Pro Palestinian BDS Betrays South African Constitution and Mandela Legacy

See Video: South African Jews Recite Mourners Kaddish for Mandela

By Melanie Nathan, March 13, 2015.

Former SA President Thabo Mbeki with kippah in Synagogue Johannesburg at Mandela's pareyer memoreial
Former SA President Thabo Mbeki with kippah in Synagogue Johannesburg at Mandela’s prayer memorial

When Mandela died the most pious of South African Jews and the most secular of South African Jews all mourned – we had lost Tata Madiba, the man who had brought freedom for all, to South Africa. President Jacob Zuma called upon congregations of every faith to organize prayer services for that following Sunday.   All religions in the country heeded the call as did the Jewish community.  Oxford Synagogue, my childhood Orthodox congregation, was designated as the official Jewish Congregation to hold a Mourner’s Kaddish and prayer service.

As it happened I was in South Africa on a business trip, with an appointment at the Mandela Foundation the very week Madiba died and so I attended and filmed part of the service at this my childhood Shul.

I uploaded the video of the Mourners Kaddish and the National Anthem only today and it can be seen below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 10.21.02 AMAt the service former President Thabo Mbeki, in his most moving speech, said: “As we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela, it becomes the central task that we reflect on what needs to be done to sustain his legacy to ensure we do not betray what he and other sacrificed for and stood for.”

Why am I writing about this now?

It with deep sadness that I reported last week about the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel) Pro-Palestinians and anti-Semitic protest of a Jewish event in Johannesburg, where the members and supporters of the BDS Movement, stood on vehicles and screamed their terrifying threat to the Jews of South Africa :

“You think this is Israel, we are going to kill you! You Jews do not belong here in South Africa!”

Fellow South Africans betrayed the sanctity of the South African Constitution. This Constitution, borne of a struggle like none other, one which ensures every freedom imaginable and full equality for everyone,  and still in its infancy, a mere 20 years later, guarantees religious freedom and safety for all, regardless of religious affiliation.Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 10.21.15 AM

Not only did this protest by BDS supporters and also some ANC (Mandela Party) members, betray this profound South African Constitution, but it also defecated on the legacy and memory of Nelson Mandela, who became an iconic global peace activist.

mandela memorialBack on December 08, 2013,  I wrote about my experience at the memorial for Mandela here on my BLOG. This is part of what I said back then:

“To me it was an extremely moving memorial, of great significance. This was the very synagogue of my youth, where on many occasions our Rabbi, Norman Bernard, preached against the ills of Apartheid, from the very pulpit which now served as the platform for reflection on the life of Tata Madiba, Nelson Mandela, who upon release from unconscionable persecution, ensured that “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.” The Jewish community turned up in the thousands to honor and pray for the man who is credited for preventing a bloodbath and ensuring freedoms and liberty for all.”

If the BDS was indeed an authentic Human Rights movement, as it claims to be, surely it should not have such a hateful impact on the fundamental rights of any group? Yet through its rhetoric it triggers and incites hate, violence and anti-Semitism. Its mission is clearly nothing more than an attempt to launder anti-Semitism. It has zero credibility and should put itself to pasture!

I hope you watch the Video and feel the heart of South African Jews! They have every and equal right just like all South Africans, to be there without the oppression of this past week.

That article can be read here:

The Article about the attack on SA Jews by BDS members can be read here:

Chief Rabbi Goldstein’s prayer:

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