Political Rhetoric Against Jewish Community after Reactions to Embassy Downgrade

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Source: GCIS

In response to Mayibongwe Maqhina’s article entitled “SACP supports Sisulu on Israel”:

In an article released last week by the South African Jewish Report, SAJBD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies) vice-president Zev Krengel stated that Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is the biggest enemy in government to South African Jewry. Regardless of the emotive nature of this statement and the truth that severing ties with the Jewish state puts the South African Jewish community in danger and does a disservice to all South Africans and, ironically, Palestinians, most concerning are the blatant and bizarre statements made by SACP’s (South African Communist Party’s) Alex Mashilo regarding what they think Jewish community leaders are doing.

Alex Mashilo of the South African Communist Party; Source: Twitter

He said the Jewish Board and the Zionist Federation had no powers in terms of the Constitution to appoint any minister and states that “The SACP resolutely condemns the state capture manoeuvres and vows to intensify the mobilisation of its structures, as well as that of the working class at large, to combat the corrupt conduct and undermining of our democratic national sovereignty.”

Our democracy is indeed undermined if a Jewish community leader cannot freely make a statement without being accused of “corrupt conduct” and “undermining national sovereignty”. Undermining national sovereignty is to literally undermine the authority of a state to govern itself. Hardly something anyone of the SAJBD has the power to do.

It is baffling, to say the least, how Mashilo concludes that the Jewish organisation is attempting to appoint a minister, and the accusations of “state capture manoeuvres” and “undermining national sovereignty” conjure up rhetoric and images not befitting a Rainbow Nation. It is also unclear what he means by his seemingly threatening intention to “mobilise the working class at large”.

South Africa would best be served standing against such incitement, and rather having an open debate.



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