(June 22, 2018 / JNS) South African Jewish leaders condemned “alarming” amount of anti-Semitic attacks this week.
According to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, there has been a flurry of anti-Semitic and threatening attacks made against South African Jews both on social media and in face-to-face encounters in recent days.
On Thursday, a video showed passengers awaiting their luggage from an El Al flight into South Africa being verbally abused, and called “wicked Jews.”
A mural with a Germany flag, with a swastika inserted in it, also appeared in Johannesburg.
There have also been increasing anti-Semitic rhetoric online as well in recent days, the South African Jewish group said.
“While it was unfortunately common to find anti-Semitic content online, it was rare for it to take so virulent and inflammatory a form as the latest reported comments,” SAJBD Chairman Shaun Zagnoev said in a statement.
“The posts show how easily radical anti-Israel sentiment can spill over into hateful slurs and threats against Jewish people in general. We are being told that we are ‘scum’, ‘rats’, ‘bastards’, ‘pigs’, ‘swine’ and ‘fat-nosed f***ks. We are further being warned that “our time is coming” and that “the Holocaust will be a picnic after we are done with you.”
The Jewish group said that it is “no coincidence” that these anti-Semitic incidents are coming out after South African supermodel Shashi Naidoo sparked controversy after calling the Gaza Strip a “shithole” on social media. The supermodel received several death threats from the remarks and later apologized. Naidoo had been defending popular South African DJ Black Coffee who had been attack by pro-BDS group for performing in Israel earlier this year.
South Africa has become a hotbed of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel policy and behavior in recent years.
There has been increasing pressure from pro-Palestinian organizations pushing the BDS movement in the country, as well as from the ruling African National Congress Party, which has long been hostile to Israel.
In May, South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel in the wake of the deaths of Palestinian protestors along the Israeli-Gaza border. Last December, senior Hamas figures attended the ANC’s national conference.
Earlier this month, a group of 1,500 Jews and Christians attended four pro-Israel events throughout the country focused on strengthening local pro-Israel community and countering BDS and Israel delegitimization.