarks added to the crescendo of criticism directed at Black Coffee for performing in Israel.
However, the SAJBD said it “gives its full support to Black Coffee, Nkosinathi Maphumulo, who is one of our most talented artists and has worked incredibly hard to work to be where he is”.
The SAJBD said Black Coffee had every right under “our democratic dispensation” to travel where he liked.
“It is incredulous that the ANC as a governing party is associating itself with an antisemitic and anti-democratic group like BDS SA,” said the SAJBD.
“The SAJBD urges the ANC to move away from the politics of boycott and ‘rejectionism’ when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian question and instead pursue a policy of even-handed engagement with all sides to bring about a peaceful, negotiated two-state solution to the current conflict.”
– African News Agency (ANA)